Interview with Lini Kazim

Interview #2 for Inspiring Women Who Run

You want inspiration and motivation for the new year? Meet Lini Kazim. Her youthful appearance, respectable speed and enviable stamina belie her real age and years of wisdom, so make no mistake, this is a woman of pure substance! I first met Lini last December at my first long slow distance run with Gaited Community. After seeing her run and hearing about her leading other runners to finish their first full marathon, I instantly knew that Lini was a role model for me! Let’s find out what makes this inspiring Kelantanese lady tick in this week’s segment of Inspiring Women Who Run – only on Run Fairy Run!

Fairy M Proudly Presents: Inspiring Women Who Run!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a mother to a lovely 12 year old, a wife to the most generous and “neat” man and up to the end of last month a coolie to a consulting corporate! I am an adrenalin junkie who will do whatever it takes for the rush. Some people have a bucket list of places they want to go, I on the other hand value the journey more than the destination and am trying very hard to instill the same value within my family and friends and I am failing miserably at that!

Queen of Multi-Sport: Lini Kazim at the Port Dickson International Triathlon 2012

2. What made you get into running and how long have you been doing it?
 I used to play tennis and golf a lot until I had 2 injuries that crippled my game as well as my wallet (the betting on the golf course)! In December 2010, I was diagnosed with 2 common overused injuries – tennis elbow and rotator cuff which sent me to the point of depression.My orthopedic surgeon then told me, “it is only your upper body that is injured. Your legs are still good. Why don’t you go and run?” And that was how I started running.

Lini at her 1st full marathon @ Borneo International Marathon 2011

3. What’s your typical training pattern like?
I had a training program that I downloaded from Hal Hidgon website when I was training for my first FM. I finished my first FM in 5:04 when all I wanted to do was to finish the race. So, I swore by a good training program! Now, I am training with a triathlete coach for my first 70.3 event. So, I swim, run and cycle in total about 10-12 hours a week, with every third week being a recovery week.

4. Do you have any special diets?
No, but I try to eat a balanced diet and eliminate junks!

5. What is your favorite race distance and why?
Full Marathon – it is a distance that requires mental over physical strength and when you have conquered it, it felt oh so great!

6. What was your favorite race and why?
My favourite race was 7.7 km in Putrajaya Night Marathon in January 2010 because it was my first running event and I ran it with my husband! At that time, finishing 7.7km was a big deal. I cried at the finishing line!

7. I’ve heard that you’ve been a pacer. Have you always been one?
I have only paced twice – Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon (SCKLM) in June 2012 (5:30) and Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) in November 2012 (5:00).

8. How did you become an official pacer for these races?
I was recommended to the respective organisers of the events by an experienced pacer when I told him my intention to help other runners. Of course the recommendation must be supported by good consistent track record.

On average, my FM time is 4:40. For my first pacing experience I requested to pace for 5:00 but they gave me 5:30 instead to ensure I have sufficient buffer and also because the organiser wanted as much as possible to have representative for each category. For example for 5:30 at SCKLM 2012, there were 4 pacers – 1 woman veteran, 1 man veteran, 1 woman open, 1 man open!

At PBIM, they allowed me to do 5:00 perhaps because I have experienced pacing and also I have run a few more marathons since SCKLM.

Lini (right) with her group of pacer friends at SCKLM 2012

9. Tell us about your stint as pacer at Penang Bridge International Marathon. How did it go?
I was on pace and all hell broke loose 5 km before the finishing line when I realized that the distance is about 500m more than the 42.195! I had to hasten pace which was really not a great thing to do especially when I had 3 virgin FM runners who were counting on me to complete their first full marathon sub 5.00 hours. I pushed, encouraged, shouted to other runners to make way for us, and finally managed to get them to the finishing line in style! That was very tiring but at the same time very rewarding to help fulfill other runners’ dream!

10. What does it take to be a good race pacer?
To be a good pacer, you need to constantly motivate, remind the runners to hydrate at every water station, determine whether a stretching stop is required and most of all have a plan to ensure that you can bring the runners to the finishing line within the stated time. Before the start of the race, I try to share the plan with the runners. During the run, I will keep check of the pace every 1 km and share the pace with the runners. I will also let them know when to slow down and when to play catch up. So, pacing for me is very interactive which actually is the opposite of my personality!

Lini (in red) pacing her group of runners at PBIM to the finish line in style! (Photo credit: Chew Shu Yang)

11. Do you have any other goals which you have not yet achieved in running?
I would like to run an ultra distance sometime in the future.

12. Do you have additional advice or shout-out to say to all lady runners out there?
All great things are achieved through hard work, dedication and commitment. Running is no different.


Boy, if I ever run a full marathon, I sure hope I can get Lini as a pacer! Thank you Lini for sharing your thoughts with us! Check out Lini’s blog at

Do you have a favorite lady runner whom you’d like me to interview? Leave me a comment below and details on how I can get in touch with her and I’ll do the rest!

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Hi! I am Fairy from Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - currently residing in Sydney, Australia. This blog contains write-ups on my fitness adventures, whether it's running, swimming, hiking, Zumba, whatever! If I sweat, I write! As a young adult in my twenties, I led a relatively sedentary lifestyle before I had an awakening in 2011. I was overweight by age 30 and finally decided to turn my life around, so I started to reclaim my health back by losing 20 percent of my then body weight by playing dance and fitness video games! I've not looked back since and now happily lead an active lifestyle. If you want to get in touch with me, please email me at fairy[at] or DM me on Instagram @myindo. Thanks for stopping by!

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  1. Woww, she’s truly an inspiration for me… Her track record was stunning… My friend, Rashid once followed her 5.00 pacing balloon during PBIM (most of the time). Lini was really a good n helpful pacer indeed… Woww… Wish I could be just like her, motivating n encouraging other runners as well…

    Fairy, I luv reading this column. It felt like I am watching the Bella talk show on ntv7… Hehe… It would be great if you could interview Karen Goh, perhaps? She’s definitely a great role model and inspiring lady runner as well, right? Keep up the hard work, Fairy… =D

    1. Thanks for the suggestion. I don’t know Karen Goh (yet!), so I will put that in the back burner for now. Hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to know her. Does she have a website or blog somewhere, or can you recommend me where to find her?

      1. Erk, typo error, Karen Loh, the Race Director for the inaugural Malaysia Women Marathon 2013… Sorry for the spelling error… I can get her details from Stupe since she’s his co-blogger too… I’m sure her interview would be amazing as well… =D

        1. Ah Karen Loh. I have her on FB, let’s see lah how. Meanwhile I’ve got a slew of other ‘unknown’ women I want to expose first.

  2. good job fairy!! nice interview and yeah, as aizat mentioned it, i love this section!
    Lini Kazim has been instilled in my mind the moment i met her during the 15km Bukit Aman LSD in Dec. Even during the training, she definitely motivate and pushed us to keep on running the double hills.
    She is indeed an inspiration to me, as i want to become a multisport athlete, in 2 years time. 🙂

    1. @nannoor: Always happy to receive such positive feedback on anything I put up, thanks babe. Will work hard to find other inspiration lady runners to keep us motivated! I already have some in stock, tunggu timing to release. 🙂

  3. well done fairy. suka baca interview with runners. dah jot down some tips.. eat a balanced diet and eliminate junks, swim/run/cycle 10-12 hrs a week 🙂

  4. Great write-up, got me all excited about the next race!
    Gave me goosebumps imagining her trying to get other runners to make way for her runners…macam tu la pacer yang bagus.
    I love the last photo, Lini’s expression was priceless. Macam mak yang tersangat bangga sebab anak2 dia berjaya dengan cemerlang 🙂

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