FUN RUN: About 12,000 participants run to show their support for the Malaysian contingent
Sarah Casanova (second from left) and Datuk Roy Rajasingham (second from right) launching the limited edition Coca-Cola Olympic Glass campaign.
ABOUT 12,000 participants turned up for the McDonald's Olympic Run Day at Dataran Merdeka recently to show their support for the Malaysian contingent of athletes who will be taking part in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. The event saw runners donned in blue, red, yellow and green T-shirts imprinted with Olympic Day Fun Run 2012 raced through the streets.
Participants turned up as early as 6am to display their Olympic spirit and unflagging enthusiasm.
McDonald's renowned icon Ronald McDonald mingled with the participants and led the warm-up session before the flag-off.
The ninth annual event was jointly organised by McDonald's Malaysia and the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) as part of their commitment to the Olympic movement.
It was the biggest ever Olympic Day Run in the country sponsored by McDonald's compared with last year with 11,000 runners.
The runners from all walks of life were flagged off at 7am by OCM vice-president Datuk Roy Rajasingham.
McDonald's Malaysia managing director Sarah Casanova said the company was proud to sponsor the event as it encouraged the community to be involved in healthy activities.
"We have brought the excitement of the games to life for millions of customers around the world for more than 35 years.
"In our efforts to encourage the local communities to lead balanced and active lifestyles, we organised this event annually, which is the great way for Malaysians to get active while embracing the Olympic spirit," she said.
To add to the excitement, McDonald's launched the limited Coca-Cola Olympic Glass campaign that demonstrated its on-going commitment of delivering unbeatable value to its customers.
"And as part of our efforts in engaging our people, we will be sending two of our best-of-the-best crew trainers to join 2,000 top-performing McDonald's restaurant staff from all over the world in London under the Olympic Champion Crew programme," added Casanova.
Rajasingham said he was delighted to see so many Malaysians getting together for the healthy and fun activity.
"The Olympic Day Run is one of the main events leading up to the Olympic Games this year and is a great opportunity for people of different fitness levels to experience the spirit of the Olympics," he said.
The Olympic Day Run 2012 was divided into 13 categories with three different distances.
For the 7km distance, the categories were Men's Open, Women's Open, Men's Junior Veteran, Men's Senior Veteran, Women's Veteran, Men's Junior and Women's Junior.
Participants in the Men's Senior Citizen, Women's Senior Citizen and Group category (for four participants aged 15 years and above) ran for five kilometres.
For 3km race the categories were Primary School Boys, Primary School Girls and Family (for two adults and up to three children aged from 7 to 14 years).
PDRM's R. Venugopal won the Men's Open category with an enviable time of 12 minutes and 10 seconds while K. Ganthimathi won the Women's Open category with a time of 31 minutes and 31 seconds.
The winners took home attractive prizes including cash prizes totaling RM17,975 and medals.
All participants received certificates and McDonald's breakfast coupons.
McDonald's also gave Dataran Merdeka a carnival-like atmosphere as there were game and food booths, inflatable slides, wall-climbing and other hands-on activities.
Renee Hew, 35, entered the Family category with her husband Yoh Chin Seng, 40, and 8-year-old nephew Ng Kai Kai.
Although they only managed to clinched the 18th place, they were satisfied and happy.
"We joined this event for fun and, of course, to show our support for Malaysian athletes. We hope that our contingent will bring home many gold medals and prove to the world that 'Malaysia Boleh'," said Hew.
Five friends -- Mohammad Afiq Rosli, 24; Mohamad Zulhilmi Muharam, 22; Nur Khairiah Ahmat, 22; Nurul Wahida Abdul Halim, 22; and Nurliyana Athirah Saidin, 22, also took part.
They participated and competed in the Men's Open and Women's Open categories.
"We take part in this run because we want to have a healthy competition, challenge ourselves, practise healthier lifestyle and build up our stamina.
This run is also a tribute to our athletes and one of the ways to wish them good luck," said Nurul Wahida, who got 68th place in Women's Open category.