Stretching as far as the eye could see, over 10,000 local and international runners took part in the 21km, 10km, 7km and 5km categories of the 20th Ipoh International Run on the morning of Sunday, November 15. The participants were flagged from the start line at the Indera Mulia Stadium, Ipoh.
Among the runners was Dato’ Shahrul Zaman Yahya, the Executive Councillor for Human Resources, Youth and Sports. Before being flagged-off, some prayed while some were engrossed in selfies and a few were seen running barefoot. However, every participant made a point to wave at the Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, as they passed by him after the start pistol was fired.
Mayor Dato’ Zamri Man was seen mingling with the participants at the end of the race. His presence was totally unexpected but was welcomed by the tired runners.
After the run, the crowd moved into the stadium for the much-anticipated lucky draw. The grand prize was a 50-inch Sharp TV. While the crowd was milling around indoors, musical band, Caliph Buskers kept them in the right mood.
“This is my second time participating and this time I ran with my friend,” said 22-year-old Paul Kimani, a Kenyan, the winner of the 21km men’s open category. He completed the race in 1 hour and 43 seconds and won the RM5000 prize money and a medal.
Monia Watetu, 23, also from Kenya was the winner of the 21km women’s open category in a time of 1 hour, 11 minutes and 25 seconds. Her first appearance in Malaysia, Monia started running when she was in high school. She won RM4000 and a medal. The mother of two ran the race with her husband of two years in tow.