Just in case you didn’t see this story in Asian media back in 2004, it’s too priceless not to share. Apparently, the number 3 is so lucky in traditional Chinese culture for some, one Beijing man spent $215,000 to buy this mobile number: 133-3333-3333.
The only reason 1 appears in the 11-digit sequence is because all phone numbers in China begin with a “1” or he might have paid more just to have that perfect row of threes.
Why should you care about the number 3? Because the third race in the Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run by AIA Vitality series is set to be run on 7th January, 2017 in Johor, so if you’re looking to fill your marathon calendar and crave a victory to start off your year right, head for Puteri Harbour on Layar Drive in Nusajaya. Bring your conditioned body, your favourite running shoes and your good luck charms.
After all, you’ll be running on the 7th day in the year 2017, so if 3 doesn’t ensure your lucky finish, perhaps those 7s will!
From magazine to marathon: a success story
Not every U.S. magazine finds a home abroad, but in the case of “Men’s Health,” Asia has proven to be a terrific market because so many Southeast Asians are committed on healthy lifestyles. Just about everything “Men’s Health” covers is welcome editorial—from healthy foods, exercise tips, gear reviews and event news, every topic athletes care about is covered in this publication.
When Mongoose took over the Malaysian publication of Men's Health in 2013, it took very little time for this publication to become the nation’s No. 1 men’s magazine and in early 2015, Mongoose launched Women’s Health, which quickly became Mongoose’s highest-selling publication.
These days, over 300,000 readers read the titles monthly, so when they began sponsoring marathons, runners/readers were delighted.
The Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run already blazed a trail of success in 2016 with its new partner AIA Vitality to roll out Malaysia’s first multi-location series of marathons. The premier event took place in Penang on 2nd April followed by the 30th July night run staged in Putrajaya.
The final Night Run is poised to set attendance records in Johor on 7th January 2017. If you’ve already taken part in the first two and are on your way to a trifecta medal, good for you! If Johor is to be your first leg, no worries. You will be welcomed into the family and enjoy the time of your life, both on the circuit and off.
About the race
Because this marathon has been added to Southeast Asia’s growing list of night runs, you can expect it to be not just a competition but a fun celebration, too. First, runners choose from three distance categories - a 5km fun run, 12km or 21km race.
The official colour for Johor is a beautiful shade of blue, so if you ran the other two events in the series, doing the third will help you complete your t-shirt collection representing Penang (orange) and Putrajaya (red). Chalk up all three and you will be awarded a trifecta medal that race organisers say comes with all bragging rights!
Because the “Men’s Health” brand is so popular, runners will find more treasures in their goodie bags than usual, so expect your official drawstring bag to be filled to the brim. Thus far, the Men’s Health and Women’s Health bag is to contain an eclectic mix of premiums and gifts that include Petron Porsche car models, Adidas and Optimax eye exam vouchers, Philips Personal Care product discounts, pocket tissue, glow-in-the-dark wristbands, men’s and women’s shampoo samples.
Organisers say that there is more to come, so plan to bring it all home as well as your signature blue t-shirt, finisher's medal and - if you run the race of your life - one of the prizes top finishers will receive.
Nancy plans to run her third!
It’s always fun to talk with someone who commits to a long-range goal, so we were thrilled to meet Nancy. She’s already got two Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Run t-shirts in her drawer and there’s room left for the third, which she intends to collect on 7th January.
As an AIA Vitality member, their sponsorship meant a lot to this lively runner because she earns AIA Vitality Points with each race, too. Nancy admits that she trains harder when she’s about to compete, so this nicely-placed schedule of runs has kept her in perpetual good shape for most of 2016.
Nancy has a soft spot in her heart for night races because she doesn’t have to worry about crossing the finish line wearing an outfit that’s literally soaked in sweat! Not completely confident that she could finish the 12km, she ran the 5km at Penang and Putrajaya, but intends to pull out all stops in Johor by registering for the 12km. Maybe, she giggles, she will be brave enough to do a future 21km.
“Running the first two gave me the courage I need to push myself. Besides, I made new friends and will see them at Runner’s Village after the Johor event ends. If the entertainment is half as much fun as it was following the first two Men’s Health Women’s Health Night Runs, this will be quite the carnival, although some of us will be sad to say goodbye to each other. On the other hand, I’m eager to soak up post-run perks within Runner's Village; complimentary massages, health checks and running tips from runners I admire. We will all leave Johor with wonderful memories, hoping that we will some day run together again. That day can't come fast enough for me!”
Have you developed a ritual or do you wear lucky garments or charms when you compete? We’d love to hear all about your lucky charms, if you don’t mind sharing!