THE fine weather yesterday made it a glorious day to be outdoors for Ipoh Starwalk 2017.
Excited to take part in the annual walk organised by Star Media Group, participants arrived as early as 5.30am at the Perak Turf Club to make sure they did not miss out on the fun as well as the challenge of completing the 7km walk.
Among them were elderly couple Gan Kot Too, 68, and 58-year-old Lee Kam Yong, who managed to complete the walk in just 30 minutes after being flagged off by Perak executive councillor Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.
“I would not miss Ipoh Starwalk for the world,” said Gan.
“It is a lucky event for my wife and I, as we have won several lucky dip prizes over the years.
“The first year we took part, I won a motorcycle, which I still use till this day.
“We’ve also won a DVD player and a bicycle. Last year, we won a Samsung mobile phone,” he added.
For participant Heong Chee Seng, finishing the entire distance of the walk meant achieving a personal target.
“In life, we need to set targets for ourselves. For me, being able to complete this walk is proof to myself that I am still young,” said the 53-year-old welder.
Administrative clerk Wendy Sek, 36, was one proud mummy when she reached the end of the walking route.
Completing a 7km journey on foot was no mean feat and she was able to achieve that while pushing her sleeping five-year-old, who weighs almost 20kg, in a pram the entire way.
“It felt a bit funny to me since everyone was walking on their own around us and there I was, pushing a pram and feeling the pride of being a mother within.
“The walk was a bit of a challenge, but luckily my daughter was sleeping soundly so we did not have much trouble completing the walk together,” she said.
The mother of three said she was here with her entire family, so she could not leave her daughter at home alone.
“My husband already had his hands full with our two sons, one is 12 years old and the other 10, and my mother is also here with us to participate in the walk.
“I could not manage to carry my youngest for the whole 7km, so pushing the pram was the only way to go,” she said.
Sek added that this is the second year her entire family was participating in the walk together.
“I pushed her in a pram, too, last year, but this year, she has gotten heavier,” she said.
While waiting for the lucky dip numbers to be drawn, young performers from Yencci Dance Studio entertained the crowd with their dancing abilities as well as vocal prowess.
Javiers Ham and Nicole Chiew kicked things off with a jive number. Nicole then paired with Bernice Sak to deliver a Latin dance entitled The Shine.
This was followed by a cha-cha dance entitled Mimi by Angela Baby Chiew, who was a top 10 finalist in the Astro Xian Tai Yang 2016, and her partner Boon Louisse.
But it was seven-year-old Apple Chang who stole the hearts of all present as she sang You Raise Me Up, a song made popular by Josh Groban, with all her heart and might.
Following a 10-minute Zumba routine led by Zumfit Bercham principal Janice Kong, master trainer Jeremy Ng of PFC Studio taught participants exercises using resistive bands to improve posture, reduce lower back pain as well as relieve stiff necks and tense shoulders.
Meanwhile, SMJK Poi Lam emerged as the school with the highest number of entries.
For its effort in sending 780 participants, the school received RM750 in book vouchers.
SMK Ave Maria received RM500 in book vouchers for coming in second with 606 entries, followed by SMK Menglembu getting RM250 worth of book vouchers for submitting 593 entries – the third highest among schools.
SMJK Sam Tet (448), SMK Seri Keledang (412), SMK Idris Shah, Gopeng (395), SMJK Perempuan Perak (370) and SMK Pusing, Batu Gajah (355) each received RM100 in book vouchers.
Next up was the moment everyone was waiting for – the lucky dip!
The crowd went wild when the emcee announced 23-year-old university student Siti Nadhirah Meow as winner of the first prize, which consisted of a three-day, two-night stay at Pangkor Laut Resort worth RM5,000 and a Samsung Galaxy C9 Pro smartphone sponsored by YTL Communications Sdn Bhd.
The second prize – a three-day, two-night stay at the same luxury resort and a Samsung Galaxy A7 smartphone also sponsored by YTL Communications – went to logistics executive Royani Abdul Rahman, 36, while remisier Jannatunna’im Sabdin, 46, went home with a 43-inch Singer LED television set sponsored by Sports Toto.
Ipoh Starwalk 2017 was organised by Star Media Group in collaboration with Ipoh City Council, Perak Education Department and Perak Athletic Association.
The Platinum sponsor for the walk was YES while the Silver sponsors were Julie’s, Counterpain, F&N, Federal Oats, Sports Toto, Sanctband, Chek Hup and Spritzer.
The Perak Turf Club was the official venue provider with Weil Hotel as the official hotel.
McDonald’s sponsored scrumptious Sausage McMuffins and bottled mineral water for the walk’s working committee, officials and sponsors.