When KK has an event it is a doozy. I attended the jazz festival here and it was a gala affair with eloquent décor, food and hot music. It was packed with enthusiastic people enjoying music for two days. The music ranged for jazz fusion/rhythm bands, pop style singers and even a rock show band from the USA. The tickets were not cheap so the packed crowd many of which were young showed the huge rise in the middle class in Malaysia. The festival was a hoot!
Next on the social calendar was the annual Sutera Harbour 7K Sunset Run. The excitement built for many weeks as the staff all wore their run t-shirts daily. This is the twelfth running and last year boasted 12,000 participants. A large rain squall hit the resort an hour before start time but passed by quickly. I went to the event grounds, placed in the covered tennis court area, and was amazed to see the sea of white t-shirts. As with other events this one was staged exquisitely. The food court was manned by local charities and presented a huge array of tasty treats.
The excitement built as the dance music thumped us all into a frenzy and a troupe of jazz er size girls led a dance. Cameras flashing and poses made the young Malaysians were having a blast. The race started with a symphony of load horn as we dashed—actually crawled –to the start line. The place was so packed it took me over ten minutes to actually cross the start line. The twelve thousand mark had been hit and it was a mass of people.
The course took us through the resort and on to the main road which was closed for the run. I do not run fast at all but I could not keep even my turtle like pace with the huge crowd. It was more a social event than run for most of us. It appeared the serious runners were put at the front of the start and we could see them as the course doubled back. I was content to enjoy the leisurely jog and watch the festive locals play.
As expected there were many devout Islamic followers in the race and many wore the Burka head coverings, which must have been hard to run with in the heat. Like the scuba class I watched they devotion over takes any practical considerations and the Burkas stay on. It does not seem to be a problem and I suspect like most things, it is just a matter of getting used to it. I have yet to find out who wears them and why, it seems amixed obligation.
I crossed the finish line which was more of a photo op than end to a race and joined the revelers under the huge tent for food and music. The jazz er size girls were leading a mass dance as if the run was not enough.
The run is a benefit for the local Special Olympic team, a cause I have always supported and a group dedicated to the cure of a blood disease that plaques Malaysians. At 28 rm (9 dollars) a t-shirt they made a good haul for the charities. This is touted as being the largest charity event in KK and I have no doubts it is.
This was yet another time where the warm, fun and loving spirit of the SE Asians shone brightly. A light I have learned to cherish.