THE ‘I Love George Town Run 2017’ by 1st Avenue Mall in Penang saw 3,000 runners enjoying a morning run around the heritage enclave.
British citizen Ricky Matthews, 47, said he enjoyed his first run in Penang after moving to the island a month ago from Kuala Lumpur.
“I have been living in Malaysia for the past six years under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) scheme and I’ve just relocated to Penang as my son wanted to study here.
“I have not had the time to check out the heritage enclave except for the murals; so this was a great experience,” said the retiree, who is gearing up to take part in a 42km marathon.
Matthews said the 8.8km run was part of his preparation.
“I run all around the world to raise funds for selected charities. I am aiming to raise US$100,000 for charity this year.
“I will be taking part in the upcoming Penang Bridge International Marathon in November as well,” he said when met after the run at the mall in Prangin Road recently.
Held in conjunction with the celebration of George Town’s listing as a Unesco World Heritage Site, the run also saw the mall successfully raising RM10,000 that was channelled towards Peace and Harmony Home and Special Children’s Centre Penang.
The mall’s general manager Jensen Lim hoped participants enjoyed their run through the heritage enclave.
“At 1st Avenue Mall, we strive to not only provide an excellent shopping experience but to also promote George Town to shoppers and tourists,” he said
Participants received a goodie bag, medal and finisher’s e-certificate at the end of the run as well as lucky draw prizes worth more than RM30,000.
Guest of honour Penang Island City Council mayor Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif said she was happy Penangites woke up early on a Sunday to do something healthy before praising the mall for its initiative.
She then urged Penangites to work together to make the state cleaner and greener.
“Penangites discard 658 tonnes of waste every day. It costs RM4.79mil per year to collect and discard the rubbish.
“If we segregate our waste and reduce our rubbish by 50%, we can save half of that money each year.
“I hope we can work together to make Penang the cleanest state in Malaysia by middle of next year.
“It is currently the third cleanest behind Kuala Terengganu and Perak,” she said in her speech during the closing ceremony of the event.
Also present at the event was Komtar assemblyman Teh Lai Heng.