THE Seremban Half Marathon returns for the 25th year running and runners can look forward to the introduction of a timing chip for the run.
“We had more than 10,000 runners last year and it was a big achievement for us. We’re also targeting the same number this year but we also have to set a limit because of the space limitations at the venue,” said royal patron Tunku Naquiyuddin Tuanku Ja’afar during the announcement of the major sponsors in Kuala Lumpur recently.
“The Seremban Half Marathon is a non-profit body run by a team of dedicated volunteers and the cash donations from sponsors are used to promote activities for the junior and disabled athletes in Negri Sembilan,” he said.
The run started in 1987 with a modest participation of over 4,000 runners but had the main attraction of a single-storey terrace house as the lucky prize.
Event organising chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Ahmad said for the first time in the history of the run, they were utilising online registration forms and all 21km and 10km runners (except the school category) will be given an electronic timing chip.
“We’ve grown over the years and we are also moving with the times by having the timing chip. We are also increasing the medals for the schoolchildren from 300 to 1,000 to encourage more students to participate,” said Zainal.
The top three schools with the most number of participants also stand to win cash prizes.
Tunku Naquiyuddin, who will also join the 3km corporate fun run, said there would be a special 21km category for foreigners and expatriates to participate in, with cash prizes for the top three runners in the men and women’s category.
“Besides the run, we have also organised a line-up of multi-cultural shows and various activities on the field for those who are not running. This year, there will be 1,000 prizes in the lucky draw that will be given out at random,” he said.
Sports Toto Malaysia Sdn Bhd has come in as the main sponsor for the first time in this year’s edition of the run, contributing in cash and kind.
“We have been involved with the run for many years and will continue to support one of the biggest events in Seremban.
“We are big supporters in national sports and also in community sporting events. Most of the major runs happen in Kuala Lumpur and this half marathon reaches out to the running enthusiasts in Seremban,” said communications senior manager Emily Tan.
Bata and Milo, two companies that have supported the run since its inception in 1987, continue the tradition as major sponsors this year.
Bata (Marketing) Sdn Bhd senior manager Datuk James Selvaraj said the run has always been very close to their hearts and was one of the best organised events in Seremban.
“We will be contributing cash donations and 1,000 T-shirts and shoes for the lucky draw,” he said.
Nestly Products Sdn Bhd beverage business unit sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong said together with the Seremban Half, the Milo brand has grown in business and volume.
“Running is the most basic form of exercise and it is great to see new runners being recruited into the franchise. Those who participated in the first run are now running with their children and grandchildren. We’ll be contributing in cash and kind, including a free-flow of Milo on race day and prizes for the lucky draw,” said Ping Loong.
The other three major sponsors are Antah HealthCare Group, Sunrise MCL Land Sdn Bhd and Tint-Shop (M) Sdn Bhd.
Antah HealthCare Group executive director Tunku Mohamed Alauddin said the company’s involvement in the run was in line with the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts and would also be contributing 500 prizes for the lucky draw.
Sunrise MCL Land Sdn Bhd deputy general manager Jacqueline Law said they would be contributing RM26,888 in cash and kind.
“The route will take runners past our Forest Heights development. We will continue to support the run and encourage people to be part of it,” she said.
Zainal, who is also Tint-Shop (M) Sdn Bhd chairman, said with more families involved each year, they would continue as sponsors.
The run will be flagged off on July 15, at the NS Padang in Seremban. Registration can be done online at www.myraceonline.com and the closing date is June 30.
The organisers of the run are Seremban Town Council, Negri Sembilan Amateur Athletic Associa-tion, Antah HealthCare Group and Syarikat Pesaka Antah.