The Legends of Presint 18 parkrun Chapter 8: Zulfikar MOKHTAR & family

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Question 1 - What is a typical day at parkrun?

We are always excited for parkrun. We will surely go to parkrun if we don’t have any other running events for the weekend. Once we’ve decided to go to parkrun for that particular weekend, that is the moment where our parkrun preparations begin. Juliwati and me usually discuss about what to wear and which strollers to use for parkrun. As soon as I arrive home from work on Friday, I will load 2 strollers into the car’s trunk and transfer both baby seats from Juliwati’s car to my car. Before going to bed, the kid’s food, extra clothing and our running equipment will be packed and kept in the car. As we have 2 small children & 7 pet cats at home, leaving the house quietly on Saturday morning isn’t easy. We wake up at 5am and carry out preparations for our 7 beloved cats (providing food and cleaning their room). Next, we will get ourselves ready for Fajr prayers. We then leave the house and arrive at Presint 18 by 7.15am. This gives us enough time to prepare the strollers, do some warm-up and light stretching.

Question 2 - What is the family’s parkrun history?

It all started back on 21 October 2018, where our beloved Malaysian Stroller Runners Community (MSRC) team captain, Ikmal Abdul Jabar posted on our community official Facebook page recommending team members who live nearby Putrajaya to register and support this event every Saturday morning. If we were not members of MSRC, we may have never known anything about parkrun. Both of us registered for parkrun but at that moment Juliwati was pregnant with our second child hence was not able to run. Fatimah, our elder child and me started our parkrun journey at the Presint 18 parkrun launch on 2 November 2018. Fatimah was only 1 year 7 months old at that time so she wasn’t eligible for a parkrun barcode. Our second child, Ibrahim and Juliwati started their parkrun journey on 1 January 2019 during Presint 18 parkrun New Year’s Day event. Ibrahim was only 2 months old at that time so again ineligible for a parkrun barcode. At almost every parkrun, I will push Fatimah in the stroller and Juliwati will push Ibrahim in the stroller. Once a while, I will push both of them in a double stroller. Juliwati is usually slower than me at parkrun so this gives Fatimah and me enough time to get back on the course and support Ibrahim and her to the finish. This is a beautiful sight for me as we will be running together as a family. Usually towards the end, we will let Fatimah to run on her own for the last few meters towards the finish funnel.

Question 3 - Why Presint 18?

Our home is located in Hillpark Home, Bandar Teknologi Kajang which is only 22km away from Presint 18 parkrun. It’s about a 20 minute-drive to reach there and it’s the closest parkrun to us. Also, the breath-taking scenery of the lake along the running route motivates us to come and run Presint 18 parkrun. One memorable moment we witnessed was a flock of birds flying low just above the lake surface. This sight is rare and unique. You can’t find it anywhere else.

Question 4 - What is the family’s parkrun goals?

Our main goals as a family joining parkrun is to have a fixed routine, living a healthy lifestyle and at the same time maintaining our family bond since we are working parents. Other than that, we would like to have an active social life meeting with other families and runners from different backgrounds as well as our mates from MSRC. Perhaps we can also motivate other parents like us by showing them that with small kids, we can still run and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.

Question 5 - As stroller runners, what would you and your wife advise first time or newbie stroller parkrunners?

If you love to run or jog and at the same time you have kids, stroller running is the best option for you. Don’t give excuses, just start now with whatever stroller you have. You don’t need a fancy and expensive jogger stroller to start stroller running. Bring whatever you have and try it out at Presint 18 parkrun where the route is very safe and stroller-friendly. If you and your kids love it, please do not hesitate to join our community to get more advice on stroller running. Remember the most important safety rule of stroller running is don’t forget to buckle your kids up while running in order to keep them safe at all times.

Question 6 - How do the children feel about parkrun?

Our children are still too small to enjoy parkrun since most of the time they are sleeping during parkrun. But recently our daughter started to enjoy parkrun by looking at the surroundings (nature and scenery) and by having the opportunity to run on her own towards the finish funnel. The best part for her is after the run, she will meet other friends from the MSRC family.

Question 7 - Tell us a memorable moment for the family at parkrun.

1 January 2019. This marked the day when all 4 of us ran together as a family at Presint 18 parkrun. This is where the memorable moment took place, Fatimah and I came back to accompany Ibrahim and Juliwati all the way to the finish funnel.

Question 8 - As members of the Malaysia Stroller Runners Community (MSRC), parkrun Malaysia’s second largest club (78-registered runners, 234 runs recorded to date), what impact has the club brought to parkrun in Malaysia?

As mentioned earlier, we might have not known about parkrun if we were not members of MSRC. Through MSRC, many members living nearby Putrajaya have ran once at Presint 18 parkrun and some have become regulars just like us. MSRC members not only come to Presint 18 parkrun as runners, some volunteer at parkrun as well.

Question 9 - What does the family think about volunteering at parkrun?

One fine day, we would love to be a part of the volunteer team for the parkrun. Even though this looks tough for us as we need to manage ourselves early in the morning with two kids that are still small but we will find a way to make this happen very soon. As a runner, we are motivated by the support given by the volunteers while we run. The most memorable thing we got from the volunteers are the amazing photos. This is one of the positive things that motivates us to be volunteers. Also, we will be able to give something back to the parkrun community.

 

Zulfikar MOKHTAR (A 5092079) – the father

Number of parkruns ran/walked - 14

Number of parkruns volunteered - 0

Juliwati AHMAD (A 5299630) – the mother

Number of parkruns ran/walked - 8

Number of parkruns volunteered – 0

Fatimah ZULFIKAR (coming soon…) – the child

Number of parkruns ran/walked – coming soon…

Number of parkruns volunteered – coming soon…

Ibrahim ZULFIKAR (coming soon…) – the child

Number of parkruns ran/walked – coming soon…

Number of parkruns volunteered – coming soon…

 

This is the eighth chapter of "The Legends of Presint 18 parkrun", an Independent Issue brought to you by the Presint 18 parkrun volunteer team. It will feature participants of Presint 18 parkrun regardless of whether that participant runs, walks or volunteers at Presint 18 parkrun.

If Presint 18 parkrun has had an amazing impact on your life or you would like your Presint 18 parkrun story to be shared on the next chapter of "The Legends of Presint 18 parkrun", please get in touch with us at presint18office@parkrun.com or speak to our volunteers any Saturday at Presint 18 parkrun.

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