Great response to ‘The Great Race’

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds


THE inaugural charity run organised by Royal Brunei (RB) Airlines reached great heights yesterday with the organisers reporting positive responses from the participants.

Chairman of The Great Race told The Brunei Times in an exclusive interview that they had to increase the quota for each category as the original quota for each category was filled.

“The response from the public was really positive, we ended up from originally targeting 3,000 runners to actually registering more than 3,500 runners,” said Aji Puteh, who is also Head of Corporate Services.

Mahyuddin Zulkipli, who handled the media for The Great Race, said that they used social media to raise awareness of the charity run as well as inform the participants of any updates.

“We try to create an avenue for the public to be more involved through social media,” said Mahyuddin.

The race yesterday saw a lot of participation on social media from those joining.

He added, “the response (yesterday) and during the race kit collection has been overwhelming.”

The chairman said that RB wants to differentiate itself from other charity runs by making it more challenging with the addition of obstacles.

Aji said that the concept of The Great Race was inspired by the Urbanathlon, which he participated in Singapore, where participants have to run 14km and overcome nine obstacles.

However, the chairman said that the challenges incorporated in The Great Race yesterday were less challenging than the one in Singapore, to give the participants an idea of what to expect in future iterations of the charity run.

“From what we’ve seen today, (the obstacles) are not much of an issue for our runners,” Aji said, adding that they might introduce more range in the obstacles to challenge the runners.

He added that RB might introduce at least one or two obstacles in the 5km race next year. For this inaugural race, only participants of the 10km run had to go through the obstacles.

Although the race took two months to organise, the chairman said that the race yesterday was a success.

Aji said that part of the objectives of the charity run yesterday was to “foster a healthy lifestyle among Bruneians” by encouraging them to engage in more healthy activities.

He added that he hopes this charity event becomes part of their annual corporate social responsibility event for RB.

For this inaugural race, Aji said that they identified Green Brunei and the Paralympic Council Brunei Darussalam as the beneficiaries of the charity.

He said that the beneficiaries were chosen as they want to support Green Brunei’s ongoing project in improving environments around Brunei, especially their efforts in Mangrove Conservation, as well as to help fund the Paralympic Council to carry out their sporting activities.

Treasurer for The Great Race, Maggie Low, said that 80 per cent of the funds they collected will go to the charities after taking into account their expenses.

Maggie, who is also Head of Revenue Accounting at RB, said that there are runners who have made donations as well in addition to paying their registration fee. “These donations we receive will go straight to the two beneficiaries that we sponsor.”

In addition to the 3,500 participants, a total of 18 corporate teams also took part in RB’s The Great Race.

Also present yesterday were the Chairman of RB and Deputy Minister of Finance, Dato Paduka Hj Bahrin Abdullah, and the Deputy Chairman of RB, Dermot Mannion, who flagged off and sounded the horns to start the races yesterday.

The Brunei Times