Marathon running has become something of a trend here in Malaysia, with hundreds, if not thousands, of Malaysians coming together every weekend to tough it out over various courses set in different places and even regions in the country. Whatever it is that’s driving the trend, we’re glad to see more Malaysians get out of their houses to admire the country up close while getting a really heavy-duty workout.
However, a recent study, as reported by The Star, by athletic shoe review site Run Repeat and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) found that Malaysia has the slowest marathon runners worldwide.
Analysing 107.9 million race results from over 70,000 marathons with participants from 209 countries throughout the period of 1986 and 2018, it’s safe to say that this study is pretty comprehensive. Malaysian participants clocked in at an average of 2 hours, 36 minutes and 20 seconds for half-marathons (21KM), and 5 hours, 46 minutes and 24 seconds for full marathons (42.195KM).
Source: World’s Marathons
In comparison, the best time for half-marathons is 1 hour, 45 minutes, and 11 seconds, held by Russia, and the best time for full marathons is held by Spain, with the timing of 3 hours, 53 minutes and 59 seconds.
Thailand and Vietnam join us in the slowest in the half-marathon category, while Vietnam and the Philippines join us as the slowest in the full marathon category. That being said, the study acknowledged that its sources were not weighted to Asia, as “96% of the United States race results, 91% of the race results from the European Union, Canada, and Australia and a smaller sample from Asian, Africa, and South America.”
What do you think of these findings? Are there just more casual runners in Malaysia who enjoy these events but aren’t competitive? Let us know in the comments below!
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