LAST_UPDATEThu, 21 Jun 2018 7pm

1,700 Cyclists From Around The World Gather For Second Edition Of IJN ‘Ride 4 Your Heart’

Malaysia’s leading heart institution the National Heart Institute (IJN), with the help of sports events promoter GoSportz, successfully organised the second edition of Ride 4 Your Heart cycling event yesterday (November 26) at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC).

Around 1,700 cyclists from 18 countries participated in the event, higher than last year’s edition by 200 cyclists. Participants were given the option to either cycle via the challenging 115km scenic route filled with difficult climbs and undulating terrain, or a 28km casual ‘Fun Ride’ route.

The route, which cuts through 130-million-year old rainforest and rural areas of Semenyih, Peres, Kuala Klawang, Lenggeng and Broga, is one that is very popular among cycling enthusiasts.

The event saw participation by cyclists not only from Malaysia, but from other countries such as United Kingdom, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Netherlands, Argentina, Australia and Ireland. For those who were not used to the humid Malaysian climate, it definitely added to the challenge of completing the route.

Carsten, a cyclist from Germany, found the humidity of Malaysian weather to be an added challenge in the event.Carsten, a cyclist from Germany, found the humidity of Malaysian weather to be an added challenge in the event.“The whole route was very fantastic, filled with different terrains and hills. However, compared to cycling back home, this route was harder for me as the humidity got to me a little bit,” said Carsten, a veteran cyclist from Germany.

Carsten, who works for Mercedes Benz, one of the main sponsors for the event aside Libroff, 100 Plus and Ultron, is also a triathlete. And despite living for one and a half years in Malaysia, he shared that he is still adjusting to challenges of doing physical activities in such humid weather.

The first finishers of the 115km route were Amir Mustafa Rusli (03:18:46) for the men’s open category, Mohd Azim Md Idris (03:19:02) for the veteran men’s open category, and Nurul Suhada Zainal (03:34:52) for the women’s open category.

IJN chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub was pleased with the outcome of the event which was also held in conjunction with IJN’s 25th anniversary.

Besides bringing people together, Mohd Azhari shared that IJN has always been a strong advocate of a healthy and active lifestyle.

“As the nation’s heart hospital, I think we are well-poised to raise awareness of healthy lifestyle, and cycling is a very good form of cardio exercise that is good for the heart,” the CEO who is an avid cyclist himself and took part in the 115-km category remarked.

As part of IJN’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, Mohd Azhari said the healthcare provider will host the event again in the future, and even has plans to adopt a famous cycling route in Genting Sempah.

“By adopting the route, we can maintain the route’s cleanliness, build some rest facilities for the cyclists, and put up road signs for motorists to be aware of cyclists,” he explained.

Meanwhile GoSportz race director Albertt Leong said he was honoured to be collaborating with IJN for the second time, and looks forward to creating more sporting events that raise awareness of heart disease and promote a healthier lifestyle.

“We would like to thank all our sponsors for making this cycling event a success. We would also like to express our appreciation and gratitude to the Polis Diraja Malaysia for their continued support and co-operation in ensuring a safe, fun and smooth ride for all the participants.”

Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub (left) and Albertt Leong.Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Azhari Yakub (left) and Albertt Leong.

While cycling generally promotes good health, according to Mohd Azhari who is also a senior consultant cardiac surgeon, cycling is very good cardio fitness exercise, as it raises the heart rate and allows it to function at an optimal level.

“Regular cycling halves the chance of getting cardiovascular diseases like stroke,” concluded Mohd Azhari who shared that between 2005 and 2014, the Statistics Department recorded that heart disease has remained the principal cause of death among Malaysians.

-- mD