The IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge 2024 returns with its highly anticipated sixth edition, to be held on 8 September. This year’s event will feature Malaysia’s First Full Highway Marathon, incorporating the interconnected routes of IJM Corporation Berhad’s (IJM) NPE and BESRAYA highways.

For the first time, the NPE and BESRAYA runs will be combined into a single event, rather than being held separately on different days. Participants will also have the opportunity to compete in the challenging 42.195 kilometre (km) Full Marathon and a newly introduced 1.5km Junior category for young runners.

The IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge has gained popularity since its inception in 2017, with an increasing number of participants each year. Approximately 10,000 participants are expected this year, with an estimated 80 percent of the total participants comprising Malaysian runners, and the remaining 20 percent international runners.

Title sponsors, IJM and Allianz Malaysia Berhad (“Allianz Malaysia”) are committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle and ensuring the safety of all participants. As organisers, the primary objective is to elevate the sport while providing the safest race route in the country. With a wide variety of running events in Malaysia, the aim is to ensure that participants go home with maximum satisfaction.

In addition to full highway closures and the provision of cramp spray and contact devices, safety is taken to the next level by introducing a dedicated first aid team. These trained professionals will follow the runners closely throughout the event, ensuring prompt attention and support for any issues or injuries, so participants can have a safe and worry-free running experience.

“We are thrilled to bring back the IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge for its sixth edition, now featuring the newly introduced 42.195km full marathon category, which is set to bring a new wave of excitement and participation to our event. Additionally, we are combining the NPE and BESRAYA highway challenges into a single event for the first time, offering inaugural interconnected routes that provide a unique and seamless running experience. This challenge underscores our commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle and continuous improvement, ensuring a safe and exhilarating environment for all participants. We are dedicated to enhancing the experience for our runners each year and eagerly await the return of our passionate participants for an unforgettable experience on our highways,” said Lee Chun Fai, Group CEO & Managing Director of IJM.

Echoing this sentiment, Sean Wang, Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Malaysia, expressed: “As co-sponsors, Allianz Malaysia is thrilled to join forces again with IJM Corporation Berhad for the highly anticipated IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge. We are energised to unveil this dynamic and distinctive challenge, igniting the competitive spirit of dedicated runners and instilling in Malaysians from diverse backgrounds the urge to embrace and prioritise their health and well-being. Let us ensure this year’s challenge stands as the most powerful and impactful one!”

The venue sponsors, NPE and BESRAYA Highways, are tasked with securing approvals from authorities such as the Ministry of Works (MOW), Royal Malaysia Police (RMP), Malaysian Highway Authority (MHA), and Sports Commissioner to organise this event, prioritising the safety and convenience of road users affected by road closures. Alternative routes will be clearly communicated to minimise disruptions with ample publicity and announcements to guide road users smoothly through their journeys.

Eugene Chan, Managing Director of EC Pixels Asia, highlighted the enhancement of the running experience through the introduction of pacers to assist participants aiming to achieve their personal bests. The experienced pacers will guide and motivate runners throughout the race, empowering them to reach their goals and conquer the highways.

He further emphasised, “As you push your limits and strive for your personal best, hydration is key. We are proud to announce our partnership with N8, offering hydration gel at the halfway point for both half-marathon and full-marathon participants. Runners are encouraged to stay energised and hydrated as they conquer the challenging course and push towards the finish line.”

As part of the event’s corporate social responsibility programme this year, contributions will be made to Persatuan Pelari Anak Luar Biasa, also known as Little Fighter Runners. This non-governmental organisation offers therapeutic running activities for families with children who have special needs. Their goal is to raise awareness and educate others about these children, demonstrating that despite their challenges, they can participate in regular activities and pursue their dreams. This initiative reflects the event’s commitment to making a positive impact on the community and supporting inclusive activities that empower all participants.

In addition to focusing on health and safety, the IJM Allianz Duo Highway Challenge 2024 demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainability. This year, the event has partnered with Pressio, a brand renowned for its environmental responsibility advocacy. The event T-shirts provided by Pressio are made from biodegradable materials, embodying high-performance sportswear that is fully recycled and recyclable. By incorporating these eco-friendly practices, the event aims to reduce its environmental footprint and promote a more sustainable future for the sport of running. Additionally, the event will feature official electric vehicles, BMW and BYD, from the distinguished dealer Millennium Motors Group, championing a zero-emission ecosystem.

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