Running with black ribbons in remembrance of lost ones on flights MH17 and MH370
As we reach the end of Ramadan, my weekly Friday long slow distance (LSD) runs with the Gaited Community are also winding down. Friday, 25 July 2014, was our last one for this year and I am happy that I was able to join them for most of the month in my preparation for KL Marathon.
Running in the fasting month has not been without its challenges. These late night runs demand you to be motivated and dedicated, not to mention strong and awake after a whole day of refraining from food and water. The fact that we run in Putrajaya means we need to drive long distances back home, which can be quite dangerous if you are tired and sleepy. Which is why we insist that every member leaves a message in our Whatsapp group announcing their safe arrival home.
On this last Ramadan LSD run, I wanted to make it more meaningful, so I asked Aniza to make black ribbons that we could wear while running to remember the people who had died and gone missing on Malaysia Airlines flights MH17 and MH370. Aniza went to shop for ribbons at a shop nearby her home but could not find any in black, so she bought a spool of white ribbon and actually coloured it black with permanent black marker! The safety pins she used to glue at the back of the cut-up ribbons were from ones that she got from her race kits, so it was a good way to recycle them.
Thanks for helping with the ribbons, Aniza. Your diligence is extraordinary.
Our running menu for the night was 16/19/21km, so before we ran I distributed the ribbons so that every runner could wear them (there were about 17 of us).
After 2.5 hours we were done with our training, and we congregated to refuel with some rambutan fruits and other delicacies on the steps of Palace of Justice.
I noticed there was a Malaysia Airlines office opposite where we were, so I decided that we needed to take a group photo there with our black ribbons pinned on our running tops. It seemed appropriate to pose with the Malaysia Airlines logo looming above our heads.
As we poise to celebrate the end of Ramadan and the start of Syawal, we take a moment to remember the families who have experienced the loss of someone they loved onboard these two ill-fated flights, MH17 and MH370. We also mourn for the heroic and dedicated crew members of Malaysia Airlines who perished with them – I simply cannot look at their corporate headshots without tears forming in my eyes. We also hope the national carrier will be able to overcome the challenges that the loss of these two planes have presented.
Wishing all my fellow Muslim readers a Happy and Blessed Eid, Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin – and to the rest, happy holidays. Hug and cherish your loved ones today!