KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 ― The Run for National Unity 2019, which seeks to foster unity among Malaysians, saw more than 1,500 participants at the beautiful and scenic Lake Gardens here this morning.
This marks the fourth year for the highly successful and much anticipated event organised by HELP University and Malay Mail. The run first started in 2016.
Minister in Prime Minister's Department in charge of National Unity and Social Well-being Senator P. Waytha Moorthy graced the event for the second year running and flagged off the run in two categories: the 10km and 7km.
“They have been successfully organising this for the past four years. It's a great thing because the theme is 'Run for Unity' and unity is important in our country. On their own initiative, HELP University is doing this and I congratulate Datuk Paul Chan,” he said.
Last year, the minister had promised to participate if he was invited to the event again.
However, as the run clashed with the launch of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Waytha Moorthy had to postpone his participation till next year.
“Yes, I wanted to participate but because there is the launch of the Shared Prosperity Vision by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir today, so I have to postpone it to next year,” he said.
The Run for National Unity is organised to commemorate Malaysia Day, which is celebrated on September 16 and underlines the importance of unity in diversity and exemplifies the strength of Malaysians in facing all challenges and still remaining strong.
HELP University vice-chancellor and president Datuk Paul Chan voiced his happiness with this year's turnout, especially as there are more secondary school girls taking place which adds far more colour to the event.
“This year the turnout is fantastic more than 1,500. I thought this year was better than last year.We've added more categories and I am very delighted that there are more secondary school students here taking part.
“Look at all the colours that are very beautiful and a lot of women here too. We are happy to promote this and we will do it again next year, it is very meaningful, people can gather and unite including those from international background and so on,” said Chan.
He also expressed his joy that more runners with special needs participated in today's run.
For the first time, the top three participants in each category was awarded a trophy in addition to cash prizes ranging from RM100 to RM500.
All participants received a T-shirt, goodie bag and a chance to win attractive lucky draw prizes.
Every runner who successfully completes the race also received a finisher’s medal and an e-certificate.
There were 15 categories in the run including the men’s and women’s open (international), men’s and women’s open (Malaysian), men’s and women’s open (veteran Malaysian), primary school boys and girls, secondary school boys and girls, family team, corporate team, and categories for runners with special needs.
The category for men and women covered a distance of 10km while the boys and girls in the secondary school category had to run for 7km.
Primary school boys and girls, families, and corporate teams ran for five kilometres each while runners in the special needs category and the VVIP/VIP fun run covered a distance of 3km.