Running for charity and a good cause, but rise in Covid-19 cases a worry

The home minister and I had back-to-back fun runs last weekend, the first time we attempted such a feat.

Usually, we would enter a run every two weeks or once a month, but we did so as it was only 7km and 5km, instead of our usual 10km distance. Plus, both runs were for good causes.

The first on Saturday was in support of a friend, Wadie Sumanteri, who runs a yoga studio – Nadi Tenang.

Held at the newly opened Gamuda Cove, the run – called Ecotrail Fun Run and Yoga session – saw us explore the other side of the area, including glimpses of its star attraction, the SplashMania Waterpark.

We also entered the Wetlands Arboretum Centre. It would make for a perfect weekend getaway for people looking for a fun adventure.

What was unique about this event was that there was no entry fee. Those who wanted to compete only had to bring two empty plastic bottles to the recycling bin.

Some brought more than two. In the end, there were four big bins full of plastic bottles.

It was a nice leisurely walk on a relatively flat course. There were five checkpoints where participants had to answer questions about the plants and trees in the surrounding area.

There were about 300 participants and that gave it a “homely” feel, with enough social distancing when it came to the yoga session after the run.

There were also plenty of prizes, courtesy of Gamuda Cove, Decathlon, and Nadi Tenang.

Most fun runners usually neglect to do proper warm-down or stretching exercises – I am guilty of that – but the 30-minute yoga session on Saturday was awesome.

The home minister said she felt as good as new and was ready for Sunday’s event – the Bukit Jalil Sihat fun run by Columbia Asia Hospital. She felt all fun runs should include yoga or stretching exercises.

The entry fee for the Bukit Jalil run was RM40, and the organisers collected RM16,000, which will go to three local charities.

Unlike the Gamuda Cove run, this course had one particular hill that made me question my sanity in signing up for the event!

There was a carnival at the end of the finish line – on the grounds of the newly opened Columbia Asia Hospital in Bukit Jalil. As part of the programme, there were medical check-ups and other health-related activities.

The Bukit Jalil run was our last for the year, and while we have already signed up for two events next year, we will monitor the number of Covid-19 cases first before deciding to go ahead with them.

We usually mask up at events, but not while running.

Stay safe, folks.

TIME TO MASK UP, AGAIN

The Health Ministry recommends we start masking up again as Covid-19 cases are on the uptick. In the 49th Epidemiology Week (Dec 3-9), there were 12,757 new infections, up from 6,796 in the previous week.

There were 26 new Omicron variants comprising 21 Variants of Concern (VOC) and five cases of Variants of Interest (VOI).

Despite the increase in cases, the ministry said everything was under control and did not pose a burden on existing healthcare facilities.

Separately, the ministry has a new minister, Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad, who replaced Dr Zaliha Mustafa on Tuesday. Dzulkefly previously helmed the ministry from 2018 to 2020.

CHOCOLATE FRUIT CAKE

Christmas is nine days away, so here is an easy recipe for the festive season. Although the list of ingredients is lengthy, all you need to do is throw them in a pan and stir lightly.

MISTLETOE AND WINE

It is amazing that after 183 weekly Diary editions and 86 daily ones, there were no Sir Cliff Richard songs – even though he was one of my heroes growing up.

So, here is Harry Rodger Webb – Richard’s birth name – with a classic Christmas tune, ‘Mistletoe and Wine’.

https://youtu.be/rZCEBibnRM8?si=VSMLutCtKM7GYrUC

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