PENAMPANG: The Hongkod Koisaan 10K Run was dominated by Kenyan James Karanja and John Njihia when both runners took the first and second places of the men’s open category.
After being flagged off by Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan at the KDCA building at 6.20 am yesterday, 25-year-old James took only 32 minutes to finish the 10-kilometre track, followed by John a few minutes later.
The duo, who are residing in Kuala Lumpur, had flown to Kota Kinabalu only on Saturday just to take part in the race.
“I found out about this race from the website so I came here with John because he participated in similar races in Sabah before,” James said, adding that it is his first time being in Sabah and would not be the last.
Meanwhile, the women’s open category was won by SUKMA 2006 Racewalking athlete, Hyenie Roslin Danius, 28, of Penampang.
Competitive by nature and no stranger to long distance runs, she said that this is the first race she participated in since giving birth to her first child a couple of months ago.
“I exercise every day although I am a mother and working at the same time. I normally run after work for an hour every day,” she said, adding that everyone should make time for exercise as health is wealth.
For 45-year-old Kona Liau, who is a seasoned champion of many running events, winning the women’s veteran open category was not a surprise.
When asked for her winning secret, she said that she had been running for 24 years, and still runs every day.
“I grew up in Kampung Dandun, Pitas where there were no roads then, so I’m used to walking and running. Even until now, I run at 3am on weekends, and at 7am on weekdays in between sending my children to school and going to work.
“For those who want to take up running, they must have high discipline and be self-motivated,” she added.
The men’s veteran category was won by Yusop Yungkop.
Winner of each category received a cash prize of RM800 while the other top ten finishers received cash prices and medals as well.
Meanwhile, Pairin said that such activity should be encouraged as it contributes towards the government’s aspiration of having healthy citizens by 2020.
At the same time, he said the run also promotes the spirit of camaraderie and kinship among the participants regardless of their backgrounds.
“I am happy to note that more than 900 people signed up and not less than 850 turned up for the run. This is a remarkable achievement by the event organiser, the KDCA Youth Council committee and Casero Events, considering that this is the council’s first such activity. I hope this run will become a yearly event,” he added.
Also present were KDCA deputy president Datuk Seri Clarence Bongkos Malakun and other KDCA Central Committee members.
Among the sponsors for the event were ITCC, Sejamas Group, KH Shutters, Mandara Spa, WSG Group, Decojuta Developments Sdn Bhd, Tri-Prosper Sdn Bhd and 999 Bar.
(Source from The Borneo Post July 18, 2016, Monday)