I’m back from a fantastic Kuala Lumpur trip sponsored by Newton and CW-X where I joined the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon yesterday.
While I try to catch up on sleep (our flight was in the wee hours of the morning), allow me to share the good news: Mary Grace de los Santos, a Cebu-based 25 year old runner from Zamboanga, bagged 2nd Place female category at the KL Marathon. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!
It was a proud day for our small Filipino contingent. It was actually just Mary Grace, Renze of Newton, and myself in this video:
During dinner after the race, I asked Mary Grace if she felt any pressure or stress to win the race. In all humility, she shook her head saying that she felt confident about winning. She did admit that she was shivering as she stood at the starting line, but it was due to the cold from the slight drizzle. Hah!
Mary Grace’s PR for a half marathon is 1:24 recorded at The Great Lapu Lapu Run last March 2010. The winning time of the 1st placer at KL half marathon, a Kenyan, was 1:24. The 3rd placer came in 2 mins. after Mary Grace.
Both 1st and 3rd placers had pacers by their side, but Mary Grace was all by her lonesome. She said that she slowed down considerably when 42km runners and half marathoners filled water stations. (I was actually surprised to hear that she even stopped to drink considering her time!)
– Grace at the awarding –
Congratulations once again to Mary Grace who did the Philippines proud yesterday! Hats off to Toby Claudio, Renze Banawa and the entire Newton and CW-X team who provided support and exposure to Mary Grace. I was a witness to how Renze of Newton took good care of Mary Grace during the entire trip. He contacted the race organizer to ensure that Mary Grace was included in the front line with the elite and woke up at 3 a.m. to accompany her for the elite warm up sessions before race day. He did all that and still managed to finish his 1st half marathon with a time of 1:51.
More stories about KL Marathon within the week! For now, I’ll leave you with this video of the awarding of the 1st Placer at the 42k Male division: