Malaysia Women Marathon 2018 & Cervical Cancer Awareness

Malaysia Women Marathon 2018 & Cervical Cancer Awareness

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Early January I attended a running clinic organised by the Malaysian Women Marathon in preparation for the upcoming race that will be held in on March 4, 2018 in Shah Alam. The training session was the 2nd of a series of clinics leading to race day. The first clinic was held in December with coaches Darren Looi and Karsten Korbel. This second clinic was conducted by two outstanding coaches: Sue Teoh and Karen Siah. Two powerful ladies with a lot of racing and coaching experience. What more can we ask for from MWM ?

 

Left Sue Teoh, Right Karen Siah in the MWM 2018 Teal Tee. No Sue is not sleeping !

 

Sue Teoh (@SueTeohPersonalTrainer), who moved from being a banker to being a Personal Trainer and athlete. She represented Malaysia in the Duathlon event of  the Asian Beach Games 2014 in Phuket. Triathlete, Sponsored Athlete (Nike, Lifeline ID, …) she enjoys coaching and teaching when she is not training and racing.

Karen Siah (@KarensiahFitnessCoach) – ironman multiple times, Personal Trainer and coach. No need to introduce her more, she even wrote a book 🙂

The Running Clinic Training

The training was done on the MPSJ Track in Subang. After a short easy run of 2-3 laps, Sue directed some dynamic stretching. It’s very important to do these even if it’s very short. It must be a routine as it preps your muscle for whatever exercises you are going to do. Don’t do it just on race day !

Following this, the group did some more specific exercises to work on the running technique. Not so much changing it as it takes a commitment and time to achieve this but more giving an awareness of how people do and giving them a direction. After looking at the runners during the short run exercises, Karen explained that it can be confusing for new runners: front foot, mid foot, hill striking, cadence, short strides, … She then explained it’s important to find your right way of running which works for you and it starts from finding the right shoe. She then gave some short runs to do do for the participants to try to get a feel of what it means to be doing front foot striking, mid foot, higher cadence, … Definitely a good introduction as there were a lot of new runners I think.

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Finally, some aggressive zumba practicing people pushed us away and were blocking the entire width of the track to do their group practice… while there were plenty of walkers and runners on the track. Seriously, this is so outrageous and lacking of respect for other users of the track ! A short relay (5 mn of running for every participants) was organised with 3 teams. Concluding the relay the group did some static stretching, equally important after any exercises.

Cervical Cancer Awareness month in January

You might wondering about the colour choice for MWM this year ? Well, that colour is Teal. And that’s no random choice. Teal is the colour chosen January the month of awareness for Cervical Cancer. You have heard about pink in october but that’s not the only one… There are many different form of cancers for women. Cervical cancer is not as well known but is as important.

 

 

You might wonder what Cervical Cancer is ? Below is a short description taken out of wikipedia:

Cervical cancer is a cancer arising from the cervix. It is due to the abnormal growth of cells that have the ability to invade or spread to other parts of the body. Early on, typically no symptoms are seen.Later symptoms may include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, or pain during sexual intercourse. While bleeding after sex may not be serious, it may also indicate the presence of cervical cancer.

But how widespread is it ? Is it something very common ?

Worldwide, cervical cancer is both the fourth-most common cause of cancer and the fourth-most common cause of death from cancer in women. In 2012, an estimated 528,000 cases of cervical cancer occurred, with 266,000 deaths. This is about 8% of the total cases and total deaths from cancer. About 70% of cervical cancers occur in developing countries. In low-income countries, it is the most common cause of cancer death. In developed countries, the widespread use of cervical screening programs has dramatically reduced rates of cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer occurs when abnormal cells on the cervix grow out of control. Most cervical cancer is caused by a virus called human papillomavirus, or HPV. You can get HPV by having sexual contactwith someone who has it. There are many types of the HPV virus. Not all types of HPV cause cervical cancer. Some of them cause genital warts, but other types may not cause any symptoms. The cervix is the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina. Cervical cancer can often be successfully treated when it’s found early. It is usually found at a very early stage through a Pap smear test.

Karen Loh, MWM Race Director, gave away after the running clinic some Ash Be Nimble Teal colour apparels to the participants of the running clinic (ladies only !). This cause of Cervical cancer is dear to her heart and she had invited Doctor Woo Yin Ling from the Department Of Obstetric And Gynaecology at the Faculty Of Medicine from University Malays to talk about Cervical cancer and in particular a new screening method that makes it easier and safer to screen for cervical cancer.

 

Dr Woo Yin Ling and her daughter, both ran and did all the training from Sue and Karen. A Doc who runs, awesome isn’t it ?

 

Traditionally women have to do a pap-smear as screening test, which is quite intrusive and collect some cells from the outer part of the cervix to screen them for pre-cancerous cells. It produces a false negative in up to 50% of cases of cervical cancer. Following this, a biopsy needs to be done to confirm a diagnostic. That’s where Dr Woo initiative matters a lot: bringing a new test for Cervical Cancer screening to Malaysia.

Project Rose

Project ROSE (Removing Obstacles to cervical ScrEening), it is a pilot cervical screening programme that employs a human-centred approach in developing a solution that responds to the needs of Malaysian women. The test was developed by Victorian Cytology Services (VCS) Ltd. VCS Ltd. is a government funded Health Promotion Charity. Its main activities are providing the largest single laboratory reporting Pap tests in Australia, as well as providing registry services for the National Cervical Screening Program and the National HPV Vaccination Program.

To support the cause of Cervical Cancer screening, MWM and Lifeline ID will give every woman running FM a Lifeline ID Teal colour !

 

You might wonder what is the difference with the previous approach ? As opposed to having a practician taking a sample for the test, women can take the sample by themselves. When the current cervical screening practices requires women to do up to 15 pap smear tests in average in their life, using this new test can decrease the required number of tests to five or less. That’s quite a big difference with easier access to the screening and potentially huge savings for Public Health Care budget, which can translate in more women being screened and more comfort for women, which for sure contributes to women being more comfortable doing the screening test.

Kudos to Dr Woo for bringing this initiative to Malaysia and hopefully it can become the way of screening in Malaysia. This would save lives 🙂

And to conclude this running clinic the traditional group photo (and wefies afterward !):

Malaysian Women Marathon 2018

The race will be held on March 4, 2018 in Shah Alam. It’s a women only race where men can participate only as pacers for certain race categories and must run with their female running partner. It features various distances: 5km fun run, 10km, half marathon and full marathon. It’s one of the very few Half and Full Marathon races in Malaysia that are internationally recognised and certified result wise by the Malaysian Athletic Federation. Hurry up to make sure you get a slot, it’s the best running event in town for women !

Registration can be done at http://checkpointspot.asia/event/EventInfo-MWM18.aspx.

More info on their web site at https://mwmarathon.socxs.com/raceinformation


You can find more pictures and videos on our Facebook page at http://facebook.com/runhikeasia

MWM Running Clinic #2 Photo album: https://www.facebook.com/573725592769219/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1047200708755036

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