ON Sunday, I participated in the 2013 Trukai Fun Run for the first time.
For the annual event that has been around since July 2000, it was quite an experience seeing Port Moresby streets around Gordons and along Waigani Drive filling up with a lot of children, teenagers, adults, toddlers and even babies in pushers dressed in the yellow Trukai-coloured T-shirts.
It was said that this year’s Port Moresby’s run saw the largest group to participate numbering about 35,000.
Photo: Some of those who participated in the 2013 Trukai Fun Run in Port Moresby.
Everybody made their way towards the Sir John Guise Stadium as early as 6am where speeches were made in the presence of the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, the Sports and Pacific Games Minister Justin Tkatchenko and other senior officials with the PNG Sports Federation, PNG Sports Foundation and other organisations.
When the run was started at the traffic lights beside the City Hall, crowds of runners were still making their way out of the gates of the stadium opposite Vision City.
As I came out of the John Guise Drive and looked along the Waigani Drive towards 4-Mile way, I could not see the end of first lot of runners.
In fact, for most of us apart from the group in front it was not a run, but a walk, because there was no real running space.
From observation, everybody seemed to have enjoyed the event.
I found it amazing to see nicely-dressed toddlers pulled along by the parents or guardians.
“They must have woke up at 5.30 in the morning, washed and dressed up to participate in this event,” I thought to myself.
The soldiers and young people – including some sports representatives - acted as Marshalls to keep the runners going in the right direction as well as stopping vehicles from getting into the lanes where the runners were.
Other soldiers and a group of Police recruits were also involved in the run itself.
The run started at about 7.00am at the northern end of the stadium (beside the NCD City Hall) and by 8.00am we were making our way into the main stadium area at the southern end after walking down south Waigani Drive, taking the Freeway to Courts (Spring Garden Road), following the Kennedy Circuit before taking the Cameron Road back up (passing by Club 21) and again entering the stadium (at the southern end).
From my calculation, if I walked at the pace of 1.5m in one second, I must have walked 5.4km that morning, the longest I have walked this year.
Beginning in July 2000, the annual Fun Run exists to raise funds for the nation to send off teams to the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Pacific Games and the Mini Pacific Games representatives.
Trukai Rice’s websites states that during 2011/12, the annual Fun Run raised K500,000 for Papua New Guinea’s Olympic Team, while also promoting awareness of HIV/AIDS via messaging on 80,000 Fun Run Shirts. The Fun Run is one of the only social sporting events nationwide and it is particularly unique as it brings communities together to join in a fun event which supports and raises awareness of prevalent social issues.
The money raised in this year’s Trukai Fun Run would go to help Team PNG participating in the 2013 Pacific Mini Games in Wallis and Futuna in September.