JUNIOR RACE:GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd held Giant Kids Run 2012 at Kepong Metropolitan Park to promote healthier lifestyle among children
RAIN on a Sunday morning did not dampen the spirit of 2,026 young participants of Giant Kids Run 2012 at Kepong Metropolitan Park, here.
Held in celebration of Malaysia Day, the event offered children aged 4 to 12 a good, healthy run as well as a chance at attractive prizes.
The event was organised for the second year by GCH Retail (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.
The race was specially designed for children and aimed at encouraging them to adopt a healthy and active lifestyle from young.
More than 10,000, including children, teenagers and parents, thronged the park to participate in or to watch the fun.
Participants turned up at 6am to register and warm up before flag-off.
The race was divided into four categories of age— 4 to 6 years (760m), 7 to 8 years (1.85km), 9 to 10 years (2.2km) and 11 to 12 years (3.6km).
Parents were allowed to accompany the youngest children in the race.
GCH retail marketing director Ho Mun Hao said: “We are delighted with the huge turnout this year. We felt that as a local brand, we should celebrate Malaysia Day in a more meaningful and family-oriented way.
“After last year’s overwhelming response, we knew that we had to make this year’s run bigger and better.
“As there were many repeat participants, we decided on more as well as more interesting prizes, to ensure that they have a memorable experience,” said Ho.
Giant gave out prizes to the top five winners in each category instead of the top three winners in last year’s race.
Giant hoped to help foster closer family ties through the fun and excitement of sports.
Cash ranging from RM150 to RM600 were given to the winners in the youngest category.
The winners in the other categories received prizes ranging from RM300 to RM2,500.
To be in the race, a minimum purchase of RM30 of participating sponsors’ goods at Giant was recessary.
Registration was RM15 per child. Each participant received a race T-shirt, finisher’s medal, a certificate of completion and a goodie bag.
Giant had also built a a carnival-like atmosphere at the park with booths offering food inflatable slides, wall-climbing and other activities.
Families with children enjoyed the games, product samplings, sand art and face painting.
There were also stilt walkers and clowns performing magic tricks and making balloon sculptures.
Many children marked Malaysia Day by having the Jalur Gemilang painted on their faces.
The parents, meanwhile, were all for the Giant Kids Run becoming an annual affair.
Anis Shafini Ayob, 32, said she encouraged her two daughters to participate in the race because it was healthy and so that they could learn sportsmanship.
“My 6-year-old eldest daughter, Ayna Abdul Rashid, has joined this activity last year and she was thrilled to race at the same event again.
“Although she didn’t win any prize, she still enjoyed the race.
“Her sister, Akma, 4, also took part in 4 to 6 years old category. As this is her first participation, she was so excited that she woke up as early as 6am to get ready for the event,” said Anis.
Malathee Krishnasamy, 33, was among the proud parents as her son, Sabinesshver Arulthever Selmy, 6, won the 4 to 6 years old male category.
He bagged RM600, a trophy and goodie bags.
“I am extremely happy that my son emerged as a champion for two consecutive years. Last year, he also won the same category.
“At first, I was worried that the inclement weather would affect my son’s performance on the track. It was cold, the road was slippery and the big turnout this year make the competition even tougher. Fortunately, luck was on his side.” said Malathee.
The winner for 4 to 6 years old female category went to the 6-year-old Issabelle Sisoki Chan. Like Sabinesshver, she also won RM600, a trophy and goodie bags.
Her father, Andy Chan, 47, said he trained his daughter to run a month before the race.
“We went jogging around the park at Kelana Jaya to help her build up her stamina. I am delighted that our efforts has paid off.
“The race is a good platform for our children to practice a healthier lifestyle.
“If Giant organises this event next year, I will definitely sign up for my daughter again,” said Andy.
The sponsors for the event were Dutch Lady, F & N Magnolia, Johnson and Johnson, Kraft Foods, Mamee Double Decker, MeadJohnson Nutrition, Munchy’s, Unilever, OEL Distribution, Procter & Gamble, Industri Snekku and Vitagen.