This week we are introducing Mohd Zairy Abdullah, otherwise known as Harry. Harry joined the Malaysia parkrun family in October of 2018 and has since completed eight parkruns, and volunteered nine times in both Taman Pudu Ulu and Presint 18, Putrajaya parkruns. Harry always has a smile on his face and is very willing, once going beyond the call of duty when he reached out to help bring some stranded tourists to and from parkrun.
Harry describes himself as ‘honest, caring and with a good sense of humour’ and believes strongly in maintaining a healthy work-life balance. ‘My aim in life is to serve people without any expectation’.
How did you get to hear about parkrun?
Before joining parkrun, I wasn’t as active as I’d like, and work often got in the way. A close friend, Roselyn, told me about Taman Pudu Ulu parkrun, which was near where we stay. She kept motivating me to change and stop making excuses!
I initially thought parkrun was a paid event but I was wrong; it is a free, timed walk/run and can be attended every week. After going home, it did not me take long to register, download and print my barcode. Since then, we go along together to Taman Pudu Ulu. For me, it is a good start to my weekend.
Since then I have become more active, and have fallen in love with parkrun. However, I’m more interested in becoming a volunteer, especially as a tail walker because I can get a run and volunteer credit. I really admire the senior parkrunners because some of them live far away but are willing to come to Taman Pudu Ulu parkrun to join the run or help to volunteer. If they can, why can’t I?
What is your favourite thing about parkrun?
At parkrun, I can meet people from different backgrounds and beliefs. I love exchanging opinions on sports, world views, current affairs, hobbies or anything else. I love to be surrounded by those who are active, positive and are passionate about doing their best in life. For me, waking up early on Saturday morning and joining parkrun is the best way to start my weekend productively.
What are your personal parkrun goals?
My parkrun goals are to volunteer as much as I can because I think this is the only way to give back to the community. Volunteering makes me feel good, happier and positive.
What are your hopes for parkrun in Malaysia?
parkrun is expanding in Malaysia and we have witnessed the launch of the new Presint 18, Putrajaya parkrun recently. The number of people turning up is growing each week. This should be a driving force for us to live a healthier way of life.
I hope more and more people nearby will participate in parkrun because it has zero cost. Skip your paid event and come to join us to run, jog or walk! Don’t worry about being the last person because the tailwalker will always be behind you.
How would you encourage first-timers to come along to parkrun?
I consistently share my stories and pictures on my social media pages to attract friends to get out on Saturday morning to parkrun. I always explain that this event is a free and timed run and do not expect a medal to take home. Also, don’t forget to print your barcode and bring it along to the next parkrun. Do not worry about the pace because it’s more important to be active and healthy and a member of the parkrun family.
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