Running for health and love of Earth
01 May 2018 | The Star Online
Runners all geared up at the flag-off. — Photos: SAM THAM/The Star

National Geographic (Nat Geo) hosted its first-ever Nat Geo Earth Day Run in Malaysia and attracted over 2,000 participants.

The run was organised in conjunction with Earth Day which is celebrated on a global scale annually on April 22.

This year, the theme for Earth Day centred around “No Plastic Waste”, more importantly, on reducing single-use plastic.

As such, runners were provided with reusable foldable water bottles or brought their own water bottles.

It was touted as the only run where no single-use plastic cups or water bottles were given out. However, runners were able to refill their water bottles using reusable water tanks and pumps at the designated water stations.

Sazali Katimin, 30, and his wife Shaira Anisah, 29, were seen pushing their nine-month-old son in a pram at the run.

“We joined the event as this is the first Nat Geo Earth Day Run in Malaysia.

“I also learned that we can use reusable water bottles to reduce waste,” Shaira said.

Fox Networks Group senior vice-president Malaysia and Singapore Territory head Vineet Puri said, “The National Geographic Earth Day Run combines people’s passion for fitness and health to advocate a better, healthier lifestyle. Malaysians can adapt their learning from this event to cut down on their usage of single-use plastic and eventually develop a zero-waste habit that starts from the comfort of their home.

“We hope the run can become a catalyst of change for Malaysians to start living sustainably.”

Property developer Gamuda Land was the official venue sponsor for the run.

Other partners include unifi TV, Fox Sports, Stadium Astro and Nivea Men.

Gamuda Land chief executive officer Ngan Chee Meng said, “Sustainability to us, is not just about providing ample greenery and lush environment.

“Before we craft each of our towns, we looked at their natural attributes, studied how the land rose and fell, where the waterways flowed and the types of trees and plants that grew there.

“We maintained what good the land offered, enhanced what needed help and blended them into our neighbourhoods and town centres.”

During the race pack collection, Zero Waste Malaysia held an exhibition at TwentyFive.7, a project by Gamuda Land to showcase a “zero waste home”.

It showed ways to minimise waste generated from the household and displayed alternative options for everyday use that can replace plastic usage.

In 2016, the run was held on the same day in Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong.