PASIR GUDANG: Over 1,000 avid runners participated in a five kilometre marathon organised to promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce the growing number of cardiovascular disease cases.
Participants started gathering at the Bukit Layang-layang recreational park as early as 6.30am recently to warm up before the run was flagged off at around 8am.
Among the runners were friends Kuan Mee Huat, 47, Tan Kok Bing, 51, and Lim Ai Lin, 48, who have been taking part in various runs around the country together for the past 30 years.
“My friends were good runners back in school and I envied them, so I aimed to win a medal for myself,” said Kuan during the event.
Kuan, who is a botanist, took home the gold medal in the above 45 men’s category while Lim clinched the medal in the above 45 women’s category.
Lim said that she decided to invite her running buddies after finding out about the event via the Internet.
“I was quite confident of winning a medal, as there were not many participants in my category and I have taken part in marathons for the past 10 years.
“I really love running as I am a competitive person and events like this make me excited as well as keeps me going,” she said.
Bank executive Nursyuhadah Hamzah, 25, said she was glad to be able to participate in the event with her brother-in-law Saiful Azreen Jamil, 28, as it was a healthy way to release stress after a hectic week.
“I used to be an active track and field athlete back in school and the interest was nurtured as my family also enjoys activities like this to keep fit.
“I joined the Sports Club in school and I had a good time as I was able to meet new people who shared the same passion,” Nursyuhadah said.
The programme was jointly organised by KPJ Johor Specialist Hospital and KPJ Pasir Gudang Specialist Hospital for the second year.
KPJ Pasir Gudang chief executive officer Mohd Azhar Abdullah said that Heart Sole Run 2016 was held in conjunction with World Heart Day this year.
“We have quite a number of overweight people, so we wanted to create an opportunity for people to lead a balanced lifestyle through this event.
“We also want to create awareness among the public on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” he said.