A TOTAL of 4,697 people took part in the Unity Run 2016 by running through several streets in George Town.
The event at Westland Sports Excellence Centre in Jalan Padang Victoria also drew interest of those from Kedah and Perak.
Some of them came as early as 5am before the run was flagged off by the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas.
There were 10 categories — Under-12 boys and girls, Under-15 boys and girls, Under-18 boys and girls, men and women open and men and women veteran.
The 2.8km run for under-12category saw participants passing through Perak Road, Macalister Road, Anson Road and Westland Road while the 6.5km for the rest of the categories saw the runners passing by Pangkor Road, Gurney Drive, Gottlieb Road, Macalister Road, Peel Avenue and Jalan Padang Victoria.
Penang Consultative Goodwill Council chairman Tan Sri Mohd Yussof Latiff said the event was part of the council’s initiative in collaboration with the Education Department.
He said the number of runners taking part in the event was higher compared with 4,466 runners recorded last year.
“It is great to see students from more than 100 schools and adults coming together for this event.
“Besides promoting unity among Malaysians, the event is also held to mark three occasions on Feb 8.
“February 8 is Penang Unity Day and also the first day of the Lunar New Year.
“More importantly, it is the 113th birthday anniversary of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, who is Father of Independence,” he said at the event.
SMK Seri Nibong student T. Rutirran, 16, said the run was a good platform to mingle with students from other schools.
He also won a bicycle during the lucky draw.
Another participant who won a bicycle in the draw was Goh Kai Chun, 17, who said he had a good time with his schoolmates from SMK Simpang Empat.
Muhd Luqman Baihaqi Khalid, 13, from SMK Al-Mashoor, said he was excited to be among the big crowd during the event.
State Education director Shaari Osman said the event was aimed at promoting racial harmony among the younger generation.