KUCHING: The persistent rain did not deter the spirit of 50 teams which took part in the second edition of the Kuching Heritage Race yesterday.
The participants were flagged off at 8am and the last team returned at 11.30am. The teams were to race through the streets of Kuching and complete the race within a certain time. If they answered heritage questions correctly, three minutes would be deducted from the participants’ race time.
According to a committee member, Karen Shepherd, the aim was to discover the hidden cultural heritage of Kuching through a fun, learning experience for all 250 runners.
“The Kuching Heritage Race also supports a heritage-related project – the Segu Bungalow Restoration Project (undertaken by Friends of Sarawak Museum (FoSM)) as well as two charitable bodies, The Ten Ringgit Club and Heart Treasures. The race is a community event that involves the contribution of locals from all walks of lives,” said Karen.
First to third place went to SEB 3 (102.23 minutes), Frape 2.0 (134.79 mins) and BA1 Batang Ai (138.28 mins) to take home cash prizes of RM1,000, RM500 and RM250. Team SEB 3 decided to return part of the winnings, with RM400 to be distributed to FoSM, Ten Ringgit Club and Heart Treasures.
Aside from finishing fastest, additional prizes were given out for
Best Dressed as teams dressed up in different themes – some in full camouflage gear, traditional costumes but the one that took the cake was the team dressed in bunny masks, complete with ears and fluffy bob tails. There were also prizes for Best Team Spirit and Most Social.
Karen disclosed that the race managed its target since the donation collected was slightly more than the RM40,000-target. RM20,000 went to the Segu Bungalow project and RM10,000 each to Heart Treasures and The Ten Ringgit Club.
The sponsorship took a unique twist this time, as each donation was reflected in 80 individual painted squares which form a whole picture together. A picture of three boats on the river was chosen and then divided into 80 squares. A blank square was allotted to each donation of RM500 and the donors were tasked to paint based on the given square of the picture.
It was the brainchild of another committee member, also Kuching In&Out chief executive officer and editor Marian Chin.
“The painters don’t know what the other is painting as they were given two weeks to complete it at a paint shop that sponsored the paints when they come in at different times. So when the pieces are put together, it becomes an abstract artwork,” she said when met at the prize presentation yesterday.
She added that donors largely only signed the cheque and that was it, but via this method, their donation took form and was appreciated by everyone who saw the artwork.