Tuesday, November 07, 2006

For the love of running

The Star Online, 6 November 2006

Nine-year old Kim Khoo (left) and her brother Sam, 12, after the race.

GUTSY 16-year-old Leong Hon Wai received thunderous applause when he crossed the finish line at the Subang Jaya 10km Run yesterday.

The special participant who walks with the aid of crutches was not only cheered on by friends and family but also by other participants and onlookers who were inspired and touched by his fighting spirit.

Leong slowly made his way to the finish line where the beaming lad was met by his proud mother You Boon Lian who wiped the sweat of his forehead and offered him a drink of water.

“It’s my second-time participating in this run and I'm happy to have completed the race,” said Leong, who took part in the 5km men’s and women’s special (non-wheelchair participants only.)

The 5km category also saw participation from the hearing and speech-impaired.

Leong was among the 3,500 Subang Jaya residents and outsiders who huffed and puffed in the Subang Jaya annual road race yesterday.

The runners were gathered at the sports field of the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) well before 7am to register themselves and to start warming up for the race.

The event started at 7.30am when Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo flagged off the Men's Open and Women's Open 10km runners.

Also present were Subang Jaya assemblyman Datuk Lee Hwa Beng, who is also chairman of the run's organising committee, MPSJ president Adnan Mohd Ikhsan, Kinrara assemblyman Dr Kow Cheong Wei, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Datuk Liew Yuen Keong, The Star general manager Koh Beng Huat, and The Star acting group chief editor Michael Aeria.

The other categories that were flagged off after that were the 7km men's and junior veteran (40 years to below 50 years) and men's senior veteran (50 years and above), women's veteran (35 years and above), boys and girls (13 years to below 18 years), men's and women's special (wheelchair participants only), 5km men's and women's special (non-wheelchair participants only) and the 3km Fun Run (adults and children).

Participants warming up before the Run outside the Subang Jaya Sports Complex yesterday.

The Fun Run, which was the last to be flagged off, saw whole families taking part. Excited young children clamoured by their parents as they waited for their race to start while groups of teenagers chatted away before the leisurely walk.

Among the Fun Run participants who came in fancy dress was nine-year old Kim Khoo who was clad in a ballerina’s outfit.

Kim was accompanied by her 12-year-old brother Sam Khoo, who dressed up as a clown, and their mother, Susan Khoo.

Susan said she chose the costume for Kim as she wanted her daughter to look different.

“Kim was very enthusiastic about taking part in the Run. I am happy she managed to complete it,” she added.

Sacrificing their usual lazy Sunday morning routine for the Run was not a big deal for the family of Fong Tang Chong. Yesterday’s event was the third Subang Jaya 10km Run for Fong, his wife Yeoh Keen Hwa and their two children who live in the township.

A family from Kota Kemuning, Shah Alam, was also among the participants. Wong Kean Hong, took part with his wife and three children aged 14, 12, and nine.

The event attracts people from all walks of life.

“Fortunately, my children don't dread waking up early in the morning for healthy events like this. They enjoy runs a lot and for us, coming to Subang Jaya is not a problem as it’s near our home,” said Wong.

Also in the run was Malaysia Paralympic Council member Izam Abdul Hamid who took part in the wheelchair category.

“My personal best at completing 10km is in 30 minutes. It's the first time that I'm sent by the council to take part in this run.

“I definitely hope to participate again next year if the council sends me because runs like this are good exposure for the handicapped or wheelchair-bound runners to be recognised.

“It's important for people to know that we are capable of competing too,” said the 33-year-old.

Runner Sallehuddin Mohd Rashid, who hails from Rawang, said he has been running for 37 years now.

“I was previously doing a lot of competitive running. But of course, no longer now as my stamina too has dropped. But this has not stopped me from pursuing my love for running,” said the 58-year-old, who came in a good 12th position in the men’s senior category (7km).

“I would run every day at Universiti Malaya and do my training weekly at the Selayang Stadium. This is to upkeep a consistent level of fitness,” continued Sallehuddin, who made the finishing line at a time of 31:44 min.

The 10km winner (men) went to M. Arulthevar, who clocked in a time of just slightly over 33 minutes followed closely by P. Venugopal who was just a mere few seconds behind.

In the 10km women’s category, S. Devamani won the run at a time of 39:14 min.

Medals and certificates were presented to runners who complete the run within the qualifying positions and time.

After medals were presented to the first three winners for each of the total 12 categories, participants eagerly awaited the lucky draw which saw prizes like a three-night’s luxury cruise on board the SuperStar Virgo, hotel stays, and dining vouchers being given away.

The Subang Jaya 10km Run aims to boost community spirit through the gathering of residents and family members of all ages in this fun and wholesome activity.

It is also hoped to foster friendship and harmony in the community and promote a healthy lifestyle among Malaysians.

Performers from Kombo MPSJ, StarRfm-RedFM and Suria FM Artistes were there to entertain participants after the run.

The Subang Jaya 10km Run was jointly organized by The Star, MPSJ, and Selangor Amateur Athletics Assocation (SAAA). The main sponsors include Sports Toto, Nestle (Milo), Ambank Group, DiGi, and Yeo's H-Two-O.



Open: 1. M. Arulthevar 33:31; 2. P. Venugopal 33;37; 3. Heidelee Mohammad 34:18

Junior veteran: 1. G. Supermaniam 24:15; 2. Iwata Takatashi 24:29; 3. Goh Chua Ann 25:27

Senior veteran: 1. M. Ramakrishnan 24:10; 2. S. Appaman 25:54; 3. Mohamed Yasin Rahman 27:59

Boys: 1. B. Thanesan 24:02; 2. Liew Khai Mun 24:18; 3. S. Balamanikrishna 24:45

Wheelchair: 1. Yap Hung; 2. Anthony Martin; 3. Mohamed Sani

Special (non wheelchair): 1. Chiah Soh Soon; 2. Lee See Chuan; 3. David Loh.


Open: 1. S. Devamani 39:14; 2. Vally Michael 40:17; 3. Julie Foreman 41:18

Veteran: 1. Eng Seok Lin 30:50; 2. Agnes Tee Yoke Loi 31:20; 3. G. Susila 31:31

Girls: 1. V. Durgavani 29:46; 2. Nur Syahira Abu Bakar 29:55; 3. Y. Deepa 31:43

Wheelchair: 1.Chow Mei Hisa; 2. Suzana Ghazali

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