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Sabah holds first full marathon
Published on: Monday, September 03, 1984


DAILY EXPRESS (Monday, Sept 3, 1984) KOTA KINABALU, Sun. The electric air that hung over the likas Sports Complex exploded into a historic event at the burst of fire from the starter’s pistol before dawn today – marking the start of the State’s first ever full Marathon race. 

The Chief Minister Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh, an entrant in the 10 km event, doubled up as starter for the 42km race which went off about 5,30 a .m. 

A few minutes later, the 20 km event got underway followed by the 10 km race. 

Most of the 1300 who signed up for the event turned up, and on time, putting on display a symbol of a certain virtue discipline. 

The runners were made up of a. mix that is hard to define, There were those of sound body, those with lesser frames but iron wills, the young, the elderly, the blind and other handicapped persons —and even the man without feet.

They ran or walked or did both, most for the first time experiencing sponge baths by the road side, and drinking from paper cups as they ran sweat streaming down their bodies. 

The event organised by the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports Sabah, and sponsored by the Daily Express, literally and figuratively swept many off their feet, prompting the Minister Datuk Conrad Mojuntin to announce plans for the next marathon come December 1985! (Only days earlier Datuk Conrad was heard to programme for a two-year interval) 

In a brief speech after the race he described the response as overwhelming and expressed his satisfaction that the event had served to stimulate a keen interest in running as a means to keep fit. 

Datuk Conrad, who himself donned shorts, singlets and running shoes to keep the Chief Minister company, beamed at the excellent turnout and success of the event.

As a sporting event, the Marathon torpedoed old State records (see back page) and brought into play a massive number of technical and other officials — ranging front judges, timekeepers, and route officials to members of voluntary organisations — the Red Crescent, Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, Sabah Foundation Ambulance Service, and also personnel from the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Armed Forces. Police, Government departments and students. 

The private sector too played an instrumental role contributing towards the prizes and running of the event.. 

As a social event, it entwined the athletically minded with the sporting breed (such as civil servants and politicians) who merely wanted to be a part of the great event. 

Running will never be the same again in Sabah. 





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