Belait district organises 1st charity run

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds

BELAIT

OVER 500 people took to the streets of Kuala Belait yesterday morning to take part in the Belait District Office's first charity run.

Runners were flagged off at the Municipal Field shortly before 7am, with the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Muhd Sunadi Hj Buntar and the Belait District Officer Hj Haris Othman participating in the 3.5 kilometer fun run.

Organised to separately raise funds for the welfare and sports funds under the Belait District Office, the run was split into seven categories, the longest a nine kilometre route for males and females.

Veteran distance runner Sefli Ahar won the nine kilometre race with ease in 31:15 minutes, while Shazana Hamiroldzam came first in the same distance for females in 44:06 minutes, beating out second place by a margin of over two minutes.

Age did not prove to be a barrier in the five kilometre route, as Hj Mohd Azmi Hj Suhaili recorded a winning time of 18.34 in the above 45-years-old category, while his counterpart in the below 18 teens, Muhd Iskandar Zulkarnain Shahrom managing a time of 19:05.

Amongst females Dk Nurul Syafirah Pg Hj Zainal placed first in the teens below 18 category with a time of 22:25 minutes, only two seconds faster than Airince William who came first in the females above 45 category.

Runners interviewed yesterday said the inaugural charity race by the district office was a positive step that combined the promotion of a healthier lifestyle and fund-raising for the less fortunate and sports development.

“There are not that many runs in Belait over the course of a year, so it is a good move to organise one, and for residents a great way to spend your Sunday morning,” said Dennis Cheng who ran with his wife.

Similarly Hamizah Hj Muaz who ran with three friends yesterday said that a charity run was a simple, effective event that can draw the community's support.

“With the Kitani run at Sayyidina Ali held recently, there seems to be a small increasing number of charity runs in Belait, which is great for us who had to travel to Bandar to participate in similar events before,” she said.

The Belait District Officer previously said the number of participants reflect a fair turnout for its first run, adding that the welfare fund was primarily used to provide less fortunate families with essential living supplies especially during the month of Ramadhan.

A sizeable portion of the fund is also used to provide donations for home repairs and victims whose homes had been hit by fires.

Also participating yesterday were the village head of Mumong and Belait District representative to the Legislative Council Yang Berhormat Hj Mohd Yusof Hj Dulamin, the Assistant District Officer Hasmiron Hj Mohd Taib, representatives from the sponsoring private companies and other grassroots leaders.

The Brunei Times