I’ll reproduce here the content of a post I wrote for the Malaysian Ultra Runners Association (MURA) about the recently held Pink 50 Ultra. That post was published on July 3, 2015 in preparation for the race in order to put some focus on that race and highlight the stress put by the organisers at bringing new women runners to ultra running. The race was held in Taman Saujana Hijau in Putrajaya on August 1. This ultra was a great success and I was volunteer for MURA manning a water station and taking photos of the runners.
The loop was ran in Taman Saujana Hijau park, which is a beautiful park on the highest point of Putrajaya. I highly recommend any of you to go walking/running there and bring your kids along if you have any.
You can find the photos that I took that day on the MURA Facebook page at the following link: Pink 50 Ultra 2015
Do you have any idea how many women are joining ultra-marathon races ?
Let’s face it, running is still a predominantly men sport and ultra-running even more. However this situation is changing and quickly. In the last 2 years, more and more women – of all age – joined races and practiced regular running. The now famous Malaysian Women Marathon (MWM) and its yearly edition is a testament to these changes. Can we say the same about ultra-running ? Some numbers of women participation: Route 68 – 17.7%, Back to Endurance – 23.9%, Gunung Nuang Ultra – 18.2% and Putrajaya P100 – 18.1%. This is clearly not enough !
As the number of women running increased in the shorter type of races (10km, half marathon, marathon), how do we manage to bring more women to run more than 42 km ? There is a lot of anxiety from runners when moving into the ultra world. How do we relieve this anxiety and make runners particularly women runners comfortable and well prepared ? Even just comfortable enough to think of joining an ultra race ? This is where an initiative like Pink 50 makes a big difference…
Pink Runners Malaysia, a group of passionate runners and ultra-runners ladies – let’s call them iron ladies – joined up to create the first women only ultra marathon. As a point to point race is more difficult for new runners, they are organising a loop based ultra-marathon in Taman Saujana Hijau, Putrajaya on August 1, 2015. Only ladies can join this race and new joiners are coached throughout their preparation by our iron ladies. This is not going to be an easy ultra-marathon: a minimum of 50km has to be done and the cutoff time is 9 hours in a park with quite a bit of elevation at every loop. But who said ultra-marathon was easy ?
It’s all about the journey and our iron ladies have well planned this, with running sessions, running clinic organised for the participants. This we think will for sure help new ultra-runners become regular ultra-runners. And the reward for being in the journey getting to the race means that everyone will be a winner, whatever distance you set yourselves to achieve.
As such MURA is proud to be supporting this ultra race and this initiative from Pink Runners Malaysia: we will be having a water station managed by MURA on the course of the race and we will be there to encourage you achieve your goals of ultra running.
We hope to see all of you at the finish line of Pink 50 and that there will be more more races like Pink 50 Ultra in the near future with more women joining ultra marathon races !