It was quite a cool Sunday morning when all runners started to congregate at Queensbay mall starting from Saturday midnight. Even the 10km runners and the Fun Run category had arrived very early. The starting point for 10km was right in front of Eastin Hotel, whereas for the Full and Half Marathoners, it was in front of Coffee Bean, Queensbay Mall. Everyone was decked in blue, red, yellow and green vests, the colours given by the PBIM organizers.
The route for all categories took them to the Penang Bridge of course, however it is not for the entire length of the bridge itself. 10km runners ran 8km of it before turning back. The Half Marathoners ran 9.389km of it and for the Full Marathoners, it was 21.137 (which is almost the whole bridge actually).
Nearing the 9km mark of the bridge, the heavens let loose torrential rain and everyone was fully drenched!!! If you weren’t prepared and hadn’t brought along Ziplock bags, personal items such as handphones and cameras would definitely be soaked. However, this was actually to the runners’ advantage. This helped cool down the inflammation of knees actually. Plus it made the weather cooler and more bearable for all runners. The rain let on for almost an hour. However this did not dampen their spirits, instead all the runners pushed on despite their shoes being heavy and very bad visibility to finish the race.
One Penang runner, who goes by the name Cupido Kelvin, said that he was happy there were enough water stations and first aiders. He does hope that there would be more stations offering isotonic drinks like 100Plus. Subsequently, he is glad that the early morning start time helped fend off the burning hot sun. He will definitely be back next year. Tyng Chong, who also ran her first Half Marathon and Angela Foo, both from Kuala Lumpur loved the rain, the seabreeze and the bridge. Tyng said she will be back next year too. Another fellow runner from Kuala Lumpur, Yim gave feedback that he loved the scenic run along the bridge and the rain. He was also grateful for the mobile 7 Eleven, which was actually fellow runner June Malik’s car, which offered isotonic drinks, power gels and high calorie snacks for fast fueling. Many Full Marathoners said she was a god-send, as her station was the only refueling station that could be found at KM35.
Nevertheless, the winner for the Full Marathon (Men Category) was Alex Melly from Kenya with an awesome official timing of 2:24:30!!! In the Men’s Half Marathon, the winner was James Maregu, also from Kenya, with a fantastic official timing of 1:08:57!!! In the Men’s 10km category, winning Malaysian Mohd Jironi Riduan astonished us all with an amazing timing of 00:30:01!!! If he is persistent, he will rival the Kenyans in Half and Full Marathons soon!
For Women’s Full Category, winner Rose Jepkemboi Chesire from Kenya came back in 2:59:14 whilst in the Half Category, fellow Malaysian Noor Amelia Musa swept the first place with a timing of 1:30:30. She also turns out to be a police constable and has won numerous runs in the past. In Women’s 10km category, Camilla Lindholm from Sweden took top spot with 00:35:07. That is simply amazing!
One of the women runners from Kuala Lumpur, Karen Loh finished her first full marathon at this PBIM event with a respectable timing of 4:53:17! Karen had only started running this year!
All runners who completed their respective categories received a finisher’s medal. In conclusion, the Penang Bridge International Marathon had mixed feedback, with some affirming that they will be back next year and some of which who won’t. Nevertheless, it was definitely a memorable midnight wet run!!!