What exactly is parkrun?
Parkrun is a free, 5km timed running event that takes place every Saturday morning and it is held in 20 countries around the world. Parkrun takes place in a pleasant park surrounding and everyone, of all abilities, is encouraged to take part.
Parkrun started in 2004 when 13 runners got together in Bushy Park, Teddington, UK. Parkrun is now an international family of over 3 million park-runners including Malaysia with two park runs held each Saturday.
The first parkrun in Malaysia
The first parkrun organized in Malaysia is held at Taman Pudu Ulu. Its first event was held on Saturday, 14 April 2018 and sees a steady number of participants every week.
The second parkrun in Malaysia is held in Presint 18, Putrajaya and its first parkrun event was held on Saturday, 3 November 2018. It was attended by 337 runners making it the largest parkrun held in Asia. 287 participants attended their first ever parkrun there.
The Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya
The Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya was supported by 30 volunteers and 19 of them volunteered for their first ever parkrun. The momentous and record-breaking event for parkrun in Malaysia was flagged off at 7.30 am by the President of Perbadanan Putrajaya, Datuk Aminuddin bin Hassim.
The route is an out and back course along Putrajaya Lake. The start line is at Kompleks Futsal Presint 18 Putrajaya, and the course took runners towards Taman Wawasan. They then made a U-turn at KM2.5 and finish back at Kompleks Futsal Presint 18 Putrajaya. It is a beginner friendly flat course and with its wide pavement, is also a great course for those wanting to inject some speed in their run.
Cheerful and friendly volunteers were stationed along the route to ensure participants follow the correct route and also for their safety. The Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya was indeed very well organized.
Putrajaya – a great place to run & mingle
A plus point of the location is that, there is a café nearby where the Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya participants can grab a post-run coffee after the event. Among the runners who attended the first Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya were 30 runners from Taman Pudu Ulu parkrun, Jerome Besnaud from West Coast Park parkrun, Vinh Lam from Bishan parkrun and Amer Ismail from Fulham Palace parkrun.
It saw a great turnout of fast runners, leisure runners, first timers, and those who came with their families. A group from the Malaysian Stroller Community also attended the event, with 32 of their members, pushing 17 strollers and pulling one wagon!
Children were also happily running alongside their parents, and enjoying their morning outing together. It felt great to finish a run with volunteers and fellow participants giving support and cheered each other at the finish line.
Parkrun creating community
Parkrun may be a free event but it is so well organized and it is no different from any normal road race; only without a medal or event t-shirt for its participants.
One of the participants, Kayrol Jahi recommended the event highly and said that the course is great for doing his speed work. “Besides being a free event, having the participants’ run time is also a great bonus and motivator”, he enthused.
Participants’ results with their time and ranking are posted on the parkrun website and emailed to participants individually too. Kayrol managed to clock a time of 20:45 minutes for his first parkrun. Despite starting at the back, he managed to finish in the front pack!
One of the Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya race directors, Harneshpal Singh Bhullar hopes that the Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya will see more Malaysians participating and have more run-walkers, walkers and women joining the event.
“A parkrun is a safe place for people to run or walk and most important, it is an avenue for participants to enjoy the outdoors with their family and friends on a Saturday morning”, he emphasized.
Harneshpal also led the pack of runners through the course with his bike during the first Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya. Another interesting feature of Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya is the inclusion of pacers for the first time for a Malaysian parkrun.
The pacers who were on duty at the launch and first Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya were: Amar Ghazali – 29 minutes, Awangku Mohd Sharifuddin – 32 minutes, Razzuwan Razali, and Fads Dian – 38 minutes.
The pacers were there to help runners or walkers achieve their aim to finish in the above-stated time. Pacers can be identified by their green vest and volunteers wear an orange vest.
More about parkrun in Malaysia:
Taman Pudu Ulu Parkrun
Venue: Taman Pudu Ulu
Start and Finish Line: Near the white sail structure
Course: Two small laps and two large laps in the park
Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya
Venue: Presint 18 Putrajaya
Start and Finish Line: Kompleks Futsal Presint 18
Course: Kompleks Futsal Presint 18 towards Taman Wawasan and back
Parkrun is a free, timed 5km event organized by volunteers for the benefit of everyone and are held every Saturday morning, with flag-off time at 7.30am. Everyone is invited, regardless of age, gender, race, religion, and ability.
First-time participants need to register at parkrun.my/register and print out their parkrun barcode themselves. The run is timed according to gun time. For more details on Presint 18 Parkrun Putrajaya, do visit their website www.parkrun.my/presint18 or their Facebook page @presint18parkrunputrajaya.
Slated for 2019 are two special park runs that will be held on January 1st, 2019 (Tuesday) and September 16th, 2019 (Monday) at Presint 18 Putrajaya Parkrun. Let’s celebrate these two special dates with a 5K run or maybe a PB!
About the Author
Lina Ibrahim blogs and writes about running, travel, and food because they usually come hand-in-hand. She loves all distances from 3K fun runs to ultra-marathons, and hopes to run fast enough to join Lake Saroma 100K one day.
She blogs at linasbackyard.blogspot.my, and can be reached at Facebook page @cikarnab