The Ipoh International Run has gained much popularity, and judging from this year’s response, this annual running event is here to stay. A total of 13,969 participants including 196 foreigners, the majority being Thais, Kenyans and Singaporeans (in that order), gathered in front of Stadium Indera Mulia, Ipoh on the morning of Sunday, July 3 to test their endurance.
Ipoh International Run 2011 is divided into 11 age divisions ranging from the Men’s and Women’s Open categories to the Boys’ and Girls’ junior categories. The distance also varies from the signature 21 km for the open categories to 5 km for the juniors. The number was the highest ever recorded since the run started 16 years ago. “The presence of Dato’ Michelle Yeoh could be the motivating factor,” said a bemused Dato’ Roshidi Hashim to reporters. Last year the run attracted 12,500 entries. Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri DiRaja Zambry Abd Kadir, flagged off the runners and participated in the VIP category along with mayor Roshidi and a host of other VIPs.
As expected the Kenyans took top spots in both the Men’s and Women’s Open categories. Lilan Kennedy Kiproo completed the 21-km Half-Marathon in 1 hour 01 minute and 35 seconds to win the Men’s Open title. Esther Wambui Karimi ran the same distance in 1 hour 10 minutes and 26 seconds to claim the Women’s title. Lian Bee Hoon was the best Malaysian finisher in the Women’s Open Category. She ran the 21-km course in 1 hour 42 minutes and 50 seconds and was placed tenth.
There were prizes for schools with the most number of participants. Sam Tet, Ipoh with 869 entries, won a landscape project package worth RM10,000 courtesy of City Council. Second placed Sekolah Raja Perempuan Ipoh with 660 entries won a similar package worth RM5,000 while third placed Sekolah Pasir Puteh with 541 entries, a RM3,000 deal.