Runners brave grey skies and hills for charity

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 26, 2017.

Ho (fifth from left), The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd editor-in-chief Azam Aris (ninth from left) and The Edge Education Foundation CEO Dorothy Teoh (10th from left) with beneficiaries of The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race 2017. Photos by The Edge

The 1.5km CEO race was flagged off first at 3.30pm yesterday, followed by the 5km main run.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Excitement ran high despite grey skies at Padang Merbok yesterday, where some nearly 50 companies donned their company tees and displayed enthusiastic team spirit for the annual The Edge Kuala Lumpur Rat Race (KLRR).

This year’s race presented two new challenges. The first was a new, hillier route, and the second a passing drizzle right before the race, which made for a much more humid setting.

This, however, did not deter some teams from competing in eye-catching, fancy get-ups. UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd, for example, won as best dressed runners for their offshore fire-retardant jumpsuits, while UEM Sunrise Bhd’s chief operating officer of commercial Raymond Cheah ran in his on-site safety helmet and blazer.

At 32°C, the temperature this year proved more pleasant than last year.

The publisher and group chief executive officer (CEO) of The Edge Media Group, Ho Kay Tat, lauded the runners for an “amazing” race, saying he was thankful that the weather and the more scenic route had made conditions more pleasant for them.

“Amazing teams, amazing support. We are glad to have been able to raise close to RM1.12 million for the selected charities, and over RM20 million since this race first started,” he said after the races were concluded.

Throughout the event, a number of interactive booths kept participants enthusiastic and raring to go. One in particular which caught attention was Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd’s “Bike For Juice” booth, where participants rode stationary bicycles to power blenders for fresh fruit juices.

There were two major categories for the race: the 1.5km CEO race was flagged off first at 3.30pm, followed by the 5km main run.

Lazada Malaysia chief customer experience officer Dominic Hoffmann — a former triathlon runner — crossed the CEO race’s finishing line to come in first after just over six minutes.

“I’m feeling quite good. Of course, it is hot and humid in Malaysia — that is how we like it.

“The race was very well organised, the streets were clear. Amazing day, thank you very much to The Edge,” said an elated Hoffmann, after clinching the top spot in his first KLRR participation.

Hoffmann was trailed by Rakuten Trade Sdn Bhd managing director Kaoru Arai, who represented Kenanga Investment Bank Bhd, followed by Karex Bhd group chief human resources officer Leong Weng Hong.

Malayan Banking Bhd walked away as champion of the senior team category, while the open category was bagged by CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd won the mixed category.

Inspired by the Carey Wall St Rat Race in New York, the KLRR has been regarded over the years as one of the highlights in the annual calendar of the corporate world, as part of corporate social responsibility to help the disadvantaged and disabled in Malaysia.

The KLRR’s efforts garnered RM1.12 million for charity in the 17th edition of the race. This brings the grand total the race has raised over the past 16 years to almost RM21 million.

The entire proceeds collected from this year’s run will be disbursed to charity, with almost 70% channelled to 14 selected charities and non-governmental organisations to help finance various education and training programmes.

About 30% of the funds will go to The Edge Education Foundation to enhance English proficiency and financial literacy programmes in selected secondary schools.

This year’s event was powered by property developer Eco World Development Group Bhd.

The platinum sponsor was Matrix Concepts Holdings Bhd, while the gold sponsor was ceramic and porcelain tile provider Feruni Ceramiche Sdn Bhd. UEM Group was the silver sponsor.

Astro was the event’s official TV and radio sponsor, with 100PLUS as the official drinks sponsor and Bell & Ross Malaysia the official timekeeper.