The following article was extracted from The Metro, Star, 24 May 2005.
- By Y.P. SIVAM
MORE than 1,200 runners took part in the New Balance Pacesetters 15km Run at the Lake Gardens last Sunday. Despite no prize money, all the participants turned out to be winners.
Runners were presented with a medal each when they crossed the finishing line. After that, they were treated to breakfast.
Before the run, they had received a running vest. A few weeks after the run, the finishers will also receive a photograph of themselves courtesy from sponsor Bee Loh.
“At RM30 per entry, our run is the most expensive in the country,” said former Pacesetters Athletics Club Malaysia (PACM) president Wan Yew Leong after leading a group of VIP runners for a 4km.
“But, we had to close entry weeks before the run when our entries were full. It is our belief that we should make the running experience as enjoyable and memorable as possible. In fact, what we're giving back to the runners like breakfast, medals, running vests and photographs, are worth RM50. We are only charging RM30 for it. That's why we can get full entries despite it being the most expensive run in the country.”
Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) secretary-general Datuk Sieh Kok Chi, who flagged off the run, said it was obvious that people were willing to take part in the run.
“And that’s something that Pacesetters can be proud of. They have succeeded in creating a carnival atmosphere and getting people to take part in the run. I think no one who took part in the run had any regret doing so,’’ said Sieh.
Former international S. Muthiah, who took part in the VIP category, was surprised by the response for the run, organised by Pacesetters for the third consecutive year.
“It’s more than a run. It’s an event for those who love running to get together for an enjoyable outing. It was like a carnival and I certainly enjoyed myself,’’ said Muthiah.
Seasoned runner Oon Kian Khoong, who also took part in the run last year, said the hilly terrain posed a challenge and he felt happy to complete the run.
Three records were also set during the run. Iwata Takatoshi won the men’s veteran category with a new record of 55:10. The old mark of 55:31 was set in 2003.
In the men’s senior veteran category, Tony Seakins completed the 15km run in 55:33 to erase the old mark of 58.35 set by K. Subramanie last year.
Popular road runner S. Devamani set a new record of 1’02:43 in the women's junior veteran category. The old record of 1’05:16 was set by Pauline Elizabeth Mulroy two years ago.
Another interesting feature of the run was the the part played by volunteers. About 80 volunteers manned the food outlets and drinking stations along the route.
Resorts World Marketing vice-president Chow Wei Heng said he was impressed by the contribution from volunteers and the organisation of the run.
Title sponsor New Balance has pledged to continue their support for the run scheduled for May 21 next year.
Men's Open: 1. G. Elangovan 52:35; 2. Fong Phong Lim 53:20; 3. Heidilee Mohammad 54:12.
Men's Veteran: 1. Iwata Takatoshi 55:10; 2. Sithon Kaew Muang 57:37; 3. Goh Choon Aun 57:39.
Men's Senior Veteran: 1 Tony Seakins 55:33; 2. S. Appaman 59:18; 3. Yasan Rahmin 1’00:39.
Women's Open: 1. G. Susila 1’05:56; 2. Oon Li Sar 1’11:03; 3. Patsy Yong Lai Chee 1’11:23.
Women's Veteran: 1. Devamani 1’02:43; 2. Pauline Elizabeth Mulroy 1’06:50; 3. Julie Foreman 1’07:11.
Women's Senior Veteran: 1. Lim Siew Ngoh 1’16:09; Hilary Collins Smiles 1’20:04; Tee Boon Eng 1’25:04.