THE SUN, THURSDAY 30/10/2010
Record number of participants in Olympic Day Run
IT WAS a fun family day out for many participants of the annual Olympic Day Run at Dataran Merdeka on Sunday.
Jointly organised by McDonald’s Malaysia and the Olympic Council of Malaysia, this year’s run had a record 7,091 participants in 14 categories.
From as early as 7.30am, the first group who went the full distance of 7km were flagged off. There were also 5km and 3km categories for senior citizens and primary school children respectively.
A special category for the disabled was introduced for the first time this year and was warmly received, with more than 200 runners and wheelchair-bound people taking part.
Leading the pack in the men’s and women’s open categories were former national athlete Muniandy Ramadass and national athlete Yuan Yu Fang.
Muniandy was the first overall runner to cross the finish line, clocking a time of 24 minutes 44 seconds.
"This year I participated in 15 runs and emerged champion 10 times," he said.
Muniandy, 32, admitted to a preference for 10km and 21km marathons, having trained for long-distance runs from an early age.
Muniandy and Yuan also won their respective categories at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon 2009.
Women’s veteran champion Susan Khoo said running and training had always been an integral part of her family’s life.
The hard work paid off when her daughter Kim Khoo took third place in the women’s junior category.
"Running is a good way for us to keep fit and have fun together," said the 50-year-old Susan, who completed 10 runs this year.
Khoo’s high spirits were shared by men’s veteran champion Ridzwan Sulaiman who has taken part in the Olympic Day Run every year.
"I used to run the full and half marathons, but now I have to scale back and run shorter distances," he said.
"I often took my children out to the park in the evenings, simply to exercise or go jogging," Ridzwan said.
Proving that the young also have what it takes to compete, women’s junior champion Sawin Kaurm, 14, said she had participated in marathons from the time she was in Standard 4 and that this was her third Olympic Day run.
"This is the second time I emerged champion," said a jubilant Sawin, who is also a school athlete, having represented the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur.