Posted on April 07 2017
How did it all start out? Why are we here every year consecutively?
Hui, designer, CEO, founder & mama of ash be nimble: I ran the first MWM in 2013 and at the expo I was looking around for sportswear but realised that there wasn't anything RM100 or less with quality & style. Knowing that I had to get a sports bra, running bottoms & a top meant that she had to spend around RM400+ for ONLY one set of sportswear. If you wanted to train for a marathon, you'd need at least 3 sets to get you through the week.
I was determined to come back the next year to the same event and have something to sell that will be affordable for women in fitness like myself.
I like that I've been able to trace my progress with each MWM event I join. 2013 I ran as a newly wed, 2014 I launched our brand, 2015 I did my last 10km run before I fell pregnant, 2016 I brought newborn baby Asha along and did not run, 2017 I was able to take Asha on her first pram road race!
If you haven't been to Malaysia Women's Marathon - you need to get there! Especially if you want to do your first half or full marathon, it is a FUN, ENCOURAGING and GIRLY atmosphere with a running sisterhood supporting you fully!
Because we're all about getting more people active and we love that MWM has the same mission, we support the event in bigger ways every year! This year we were the SPONSORS for the official pacers and running doctors for Malaysia Women Marathon 2017. We also sponsored some women to run for FREE! To encourage them to do their first half-marathon. To walk the talk, I got myself running with baby Asha in a pram, and got our girlfriends from Miss Universe Malaysia 2017, finalists, Nicolle, Peh Leon & Samantha to come along too for the 6KM fun run!
On a little special note, MWM is such a nostalgic event for us, because we first launched the brand there in 2014 - with just 2 sports bras designs and 2 running shorts designs. Seeing how far we've come, and how many more Malaysian women are getting into running, reminds us why we do what we do, and we LOVE OUR JOBS! Quite surreal too that I actually brought my baby along to this race, and it is her first road race! :)
Did any of the ABN team run? What was it like with a running pram?
I want to change the stigma of beauty queens - that they are also every day Malaysians, who are on a fitness & healthy journey themselves, and for them to set a good example for other women out there to find the motivation & inspiration to lead active lifestyles!
So we sponsored entry for the Face of ash be nimble, Samantha Katie James & Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Finalists, Nicolle & Peh Leon to do the 6KM fun run in pink tutus handcrafted by our customer service champion, Samantha.
To understand what its like for running mum's out there - I set off to get Asha out in her pram at 5am to do the race. I wanted to also set an example and see if I could motivate myself and my baby to get organised and out to do the race! It definitely is not easy - especially when it comes to finding parking, and hauling a heavy jogging pram to the starting line. Not to mention preparing enough and early the night before to have the clothes, food, water and change of clothes!
What were these merchandise tees that you did for MWM this year?
We were really excited to prepare SPECIAL merchandise with MWM this year - limited edition of 30 pieces of tees printed with special slogan RUN SISTER RUN at the back, to inspire the girls out there to keep going. You just don't know who's running behind you whom you can inspire! We did this in response to popular demand from previous year's runners who wanted our quality signature nimble tees with MWM on it!
What do pacers do and why are there men pacers?
Pacers are absolutely essential to any marathon, they ensure that the runners are able to complete in target time. For example, if you're gunning for a sub-4 hour full marathon - you can follow the guys with the large balloons saying "4:00 HR PACER". Pacers don't have an easy job - it's not easy making sure you keep a consistent pace, and stick close to your finish time! We love the pacers at MWM because it's really the only way men can join the marathon, not to mention them taking the time off their busy schedule to encourage & support women in running.
To spice things up, we got the male pacers to don our Poppin' Pleated Skorts, to show off their nice legs. Some really did go the extra mile to get their legs shaved! :)
Y.B. Hannah Yeoh with Team ABN - we love that our political leaders are setting examples in health & fitness - and supporting events that get women & girls out there running!
Who are the MWM Running Doctors & what do they do?
ABN official running doctors & merchandise spotted on the road! MWM Running Doctors are a team of doctors who also run the routes with the participants and are on standby to help anyone with medical needs. Kudos to them for setting a great example for us! We happily sponsored the Running Doctors with our signature custom tees - as we wanted to reward them for their noble efforts!
Pacers running in the official tee + Poppin' Pleated Skort
What goes on behind the scenes at ash be nimble now? What goes into prepping for an event like this?
We have a small team - to make sure we keep overheads low, so we are always making sure we do things in the most efficient and effective manner, with a lot of planning! Hui was ensuring our merchandise tee designs were in tact, getting the team on the same page with split of tasks, planning which items and quantities to bring which would sell well. Adeline, Sales, Event & Ops Lead was overseeing the detailed scheduling of rosters of manpower, and the logistics for pack up, set down. Amanda ensured we had all the social media posts running to make people aware of our booth, and our pacer activities. Sam made sure that the team had packed all the essentials needed for the event, especially to confirm that there was enough stock for our fans! Our intern Meiping was injured but working from home coordinating all the pacer top + bottom sizes to ensure we prepped and printed the right items for them. All this on top of running our day to day tasks, packing and fulfilling online orders, preparing for our birthday fitness party the weekend after, and also managing other pop up events around town.
Team Fox also sponsored 10 people & 1 pacer for Malaysia Women Marathon to inspire them to #gotheextramile! Stay tuned to read about Ira's race report.