It was a glorious Sunday. The weather was great, and we met some inspiring and fascinating people.
Most importantly, I received my second Covid-19 booster jab, thanks to the National Cancer Society Malaysia (NCSM).
But it could have easily been a disaster, as the morning started on the wrong foot – or rather, shoe.
Groggy from the lack of sleep and not in a great mood after witnessing Liverpool losing to Brighton, I mistakenly grabbed an old pair as I followed the home minister to the Toyota Outrun event.
It was our first fun run of the year. We plan to compete in at least eight more by November, and finish with a 10km run in December.
After parking near Dataran Merdeka, I put on my shoes and noticed that one of the soles had given way. Luckily, there was a spare pair in the car.
With an hour to kill before the race – flag off was at 7am for the 10km, and 7.10am for the 5km fun run – we walked around and noticed plenty of activities for the whole family at the race village in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
There were volunteers doing face painting, a concrete and plant workshop, booths offering a variety of games, a bouncing castle, bungee trampoline, bungee run, and performances by No Noise Percussion, De Fam, and cheerleading group, The Rebels.
A friend of ours, Sujartha Kumar, was excited that Milo trucks were on site.
“This brings Malaysians together every time,” she exclaimed. “The Milo always tastes so good.”
There were also three lucky draws after the race. Many people we chatted with said it was a “happening” event and a great start to the year.
The best part is that NCSM received 100 per cent of the registration fee – RM170,000 – and the organiser gave it 30 entries for cancer survivors.
NCSM also had a booth at the venue with volunteers present to raise awareness about the disease.
One such person, Larry ‘Joseph’ Wong, a three-time cancer survivor, was there to talk about the importance of mental health.
NCSM staff were also on hand to administer Covid-19 booster injections. Since I had planned to get the second booster, I signed up for it.
Interestingly, NCSM has extended its Community Covid-19 Vaccination Programme to companies. Call them at +6014-762 0730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get its staff to come to your offices for free.
Hopefully, organisers of other races or sporting events can work closely with NCSM or the Health Ministry to offer participants booster shots at their venues.
That could be one way to boost the pick-up rate. The latest government data shows that only 49.9 per cent of the population (16,296,339) received one booster jab, while a mere 2.3 per cent (755,361) received both.
CHILLI CHEESE GARLIC BREAD
What could be better than garlic bread? By adding cheese, of course. Do give this recipe a try.
HAPPY YEAR OF THE WATER RABBIT
Since tomorrow is Chinese New Year, here is a song for those welcoming the Water Rabbit.
Until next year, stay safe.