SEA Games gold medalist Mok wins inaugural MediaCorp Hong Bao Run 2014 and One lucky participant literally ran away with an $88,888 hong bao in the mega lucky draw to celebrate Chinese New Year in style
(Singapore, 9 February 2014) – Fresh from winning Singapore’s first marathon gold medal at the recent SEA Games in Myanmar, Mok Ying Ren showed that he was equally adept at shorter distances as well by running away with the men’s title at the inaugural MediaCorp Hong Bao Run 2014, held at the Nicoll Highway this morning.
The female winner was another prominent local runner, Suzanne Walsham, 40, who also recently won the Empire State Building Run-up for the 5th time. With their victories, they each walked away with the top prize purse of $2,888 in cash, which is one of the highest for running events of similar distances in Singapore.
But they were not the only big winners on the day as one lucky participant See Hak Loo banked in a whopping $88,888 in cash by winning the giant hong bao in the MediaCorp Hong Bao Run’s mega lucky draw, which was held after the run.
The 56-year-old storeman’s name was picked from thousands of eligible participants who qualified for the lucky draw by finishing the race. The MediaCorp Hong Bao Run 2014 is the first running event to be organised after the recent Chinese New Year festivities and the mega lucky draw was the event’s key attraction, in line with the CNY theme.
Despite the fact that the event was held just a week after the CNY celebrations, the event still attracted a crowd of some 5,000 participants, along with a star-studded line up of local celebrities, including the stars of the upcoming telemovie “Hong Bao and Kisses” – Felicia Chin, and Joshua Tan, as well as other household names like Ben Yeo, Jayley Woo, Xu Bin, Ian Fang and a host of popular radio jocks like Mike Kasem, Wallace Ang, Dicong, Chen Ning, D’zar, Jaynesh, Bobby Tonelli and Jiafa.
Fans and followers of MediaCorp’s programmes of course took this opportunity to get up close and personal with their favourite television and radio personalities, with many swarming around the stars for photographs.
Earlier in the morning, radio deejays Lim Peifen (Y.E.S. 93.3FM) and Glenn Ong (Class 95FM) pumped up the crowd while local crooners Jack and Rai kept the crowd entertained. Many of the runners also turned up in Chinese New Year-theme fancy dress outfits, with more than a few Gods of Fortune at the start line, much to the delight of their fellow runners and celebrity runners like Chin.
“I saw a lot of people dressed up so it’s a really fun event!” said the 29-year-old actress. “I exercise regularly so I’m already looking forward to my next marathon. The MediaCorp Hong Bao Run has reignited my passion for running!”
But the highlight of the day without a doubt was the mega lucky draw held after the run. The chance to win $88,888 in cash proved to be a strong motivation for the bulk of the participants to stay on after the race, which is unusual, as runners tend to disperse quickly after such running events.
When the name of the lucky draw winner was announced, he could hardly contain his joy and celebrated with repeated fist pumps before going on stage to collect his prize from guest-of-honour Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, who also flagged off the race and ran the full 8km.
“I am very surprised and honoured, I feel very blessed by the God of Fortune!” said an elated See. “I don’t know what I’m going to spend the money on but I think I’ll probably give a portion to charity!”
Meanwhile, 26-year-old Mok and Walsham snagged the top prize for the male and female categories with times of 26:41.59 and 28:34.21 respectively to set the benchmark for future MediaCorp Hong Bao Runs.
“I’m very happy to come in first,” said Mok. “It’s been a tough two months for me after the SEA Games. It’s been challenging as I just finished three days outfield training last Friday so I’ve only been running once a week! I’m really glad I did well at this run. It’s a great way to celebrate the Chinese New Year.”
Added Walsham, a Singapore PR who has been residing in Singapore since 2007: “I’m really tired and still suffering from jet lag so I’m really happy! It was an amazing race and I enjoyed the course as it was nice and flat. It’s great to have been part of the Chinese New Year celebrations.”
Besides the grand lucky draw prize of $88,888, there were also 10 other lucky draw prizes of $888. Three participants who gamely dressed up in the spirit of Chinese New Year to take part in the fancy dress contest also walked off with hong baos of $888 each.
“This is a truly unique running event where every participant has a chance to bring home a prize just by signing up and we are thrilled by the response,” said Mr Steven Choo, Chairperson of the Organising Committee for the inaugural MediaCorp Hong Bao Run. “We look forward to a bigger and better Mediacorp Hong Bao Run next year!”