What started four year ago as a personal challenge for Eng Hooi has become a running event; on each New Year's Day he would try to run from his house in Kuching to Damai Beach - a distance of 33Km.
On the first attempt, his run ended at the Santubong Bridge (25Km). I joined him on the second year and we stopped at the bridge again; too tired to carry on. On the third year, we ran in heavy rain and took a wrong turn ending up back in Kuching.
Last year, 7 of us joined Eng Hooi on Labour Day and arrived at Damai Beach Resort. This National Day, 70 of us joined him - some starting at the Kuching Amphitheatre at 3:30 a.m. working their way to Damai, where we were joined by the rest at the Santubong Bridge for the last 14 km.
|The 'RUN FREE' group of runners after completing their Kuching to Damai run|
This event was organised almost on the spur of the moment - it took three weeks to register runners, print tee-shirts and finalise logistics - done through word of mouth and social media. There were no prizes awarded and no medals given; only drinking water and words of encouragement were offered during the run.
In conjunction to Malaysia's National Day 31st August, the words 'RUN FREE' was printed on the tee shirts - not only to recall our freedom from colonial rule but perhaps as a call to free ourselves from personal prejudices and differences and be united by the love of running (and one's country)
|scenic views were temporarily ignored as runners struggle to complete the run|
|Nick (12, with cap) and Kieran (10) were amongst the youngest runners that day|