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Monday 6 May 2024

Min Xiang Lee smashes Trail Titans Kiara Hill 16km course record

Debutant finishes 10 minutes faster on tougher course.

KUALA LUMPUR, 6 May 2024: The second Trail Titans Kiara Hill saw the 16km course record, that was established last year, obliterated by Min Xiang Lee who finished in 2:07:20, shaving an incredible 10 minutes off the record yesterday. The previous time of 2:17: 58 was recorded by Ben Hails at the inaugural Trail Titans Kiara Hill last year.

32-year-old Xiang Lee, while being an experienced road racer, is relatively new to trail running and made his competitive debut in this event. “I usually train here at Kiara Hill which is what made me decide to take part in this Trail Titans,” said Xiang Lee. “It was a pretty challenging and technical course but I had targeted to break the course record and I’m delighted that I managed to achieve my objectives,” he continued. 

Trail Titans is a series of trail running events organised by Dirigo Events, the owner and organiser of the award-winning Kuala Lumpur Standard Chartered Marathon. Over 200 participants took to the trails at Kiara Hill competing across three categories - the challenging 16km, the baseline 10km and a newly introduced 5km category. The 5km was introduced to encourage participants who are new to trail running and to get families to participate together. 

Gloria Ng, Director of Dirigo Events, was happy with the turnout and is already looking forward to the next two Trail Titans events this year. “It’s fantastic to see all these runners come out early on a Sunday morning and enjoy the day out in nature in this beautiful location so close to the city. It’s even nicer to see that some of them are out as families and this encourages and motivates us to continue with our objective of making Trail Titans a viable alternative to road running for those who are looking for something different to keep themselves fit and healthy,” said Gloria.

Most participants felt that the course this time around was more challenging than the last but that did not stop them from enjoying themselves out on the trail. Mohd. Zamri, aged 45, and his daughter Qalesya Zandra, aged 12, were all smiles as they crossed the finish line in the 5km category. “I wanted to introduce my daughter to the joys of trail running and I’m happy that she managed to complete the course without much difficulty. In fact, instead of pacing her, I ended up having to follow her for the latter part of the route,” said Zamri, who plans to introduce his younger daughter when she is age-eligible and make running a whole family affair. 

In the 16km Men’s Open, no one could keep pace with the blistering run by winner Xiang Lee, with second place going to Mior Rashidi in a time of 2:18:12 and Muhamad Syami Mohd Noh finishing third in 3:09:03. In the 16km Women’s Open, the title was clinched by Hanna Rashid in 3:04:29, while Jacqueline Koh came in second in 3:08:29 and rounding out third place was Chai Yee Ling in 3:18:22. 

In the 16km Men’s Veteran category, Yakov Kozlov also broke the course record when he finished first in a time of 2:13:47 but could not match the timing of Xiang Lee. 40-year-old Kozlov, who is a Russian engineer residing in Mont Kiara, took part to support a race in his community. “It was a tough and technical course, but even for someone who regularly runs here, the really cool thing was discovering new sections that I have not explored before,” said Kozlov. 

Muhamad Noor Mohd Pilus finished in second place in 2:30:52 and Johari Mohd Ali came in third in 2:36:44. In the 16km Women’s Veteran category, Syarifah Balqis Syed Hamzah was the winner, clocking 2:46:51, while Sook Khim Lim came in second in 2:58:48 and Francis Lyn Evasco finished in third place in 3:00:11.

In the 10km Men’s Open category, Shamirul Taufiq was the winner in 01:17:46 while Lim Wei Seng took second place in 01:17:50 and Jia Qing Lim finished third in 01:26:45. 

In the Women’s 10km Open category, Vithya Vijayakumare finished first in a time of 01:45:41, followed by Lena Jaentsch in second place at a recorded 01:48:01 and third place fell to Joeann Too, who finished in a time of 1:50:38. Vithya, aged 38, who hails from Cameron Highlands but currently resides in Perth, was fortunate to be able to participate in the event as the date coincided with her travel plans back to Malaysia. 

“I do sometimes come back to Malaysia to take part in events here and Trail Titans was a happy coincidence as the timing was right,” said Vithya. “The route was demanding but I didn’t expect anything less and I’m happy with my performance and results,” she added.

Kian Kok New was the champion in the 10km Men’s Veteran category when he finished in 1:23:46. Taking second place was Kwok Yee Ngooi in 1:25:34 and finishing in third was Liang Shih Wong in 1:28:33. In the 10km Women’s Veteran category, Hui Thin Sea bagged first place in 01:39:23, while Cheryl Godfrey finished second in 1:44:12 and Chau Yan Tan came in third at 2:00:15.

The top three finishers in all categories received winners’ medals and cash prizes while the top five finishers in all categories were rewarded with free entry into the next Trail Titans event. Xiang Lee received an additional cash prize of RM500 for his record-breaking achievement.

Dirigo Events are expected to announce the next edition in their Trail Titans series very soon so stay tuned to their social media channels to be the first to sign up for what is expected to be a sought-after series of events.

Start of the Trail

Runner enjoying the trails

Runners navigating a technically demanding descent

Father and daughter duo, Mohd Zamri and Qalesya Zandra

Runner enjoying the refreshments at a water station

Jibek, the most famous cat in the running community, with owner Apak

Gloria Ng with Min Xiang Lee, winner of 16km Men's Open and course record-breaker

Gloria Ng with Yakov Kozlov, winner of 16km Men's Veteran

Gloria Ng, Director of Dirigo Events with Vithya Vijayakumare, winner of 10km Women's Open

Top 5 finishers

Lending a helping hand

Happy Finishers

Leap of Joy at completing Trail Titans Kiara Hill 2024!

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