Kipchumba Abraham of Kenya wins 42km Men’s Open category in at 2:50:6 as the Energizer Night Race came to a well-lit close.
The thunderous footsteps and cheers of 5,000 runners replaced the roar of high-performance engines at the Energizer Night Race 2012 in Sepang International Circuit last Saturday, representing a celebration of Energizer's new global campaign, the enthusiasm of the running community, and a groundbreaking partnership with Kiwanis Malaysia.
The race, which is in its third consecutive year, saw the runners racing on the same track used by local and international motorsports stars while wearing unique Energizer LED headlights, transforming the Sepang International Circuit into a breathtaking "river of light" for participants and spectators alike.
As dusk finally settled across Sepang, the participants were flagged off from 8:00pm by Mr. Mike Foong, managing director of Energizer Malaysia, and Mr. Ng Bee Keong, District Governor of Kiwanis Malaysia.
Adam Kamis, also known as the "1ArmRunner", was specially invited as an inspirational runner in the Full Marathon (42km) Category. Adam, who lost his right arm and the use of his left arm in an accident in 2003, is a disabled athletic icon and is well-known in the region for competing in marathons and other sporting events - recently competing in the AVIVA Ironman 70.3 Singapore Triathlon in March.
Adam's presence in the Energizer Night Race - which was his second international marathon - gave his fellow runners a new level of motivation as they clapped and cheered each other on amidst a fanfare of performances, cheerleading, and drums.
Almost three hours into the race, Kipchumba Abraham from Kenya emerged as the winner of the 42km Men's Open category, clocking in at 2 hours 50 minutes and 6 seconds although it was his first race in Malaysia. He was followed 27 minutes later by Malaysian runner Eng Hup Boh, who was very surprised to know that he was the 1st runner-up behind a seasoned international marathoner.
The 42km Women's Open category was dominated by Malaysian runners, with 22-year-old Yee Pei Ni winning the top place. Yee said, "I'm happy and didn't expect to finish the fastest because I only restarted my training two weeks ago. I loved that it was well organised and the route was great yet challenging."
There were some familiar faces among the winners, including Sheela a/p Samivellu, the champion of last year's 11km Women's Open and this year's 15.5km Women's Open. Clocking in at 1 hour 11 minutes and 15 seconds, Sheela credited her consecutive wins to proper training for endurance and stamina, as well as a good coach.
Participants had the choice of three race categories - 42km, 15.5km and 5.5km - which involved running on the iconic Sepang International Circuit (SIC) racetrack in part or in its entirety, with the chance to win cash prizes, products and vouchers worth RM40,500 in total.