KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 20 (Bernama) -- The inaugural Standard Chartered KL Marathon, one of eight international series, is set to become the biggest marathon event in Malaysia with an expected 12,500 participants.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri said with RM300,000 prize money guaranteed for top Malaysian finishers, the target would be achievable.
"An international race such as the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009, will develop an active, healthy and energetic lifestyle among Malaysians as well as foster the spirit of excellence among professional athletes and ordinary citizens from all walks of life," he said adding that participation would be open to all ages.
The marathon's event organiser, Octagon Asia Managing Director, Ivan Brixi said Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) would be the flag off and finishing point for the marathon scheduled on June 28.
He said the route would be decided later, but disclosed that participants are set to run pass several famous tourism landmarks in and around Kuala Lumpur.
"Octagon's goal is to establish the Standard Chartered KL Marathon as the best in the region and to ultimately achieve the silver and gold status recognition from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)," he said.
Meanwhile, Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia Berhad, managing director and chief executive officer Julian Wyner said KL Marathon is one of eight marathon series sponsored by the bank, worldwide.
"We are very excited to add Kuala Lumpur to the Standard Chartered series of marathons. In all eight countries where we sponsor marathon events, each has created a real buzz among the marathon-running community globally. We know that KL Marathon will be no exception," he said.
The marathon is endorsed by the Youth and Sports Ministry and sanctioned by the Malaysia Amateur Athletic Union (MAAU), IAAF, the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).