Community running project “Larian 40 Taman, 100 Kilometer” reached its halfway point on 23rd June, 2012 when the 20th run was held at Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir in Kuala Lumpur. Launched on the 14th of January 2012, the project has held runs in eight different states including the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, Selangor, Johor, Negri Sembilan, Melaka, Perak, Penang and Sabah.
Initiated by avid-runner and co-host of TV3’s morning talkshow “Malaysia Hari Ini”, M.Zulkifli Abd. Jalil, “Larian 40 Taman, 100 Kilometer” is a community running project that promotes healthy lifestyle and aims to get Malaysians all across the country to run at their neighbourhood parks with friends and family.
“We are definitely on track to hit 40 different parks by year-end which is our objective,” says Zulkifli. “We have also covered a distance of 58kms in the 20 runs so far, which is slightly ahead of the pace for the targeted 100kms.”
However, Zulkifli admits that response to the runs have been rather mixed. “At some parks, I get up to 50 people running with me, as was the case at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, while at other venues, only four or five would turn up. But this in no way has hampered my determination. I know it’s quite a commitment for casual runners to wake up early in the morning on weekends,” he says.
The runs are usually held on Saturday mornings and no prior registration is required. Everyone with a good pair of shoes and the desire to run or brisk walk is invited to join Zulkifli and other participants for a minimum distance of 2.5km. The invitations are sent out mainly via social media platforms including twitter and facebook.
Zulkifli himself has been enlightened by the experience so far. “The project has taken me to parks I had only heard about, and getting to run at all these places have been absolutely wonderful. Some of our parks are really world-class and it’s a shame if they are under-utilised,” he says. “And that really is part of the objective of this project, to promote a healthy lifestyle and to highlight the fact that more family-centric activities should and could be held at public parks rather than shopping malls.
“It also feels good when people tell me that this project has inspired them to finally start running”.
The project is self-funded by Zulkifli and at most venues, participants are also given free T-shirts as mementos. “Sometimes, I also do lucky draws just to make it more exciting. I’m also happy to see that the project has managed to put runners in touch with each other as well as making new friends.”
While the list of the next 20 parks has yet to be determined, Zulkifli invites everyone to visit the project’s blog at larian40taman.blogspot.com for the latest info, or to suggest venues to run. “To date, more than 300 people have joined the runs collectively, and I would like to see more Malaysians join us for the next 20 runs!”
For more information, you can also follow www.twitter.com/larian40taman and “like” www.facebook.com/larian40taman .
LIST OF PARKS COVERED:
1. Taman Bandaran Kelana Jaya, Selangor
2. Taman Merdeka, Johor Bahru, Johor
3. Taman Rekreasi & Terapi Pantai Purnama, Port Dickson, N.Sembilan
4. Taman Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
5. Taman KLCC, Kuala Lumpur
6. Taman Subang Ria, Subang Jaya, Selangor
7. Taman Botanikal, Melaka
8. Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur
9. Taman Jaya, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
10. Taman Tasik Shah Alam, Selangor
11. Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Kuala Lumpur
12. Taman Rekreasi Hutan Bandar, Johor Bahru, Johor
13. FRIM, Kuala Lumpur
14. Central Park, Bandar Utama, Selangor
15. Taman Rekreasi Sultan Abdul Aziz, Ipoh, Perak
16. Perdana Park, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
17. Taman Putra Perdana, Putrajaya
18. Taman Perbandaran, Pulau Pinang
19. Taman Rekreasi Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, Selangor
20. Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur