Kids taking off enthusiastically in the 3km fun run, during the 4th KEC Unity Run in Port Tech Tower at Bandar Baru Klang, 13 April 2014.
THE gathering of more than 3,000 runners at last Sunday’s Klang Executive Club (KEC) unity run showed that there is no shortage of community spirit within the township of Klang and it’s surrounding areas.
They came together for a morning of fun, competitive running and socialising in the wee hours of the morning in front of the Port Tech Tower in Bandar Baru Klang.
The majority of runners were made up of serious runners of all ages, including running enthusiasts from the Bandar Bukit Raja area in Klang. Also included in the mix were 201 participants from homes for the disabled and orphanages.
Fifty-one participants on wheelchairs relished with joy when it was their turn to be flagged off at the start line.
They were greeted by Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk M. Saravanan who gave words of encouragement and later started them off along the 1km circuit.
“It is something good here the organisers are doing, to make them feel relevant”.
“This is what will create a sense of belonging within the community and will make them feel like a part of a community.”
“More events should be like this to engage the people,” he added.
Independent Living Training Centre (ILTC) president Francis Siva commended the organisers for the event that gave the disabled a meaningful opportunity to mingle.
He said he would like to see more events catering to the disabled alongside able-bodied folks.
Enthusiastically, a few showed off their impressive strength by whizzing off at the start, while others were assisted by volunteers from the Council of Justices of the Peace of Selangor (JPS) for the 1km circuit.
Murugan Mariapan, 34, was the unofficial first-place participant in the disabled category. He managed to do so thanks to his regular training in wheelchair basketball.
Murugan, who was previously from ILTC, also gives counselling. He took the opportunity to meet fellow disabled and chatted with them after the event.
This year’s run saw a strong performance from a number of Skechers sponsored runners in the 10km (open) and 7km (men junior and senior, women veterans, children boys/girls) groups.
They took top spots in the men’s open, women’s open and women’s veteran categories, second place in the men’s senior, men’s open, women’s open and children (girls) categories and third place for the men’s junior group.
The 3km category for children of the orphanages was off to a blazing start with the children charging off enthusiastically with all smiles.
A total of RM 9,200 in prize money and RM 7,000 lucky draw prizes were given out while token of appreciations were given to all participants from the homes for the disabled and orphanages.
Although the turnout was greater than expected, the event organisers Acmar International and the Klang Executive Club (KEC) were able to accommodate the larger than expected crowd.
KEC deputy head of hospitality T. Kanniappan attributed it to this year’s new venue at the Port Tech Tower that provided a better setting. He hopes for an even bigger turnout at next year’s run.