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Wan's Column - 26th Mar 2006

The Road Ahead
19th March 2006 shall be an important date for me to remember; it is my official retirement from Pacesetters Athletic Club, Malaysia after having served 9 years, in 1995 and from 1998 to 2006, including 5 years as president of the club. Co-incidentally, my partner Jamie Pang decided to upload the information he has been compiling for the last few months onto our website and the site went live! Yes, it has been some preparatory work and we have been talking to quite a few groups trying to convince them to participate in our site. It would take a while, over the next 3 to 6 months to get the site populated. We believe our foreign contents are adequate, linking up to nearly every famous site on running. It is the local contents we need to work hard to build it up, after all this is a Malaysian website catering for running in Malaysia.


Come Jog with Me
On the Sunday Star (26th March 2006), the national daily have the story of our health minister, Datuk Dr. Chua Soi Lek urging Malaysians to start exercising. According to the report, he leads a healthy lifestyle that includes a daily morning walk / jog at 6.30am. He also practices qi gong and stretching exercises. The same report also mentioned that the government is forming the Health Promotion Board under the Health Ministry. The full report is in our website. I find this development encouraging and it fits well into what we are trying to do in our small way (refer foreword written in Feb 06). I hope what we are initiating could fit into the big picture by the Health Ministry in some way.
click to read The Star article

New Balance Pacesetters 15km 2006
It is so encouraging to see this event going into the 4th series with an increase target number of runners to 1,500. For those of you who are not familiar with the history of this run, the event was mooted when I was the president in 2003. It started as a suggestion by some senior members of PACM, after participating in the Hatyai Nature Run 2002. I recall going through a lot of thought process on how to organize this event and by the time we put the event into the market for sponsorship, we have Nike and adidas bidding for it. We selected Nike for the 15km event and allocated adidas with the Pacesetters 4 x 3km. Our initial target was 600 runners and the response was so overwhelming that we have to close the run, 3 days after the official launch. The next year we increase to 1,000 and later to 1,200 in 2005.In all the 3 years, we managed to close the run way ahead of schedule. In 2005 Nike decided to drop out (after having committed to KLIM for 3 years) as the title sponsors and New Balance took over to help make the event bigger and better.

After organizing the event for 3 years, the club achieved the following tangible results;
1. PACM has built up their management capability in organizing event from end to end. Only the technical portion is outsourced to FTAAA. The club has built up an impressive set of over 100 volunteers with specific roles tried and tested. The club went on to carry out the technical role without hitch at the Mizuno Wave Run 2005.
2. Improved the standards of event management in the country, with added services like event vests, finishers’ medals, breakfast and most of all photo-finisher certificates for all runners. Only 2 elements are missing; chip timing and online registration / payment.
3. Achieved co-branding with Nike and New Balance and in the process have built up the event to become a valuable franchise for the club.
4. Achieved a profit from the event to fund the club’s other activities.

I would encourage up and coming clubs to organize their own events. At the moment only PACM and the Ipoh Road Runners have their annual events. The other groups like the Bidor Kaki Runners and the Pacesetters Kuantan Area Group have organized events but not on a yearly basis yet. The Batu Pahat Marathon Club is considering having their own event. would give our support to these new organizers. (NB PACM 15km launch, Malay Mail 22 March 2006)

Wan Yew Leong
26 March 2006



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