After a successful GCE Duathlon 2018, organisers of the first closed highway duathlon in Malaysia return again for another edition of the event. This year, Sime Darby Property has come on board as one of the main sponsors alongside MBSB Bank, hence the rebranding as GCE Elmina Duathlon 2019. For the second edition of the event, this new sponsor will result in the biggest change in the itinerary for race day.
The City of Elmina will play host to the event carnival, and will be the location for both the start and finish line, as well as the transition area for participants. This means there will be a huge difference in the routes for the different categories. The Guthrie Corridor Expressway will once again host the cycling portion of the duathlon, while the run has been shifted to a more suitable spot.
“The Full Duathlon and Dash Duathlon race routes will flag off and end at the township development in Shah Alam,” announced Dato’ Mohammad Azlan Abdullah, Group Chief Executive of Prolintas Group, the highway concessionaire of the GCE. “The run-bike-run race format will take participants along the architecture and landscape of the City of Elmina, and around the GCE for the cycling route.”
While the City of Elmina is not 100% complete yet, the areas that will be the focal point of the run segment will be ready to give participants the best running experience. The township is being built with the aim to raise the quality of life of its residents with gardens and parks, as well as a marathon-length jogging circuit and cycling tracks and lanes that will be a combination of urban roads and rough terrain. This makes it the perfect venue to hold a duathlon.
“It is home to a 300 acre Elmina Central Park, as well as a 90km cycling and jogging track, one of the longest in the country,” adds Edward Heng, Head of Township – Elmina East, Sime Darby Property Berhad. “This event serves as a perfect backdrop for us to introduce the City of Elmina, as a township that embraces the concept of wellness and livability.” On race day a carnival will also be held there, with many family-friendly activities.
But while the tie-up sounds like a marriage made in heaven, it wasn’t a purely marketing decision. Last year’s GCE Duathlon went off without a hitch, but the highway section for the run segment proved to be a bit too much for many of the participants. A calculated decision was made to shift the route to a more pleasant section.
“We have a fantastic new route, which was based on feedback from last year’s participants, including the podium finishers, who felt that running on the highway was just too exhausting,” reveals Albertt Leong, Race Director of GoSportz Events. “The terrain goes up and down, which is good for cycling, but is quite challenging for runners. So we made the decision to move all of the run segments to the City of Elmina.”
Albert also advised participants to never compromise their own safety to win, even though the duathlon is by nature a competitive race. “Compete against yourself,” he adds. “We will have a timing chip system, but this should be used to improve your own performance.” So far there are no safety concerns regarding the race, which will be held on a fully closed highway, manned by PDRM personnel from Sungai Buloh, Shah Alam and Kampung Subang.
For this year there will be three run/bike/run categories, namely Full Duathlon (10km/60km/10km), Dash Duathlon (5km/27km/5km), and Team Relay (10km/60km/10km). The Full and Dash Duathlon will be open to men and women aged 16 and above, with participants divided into gender groups and three to four age groups. The Team Relay will be divided into Men and Mixed Relays, comprising three participants and above per team.
Meanwhile, a non competitive Fun Ride of 36km has also been introduced in addition to a Fun Run of 3km to ensure there is something for everyone to look forward to at the event. The Fun Ride will be open to those aged 16 and above, while the Fun Run will be for those 6 years and above. A lucky draw will also be held at the race carnival, for which we were told there are some great prizes for the winners, better than those for the race categories even.
The official target for this event is 1,000 participants, but Dato’ Azlan admits that they are actually expecting 1,200 for the competitive categories, and another 300 for the non competitive Fun Ride and Run. So far more than 700 participants have registered for the event, ahead of the July 31st deadline.
The Guthrie Corridor Expressway is undoubtedly already a popular route for cyclists, and while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, we fully expect the GCE Elmina Duathlon 2019 to bring in the crowds again this year.
Click the link below for more information and to register: