It was a busy work week with a trip down south to Sydney on monday night for 2 days of meeting before coming back to KL on the thursday early morning. After few hours of sleep and few hours of work, I drove to the Pullman Putrajaya for the Running Diva Pinktober edition press conference. The organiser of the race is NM Galaxy, which was organising on behalf of BDB the Langkawi BDB Climb and Run challenge. I had a good moment there, the team was cool and knew what they were doing, so I decided to go hear and see their approach to shorter races and something more “commercial” in the concept.
The Running Diva
Honestly before I went to the press conference, all I knew about the Running Diva was this picture of Aizat… Well it was a run, he enjoyed it, he ad a funny costume and he didn’t eat Marathon Baker bars yet 😀
The press conference as said was held at the Pullman Lakeside Putrajaya, which is the accommodation sponsor of the race. The race actually will start not too far from the hotel (not exactly at the hotel). Before getting into the details of the race, let’s first talk about the most important: the cause supported by the race…
The National Cancer Society of Malaysia (NCSM)
In a few words, NCSM (http://www.cancer.org.my/) is a charity create decades ago to help patients with cancers. Their aim is to educate about what cancer is, promote early diagnostic, create awareness amongst the population, promote care and support for patients undergoing cancer treatment. NCSM was represented by Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin. She explained to the audience that cancer is basically some cells in our body keeping replicating when they should not, hence creating tumours (growth of cancer cells).
The most commonly heard about cancer is breast cancers for women, however there are many different kind of cancers that are less known (ovary cancer, lung cancer, throat cancer, …). They all have a different type of diagnostic or test, which makes it usually difficult to find out. You don’t have a single test to look for cancer, which makes early detection a challenge. Sadly most of the people only know about breast cancer which has been “advertised” quite a lot in the prevention programs and Dr Dalilah Kamaruddin wished more people know about the other type of cancers, hoping this event would also help create this wider awareness about cancer.
Fighting and preventing cancer
One of the speaker at the press conference and event ambassador was Madam Zaiton Binti Mohamad who is a cancer survivor and is quite well known apparently in the cancer patients community. She is quite charismatic I have to say and gave us a recount of her hurdles as cancer patient and survivor and what to her own experience is key to fight the illness (hint your mindset and lifestyle is key here). Many cancer patients go to her to ask for advises (not medical advise) on own to fight the non medical side of the illness. In fact cancer is such a tragedy that you can start the battle against cancer thinking you will die (and it’s a lost cause in that case) or that you will remain strong and fight it to survive. Madam Zaiton is in this second category. To help cancer patients, she even wrote a small book (“Kanser dan Kemoterapi: Bagaimanakah Aku Melaluinya”), quite easy to read apparently (I can’t comment I don’t understand Bahasa Malayu).
I have to say she was quite passionate and extremely positive, contagiously positive and enthusiastic… I think this woman is a tribute to life 🙂 Few things I noted from what she described. Note these are my transcription of what I heard from her:
- Cancer develops because of the toxic environment we are living in – it can be toxins we are exposed to, the food we eat, the lack of exercise, the stress in our lives, …
- Everyone and everybody has some cancer cells (don’t panic !!!), this is normal and our immune system just fights it and destroy them like anything
- Eat fruits and vegetables, get a juice before eating say lunch or breakfast.
- Cancer cells prefers an acidic environment, hence try to have a less acidic body (note from myself, drinking lemon water on an empty stomach is very good for you and reduce acidity)
- Work at reducing your level of stress, it makes your immune system more stressed, less efficient and in general more susceptible to illnesses
- Be active and get regular exercise, this helps your body be healthier
And that last point brings us to the Running Diva Pinktober event. There will also be a free clinical mammogram offered to the public provided by NCSM on the day of the race.
The Running Diva Pinktober
The Race Director Ariff Syafik explained us that they did not want the race to be just another running event. They are some many of those these days (I agree with him) that are all the same. They ran the first edition of the running diva back in April 2016 and felt that they had to do better for this edition. They did not just want people to come run but to build an event that would provide a great stage for the NCSM, raise awareness about cancer while getting more people active (wether they run or walk doesn’t matter much).
The race will be held in Putrajaya on October 23, 2016 between 6am and 9:30am. They will have 2 distances: 3km “glamour run” and 10km “diva run”. The 10km will start at 6:45am while the 3k will start at 7:00am. You can see below the 2 tentative routes (subject to change eventually on request of the authorities):
The routes are quite large in Putrajaya. As usual in this area there will be for the 10km a share of highway style road while the last stretch will be quite scenic near the lake. Elevation wise looking at the route recreated on Garmin Connect, not too much to fear here however it seems the route is closer to 12km than 10km. I raise this to the Race Director to clarify… well to me, the longer the better !
The organisers are aiming for 2000 to max 4000 participants, which they’re hoping would not come just for the run but for an entire event of awareness around cancer and getting active. It’s expected to have few local fast runners as usual (like in the April edition). Below is the list of what you will get with your registration and if you are in the top 3. I’m not expecting any Kenyans here 😉
Runners these days are excited by the medal they will get… (I’m not !). Well they certainly took this into account and made it quite nicely. You will for sure remember the cause behind the race: breast cancer awareness. See the medal below, it will complete the collection all medals collectors… Hopefully it’s robust enough with this design (I think Kuching Marathon had some medal issues).
The race collection currently is scheduled to be in Putrajaya at the race start/stop site namely Kompleks Sukan Air Presint 6 on Oct 21 and Oct 22, 2016 from 10m to 6pm. Literally walking distance from the Pullman and the Putrajaya Marina.
If you need to have more information you can also consult the web site of the event at http://www.therunningdivamalaysia.com/. They also have a Facebook account where they publish updates (https://www.facebook.com/therunningdivamalaysia/). The registration is already opened on Tixtac at http://run.tixtac.com/trdmpinktober2016/ and the entry fees are per below:
I think in these days especially the normal price, it’s reasonable. For that price however, you will have to purchase the Event T-Shirt separately at the price of 18RM out of which 1RM is donated for every T-Shirt sold to NCSM. It’s actually a good thing instead of just giving a T-Shirt for the sake of giving one, when runners have so many. The race is open to all, whether you are locals or expatriates staying legally in Malaysia. It’s the same entry fee for all (my friend Running on old legs will appreciate that). Fair play to the organisers though to support a good cause segregating and penalising foreigners would have been mean. Kudos to them.
Sponsors wise for the race, they have lined up the following ones. Hopefully runners will get some goodies with their race packs.
And now the give away !
- Like the runhikeasia page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/runhikeasia/)
- Comment of the post publishing the post and answer the following question: what is the ration of cancer in Malaysia between women and men (in %) and name 5 types of cancer
Those answering correctly will be put in a ballot to award 2 entries to the race. 2 winners will be picked out of the ballot.
Photos from the press conference