Running Really Altered My Life And Brought Things Into Perspective. I Accepted Running As A Pastime At First. My Social Life Took A Three Hundred Sixty-degree Change Upon Running. My Facebook Page Was Flooded With Running Events. Instead Of Hanging Out At The Malls During Weekends, My Time Was Spent More On The Track Instead.
You can find his muscular, lean long legs either on the track at University Malaya’s sports center or at Petronas Twin Towers Fitness Center. His running backpack is with him constantly as he would head off to University Malaya after work for training every day without fail. On days that he feels weary and exhausted, he’d push through. After all Olympian Steve Prefontaine said to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice your gift. That is the principle that Azwan Bunjing runs by.
During high school, if you told Azwan that he would emerge champion in Puma Night Run 2016, Azwan would have laughed and brushed it off as a joke. Taking part in sports events was not his forte. His attempt in running a cross country race in high school ended up in him taking the bus home halfway in the race. But that was not his last race. After all, he had a choice. To either throw in the towel or use it to wipe the sweat off this face. And we’re glad that he did not throw in the towel, for then Malaysia would not have known of Azwan Bunjing. He took his chances once again in Form Six. This sprinter took part in another cross-country race and this time the tables were turned. Azwan took first place. He clenched his first victory.
The Transformation from Azwan Bunjing to Awanrun
That winning was just the beginning. However,his high school days were over. How was he to further his passion in running? He was pointed in the right direction when he stumbled upon an article that explained how university years would help in blooming one’s sports talent.
His fortune continued to grow when he secured a degree in Administration and Economics in University Malaya. He took it upon himself to diligently run 5km around University Malaya’s campus. He didn’t have to wait long because soon enough he attended his first university track meet. He braved the odds and came in second.
The first-place winner, Amirul was curious about the sudden appearance of the fast, long legged nineteen-year-old and went over to find out more about Azwan. Just like that, a friendship was born. Amirul knew Azwan had the running skill pumping in his veins, now it would be just to hone it. With the help of Amirul, Awan’s rigorous training began. “My stomach twisted and turned to knots on practice days because Amirul pushed me to do my best. I was completely drained at the end of the day”, he smiled recollecting his memories.
“Running really altered my life and brought things into perspective. I accepted running as a pastime at first. My social life took a three hundred sixty-degree change upon running. My Facebook page was flooded with running events. Instead of hanging out at the malls during weekends, my time was spent more on the track instead”. Ordinary university students would be café hopping and filling up their weekends with movie marathons. Azwan filled it up with running marathons and races instead. He wasn’t missing out on anything exciting when all he aimed for everyday was to create new records on the University Malaya track. In his final track meet in University Malaya, he finished second.
Life unfortunately has its fair share of trials and tribulations. In 2013 while hiking with a group of friends, Azwan suffered a severe knee injury which prevented him from running for eight months. As a result of this misfortune, he focused on his career as a procurement executive in Petronas.
Fate had different plans for him however. On his first day at work, Azwan bumped into his boss who was fully dressed in his tri suit pushing his bicycle out of the doors.“My boss, being a busy managing director of a company, has to juggle multiple responsibilities yet can take up the Ironman challenge. What about a general staff like me?”. That revelation hit Azwan hard like a bucket of cold water. It was time to get back to the track.