BRUNEIAN ultra-marathoner Aliakbar Hj Gapor made the nation proud by finishing third at the Penang Ultra 100k last Saturday.
Clocking in at 12:29.06 in the first ever ultra-endurance race to be held in the northern island state of Malaysia, Aliakbar broke his previous best of 12:39 which he set at the Beaufort 100k Ultra Marathon in Sabah, Malaysia in June.
Aliakbar told The Brunei Times that his target in Penang was to be in the top five, but finishing third and breaking his personal best is his greatest achievement.
He went on to say that it was a tough route as the marathoners had to face a five kilometre hilly road and they were unable to run - in order to get to the top they had to walk up the hill instead.
Covering routes around the island, around 227 participants from 18 countries ran past some of the interesting spots around Penang.
The 100km Challenge and 84km Round Island course started in Esplanade, Padang Kota Lama which saw the participants pass through the UNESCO World Heritage Site Georgetown, Penang Second Bridge and Penang Bridge, which is the longest and fifth longest bridge in Southeast Asia respectively.
The participants then headed to the coastline of Teluk Bahang, Batu Ferringhi, Gurney Drive and back to George Town, Esplanade.
The 100km challenge also included a route up Penang Hill with a five kilometres ascent and an elevation of 670metres before descending down to the Esplanade.
Malaysian Munintaran Sundram finished first and Singaporean Muhammad Umar A Kamaluddin came in second after clocking 11:55.37 and 12:12.14 respectively.
The Penang Ultra 100K is aimed at providing a fun, challenging and safe endurance race and also to give marathoners a challenge to break the marathon distance. The cut-off times for participants to complete the races were 8.5 hours (50km), 15 hours (84km) and 18 hours (100km).
The event was organised by BetterPenang and ActifeStyle Concept and co-organised by the Penang state government and Penang Island Municipal Council.
The Brunei Times