PADANG MERBOK, 31 MARCH 2013, 7:00 A.M.

On 31 March 2013, at the break of dawn, Padang Merbok, Kuala Lumpur was fast morphing into a slightly frenzied arena with a slew of runners gearing up for the flag-off of the inaugural MAKNA Founder’s Run (MFR) 2013. The run had attracted a total of 3,200 runners belonging to diverse backgrounds from various parts of the country but mostly from the Klang Valley. With the majority of the participants in white tees, the run started without a hitch and in a matter of minutes, some of the runners were already settling in nicely, setting the pace from the very outset.

Participants for MFR 2013 ran under seven different categories. The younger runners, who came with their parents, tried their best to keep up with the older runners but most of them ended up walking all the way to the finishing line. Clearly, they were just happy to be among the crowd. Earlier on, before the race began, fitness instructors from Celebrity Fitness had kindly led the warm-up session and ensured the runners properly stretched themselves out.

The flag off times for different categories were staggered which is normal for a race with different ages and distances. The main category, 12km run was flagged off by MAKNA Founder and President, Dato’ Mohd Farid Ariffin with the next batch under the 7km category comprising MFR 2013 Platinum Sponsor, TNH Group, cancer survivors and celebrities such as Amber Chia, Thanuja Ananthan, Wilson Tan and Shaharuddin Hashim followed ten minutes later. The last group consisting of children had a moment of their own when they were unleashed for the 3km distance at 7.20 am.

Running in the children’s category, Umar Fariq, 4 years old, the grandson of Dato’ Farid took a leisurely stroll from the beginning till the finishing line. Umar’s late dad, Farul Rafiq was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 17 years old. He later received a stem cell transplant in the UK and eventually, recovered. At that time, Dato’ Farid was the country’s Deputy Health Minister, and he was inspired by Farul’s experience to set up MAKNA when it dawned upon him how difficult it would be for poor cancer patients to afford treatment. He later made a bold decision and he left his Cabinet position. And the rest, as they say is history. Today, MAKNA has survived 20 years providing services and assistance to poor cancer patients and various communities in all parts of the country. (Note: Farul passed away in August 2011, due to fibrosis of the lung)

In his speech, Dato’ Mohd Farid Ariffin thanked the participants, sponsors and volunteers for rising up and joining hands in the fight against cancer. “Each one of you here has contributed in helping to boost the morale of cancer patients as well as contributing to the message that cancer is not a battle that has to be fought alone”. He said it was humbling for him to see so many people being able to gain accessibility to treatment through MAKNA’s assistance, thereby improving the chance of recovery.

The prize giving ceremony went as planned except for the part involving the 3km Fun Run category. After Dato’ Farid had presented the main prizes, it then came down to the selection of the winners of the 3km run which were decided based on the loudness of the crowd’s cheer for a participant! Imagine the sheer boisterousness at work here!

All the support, cheering and words of encouragement we received for MAKNA Founder’s Run 2013 were something we thoroughly appreciated. Let’s look forward for more excitements and fun filled activities at the next run!


1 NOVEMBER 2014, 6:00 P.M.



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