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Malaysian Runners Shine In The Gold Coast Marathon 2024: A World-Class Display Of Endurance

Malaysian Runners Shine In The Gold Coast Marathon 2024: A World-Class Display Of Endurance

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The Gold Coast Marathon (GCM) 2024, a world-renowned event that took place over two days on 6 and 7 July, will forever be remembered as a milestone in the history of international running.

The event brought together a diverse array of athletes, from seasoned professionals to passionate enthusiasts, all united by their love for the sport and their determination to push their limits.

It was a moment when a sea of people converged upon the picturesque, sun-kissed shores of Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, to test their mettle and chase their dreams on the global stage.

Participants competed across a variety of distinct categories, each designed to showcase different skills and levels of endurance that caters to participants of all ages and abilities.

The crack of the starting gun echoed through the air, and the runners surged forward, each determined to give their all. (Pix by Fernando Fong)

The Malaysian contingent, in particular, shone brightly.

The months of rigorous training and unwavering dedication paid off as they clocked impressive timings and set new personal bests.

In a heartwarming display of international camaraderie, Malaysian runners gather around their pacers, the unsung heroes of the GCM 2024, for a post-race photograph that captures the essence of the marathon spirit. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Edan Syah Conquers Gold Coast Marathon Double, Inspires Runners with Message of Perseverance

Among the standout performers was Edan Syah, an experienced marathoner and dedicated running coach who showcased his versatility by competing in both the half-marathon and full-marathon events.

Edan repeated the incredible feat of conquering a total distance of 63.3 kilometres and earning two well-deserved medals.

Speaking to TRP about the growing popularity of the GCM Double, Edan enthusiastically shared, “More than 500 runners participated in the category this year compared to 244 last year. It is starting to get recognition on an international level, and I believe more people will join next year.”

Edan expressed his amazement at his own ability to maintain a rigorous training schedule despite his age, emphasizing the importance of consistency and focus in achieving one’s goals.

He encouraged people to pursue their dreams without hesitation, urging them to put in the necessary effort, seek support when needed, and trust the process throughout their journey.

Pushing Past Limits, One Stride at a Time

Haziq Hamzah, another prominent figure in the Malaysian running community, captivated spectators with his impressive speed and unbreakable spirit.

The 33-year-old IT professional clocked in at 2:31.53, breaking his personal best of 2:35, and showed the power of dedication and perseverance in achieving greatness on the world stage.

Reflecting on his performance, Haziq Hamzah shared his thoughts with a mix of pride and determination.

“I didn’t hit my target, but I’m still proud of my effort,” Haziq expressed.

“I gave everything I had. In the last few kilometres, I told myself, ‘Surely there will be a wheelchair at the finishing line,’ so I kept pushing and pushing.”

Negeri Sembilan’s Pride: Prabudass Krishnan’s Remarkable Journey to GCM 2024

Prabudass Krishnan, a 33-year-old professional athlete from Negeri Sembilan, expressed his delight in participating in the GCM 2024, marking his third attempt at the prestigious event.

Prabudass praised the supportive atmosphere, stating that he eagerly anticipates returning for next year’s marathon.

He added that the terrain is perfect for running, with its mix of flat stretches and gentle inclines that allow runners to maintain a steady pace while taking in the stunning coastal views.

Prabudass’s journey to the GCM 2024 has been one of remarkable achievements.

In 2019, he shattered a 17-year-old national record previously held by former national runner M. Arul Thevar.

Thevar had set the record on 4 July, 2004, with a time of 1:07.59s.

Prabudass, showcasing his exceptional talent and dedication, surpassed this longstanding record by clocking an impressive 1:07.29s at the Gold Coast Marathon in 2019.

Defying Odds and Achieving Impressive GCM Double Despite Challenges

Jamie Pang, an IT professional working in the finance industry, also completed the GCM double despite facing challenges in training due to work-related stress and limited sleep.

With a conservative plan of finishing in 4:30, Pang surprised himself by maintaining a consistent pace throughout the race, fueling effectively, and even turning up the pace slightly after the halfway point.

“Despite experiencing a slight collapse in the last 2 kilometers, I finished the race in an impressive 4:03,” Pang shared, reflecting on his remarkable performance.

The Penangite noted that for those aiming to qualify for the prestigious Boston Marathon (BQ) on merit, the GCM presents a final opportunity before the qualification cutoff to race in cool conditions.

The favorable weather, combined with the course’s reputation for being fast and beginner-friendly, makes the GCM an attractive option for runners seeking to achieve their BQ goals.

Prabudass (left) and Pang, two Malaysian running heroes, stand tall and proud at the Gold Coast Airport. Fresh off their triumphant finish at the GCM 2024, these warriors of the road exude an aura of accomplishment and sheer joy, their faces etched with the satisfaction of a battle well fought. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Where Passion, Perseverance, and Community Spirit Converge

The writer also participated in the half marathon on 6 July and finished in under 3 hours and 5 minutes.

Being part of the run, he noticed that the vibrant atmosphere of the GCM was palpable, with runners from all walks of life coming together to celebrate the spirit of the event and push themselves to achieve their personal best.

The experience was uplifting, with people cheering all along the route.

Some spectators held placards and banners, while others performed music, creating an incredible sense of support and encouragement for the runners.

The energy and camaraderie among the participants and spectators alike were truly inspiring, making the event an unforgettable experience for all involved.

Despite the rain, the weather held just as the run was about to start, providing a cool and comfortable environment for the runners.

The organizers had set up numerous watering points throughout the course to keep the runners refreshed and hydrated, ensuring their comfort and well-being during the event.

These watering points were strategically placed at regular intervals, offering water and sports drinks to help runners maintain their energy levels and prevent dehydration.

The attentive volunteers at these stations worked tirelessly to ensure that every runner had access to the necessary hydration,

In a fleeting moment captured amidst the chaos of the marathon, a runner’s hand reaches out, grasping for the elixir of life – a simple cup of water. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

From Young Runners to Octogenarians: The Gold Coast Marathon Welcomes All

An extraordinary assembly of participants from diverse backgrounds, all united by their shared love for running, gathered for the event.

The GCM 2024 truly embodied the essence of inclusivity and unity, showcasing the remarkable ability of sports to break down barriers and foster a sense of togetherness among individuals from all walks of life.

Spectators line the marathon route armed with clever signs and spirited cheers, providing a boisterous boost to weary runners as they pound the pavement. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The marathon attracted a wide array of participants, each bringing their own unique story and motivation.

Energetic young runners, filled with enthusiasm and determination, took their first bold steps into the world of marathons.

For these budding athletes in the Junior Dash category, completing the race marks an epic achievement to be celebrated. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Some ran for a cause, dedicating their efforts to loved ones and charitable endeavors.

By running in their honor, these participants not only drew strength from their loved ones’ stories but also celebrated their resilience and courage.

Some participants carried with them stories of personal triumph and loss, running to raise awareness for various causes close to their hearts. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

At the other end of the spectrum, the Gold Coast Marathon also welcomed the wise and experienced senior citizens, some of whom were over 80 years old.

These remarkable individuals stood as shining examples of the fact that age is merely a number when it comes to pursuing one’s passion.

Their participation in the event was a powerful reminder that the human spirit knows no bounds and that the love for running can endure a lifetime.

These senior citizens, with their wealth of life experiences and unwavering determination, inspired all those around them, proving that it is never too late to chase one’s dreams and embrace new challenges.

Participants in wheelchairs and those using walking sticks further emphasized the event’s commitment to embracing diversity and providing equal opportunities for everyone to be part of this grand celebration.

The shared enthusiasm for running transcended all barriers, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support among the participants

Adding to the colourful and festive atmosphere, some runners donned costumes, including a Godzilla and a plus-sized ballerina, further emphasizing the event’s spirit of fun and camaraderie.

As the event drew to a close, the sense of accomplishment and shared experience continued to resonate among the participants.

Runners, proudly wearing their well-earned medals, could be seen walking around the Gold Coast, exploring the city’s vibrant streets and stunning beaches.

In the afterglow of the GCM 2024, the streets of the Gold Coast become a stage for impromptu connections and newfound friendships. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The Best of Australian Hospitality and Tourism

The exceptional hospitality provided by the Australians, the impeccable organization of the GCM team, and the unwavering support from the Queensland tourism authority truly deserved praise.

The GCM team’s impeccable organization was another standout feature of the event.

From the seamless registration process to the well-planned race routes and the efficient distribution of water, electrolytes, and other essentials along the course, every aspect of the marathon was executed with meticulous attention to detail.

At the Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre, where runners converge to collect their bibs and steel their nerves for the impending marathon, a vibrant tapestry of well-wishes and heartfelt messages adorns the walls. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Sunshine State Shines

The Queensland tourism authority also played a vital role in the success of the GCM 2024.

In the lead-up to the marathon, the tourism authority worked tirelessly to organize countless media familiarization (FAM) trips, inviting journalists, bloggers, and influencers from various countries to experience the Gold Coast firsthand.

These FAM trips provided a unique opportunity for media professionals to immerse themselves in the region’s stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and world-class amenities, allowing them to create compelling content that would entice runners and tourists alike to participate in the GCM 2024.

Their unwavering support and promotion of the event helped attract runners from all corners of the globe, showcasing the beauty and allure of the Sunshine State to an international audience.

As dawn breaks over the picturesque Gold Coast, the sun’s first rays paint the sky in a breathtaking array of oranges and golds, casting an ethereal light over the scenic route of the GCM 2024. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Connecting Runners to the GCM 2024

AirAsia X (AAX), the world’s leading long-haul low-cost airline, also played a crucial role in ensuring the event’s success, flying many GCM 2024 participants to the Gold Coast and providing a smooth and comfortable journey for the athletes.

With six direct flights from Kuala Lumpur to the Gold Coast every week, AAX offers a convenient and affordable travel option for participants, eliminating the need for layovers and reducing overall travel time.

An AAX aircraft comes to rest at the Gold Coast Airport against a backdrop of the majestic mountain ranges that rise in the distance. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

This direct connection is particularly important for athletes, as it allows them to arrive at the destination well-rested and prepared to perform at their best during the event.

By minimizing travel-related stress and fatigue, AAX’s direct flights contribute significantly to the success and well-being of the GCM 2024 participants.

Fresh off their triumphant performances at the GCM 2024, Malaysian runners pose for a celebratory snap on their AAX return flight to Kuala Lumpur. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

The convenience is further enhanced by the fact that AAX flights land at the Gold Coast Airport, also known as Coolangata Airport.

Despite its relatively small size, the Gold Coast Airport is a modern and efficient facility that offers a seamless travel experience for arriving passengers.

Record-Breaking Triumphs and Unforgettable Moments

The GCM 2024 showcased the unifying power of sports and the incredible potential of the human spirit when fueled by a shared love for running.

As the athletes pushed their limits and achieved remarkable feats, they not only brought pride to the nation but also forged unforgettable memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

In a heart-warming display of tenacity and spirit, a wheelchair-bound senior citizen soldiers on in the wheelchair category at the GCM 2024, accompanied by a dedicated runner at his side. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Kenya’s Timothy Kattam emerged victorious in the men’s category, his first race in Australia, at 2:08:52, narrowly defeating Ethiopia’s Belay Tilahun and Japan’s Kiyoshi Koga.

In the women’s category, Japan’s Yuki Nakamura secured the top spot and shattered the race record with an impressive time of 2:24:22, marking her second career marathon and the third fastest women’s marathon ever recorded on Australian soil.

Meanwhile, Australian runners Andy Buchanan and Leanne Pompeani emerged victorious in the GCM 2024 half marathon.

Buchanan, a rising star in the world of distance running, stormed home to break the tape at 1:02:25.

In a prehistoric plot twist, a runner at the GCM 2024 ditches the traditional running garb in favor of a full-blown dinosaur costume. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

Pompeani crossed the finish line in the women’s category at 1:09:16, leaving her competitors trailing in her wake.

GCM 2024 saw a record-breaking 30,000 participants, with an additional 9,000 people on the waitlist.

The sheer number of participants is staggering, a pulsing, undulating mass of humanity that stretches as far as the eye can see. Like a tidal wave of determination and joy, they sweep through the city. (Pix: Fernando Fong)

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