Quick, run! Help refugees and quake victims

  • Travel
  • Saturday, 27 Jun 2015

Providing medical aid during the Nepal earthquake in April.

“I run like a turtle,” said Marina Mahathir, during the launch of #myMERCYrun, which is Mercy Malaysia’s second International Humanitarian Run, earlier this month in Petaling Jaya. “But turtles sometimes do win.”

She added, “I understand that it’s supposed to be a fun run, but most people here look like they are seriously fit.”

The run, to be held on Aug 1 at Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur, will follow a green route around the Perdana Lake Gardens.

The aim is to raise funds to provide aid for Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees, those affected by the Nepal earthquake, and the recovery phase of last year’s floods in Kelantan, said Raja Riza Shazmin Raja Badrul Shah, honorary secretary, Mercy Malaysia.

The #myMERCYrun will feature three race categories: the 3km, 7km, and 10km to cater to runners of various fitness levels. Participation in the run, in any category, is priced at RM80 for individuals and RM400 for a group of six participants.

Those who can’t physically join the run can participate as “virtual runners” who can sign up online and contribute any monetary amount.

At the launch of myMERCYrun were (from left) Yeo, Raja Riza Shazmin, Marina, and Ben.
At the launch of myMERCYrun were (from left) Yeo, Raja Riza Shazmin, Marina, and Ben.

As a lead up to the run, Mercy Malaysia will also be organising weekly “Fun Fit Friday” sessions for all registered runners at the KLCC Park on Fridays at 8.30pm. The sessions are conducted by Nikki Yeo, head of sports marketing at Go International Group and programme director.

“The run is for everybody, whether they go at fast, medium, or turtle speed,” said Yeo.

To add colour to the event, there is the #myMERCYrun Plank Challenge, which is open to the public.

A plank is an exercise position where you mimic a wooden plank. You lie face down, flat on the floor, then raise yourself on your tiptoes and elbows, while keeping your forearms on the ground and your back flat, so you look like a coffee table. And you then try to hold that position for as long as you can. It’s regarded as a tough exercise and is gaining in popularity.

Submit your most creative “planks” as photos or videos through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the following hashtags #PlankForMyMercyRun, #PlankforMERCYHumanitarianRun and #IPlankU4MyMERCY run. The top three entries in the photo and video categories stand to receive prizes on race day.

Mercy Malaysia aims to attract over 3,000 participants for the #myMERCYrun to raise awareness of its local and international humanitarian efforts by uniting Malaysians and giving them the opportunity to be a part of the local and international humanitarian arena.

Fox Sports TV presenter Ben Ibrahim, who also helped launch the run, said, “We’re so lucky to be here enjoying nice food and surroundings. But many people out there are struggling. So if you could just spend an hour or two for the run, it would be really meaningful to help out those who need aid amidst natural disasters.”

For more information on #myMERCYrun, the Plank Challenge, and “Fun Fit Friday” sessions, go to mercy.org.my.

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