The “ASEAN Rickshaw Run 2012” reached its final destination this afternoon at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. Thanks to success of last year’s first Run, this second run flagged off on 11 March 2012, from Krabi, Thailand, to Jakarta. Seventy-three adrenaline seekers, divided into 24 bemos, started their journey using the least vehicle that comes to mind for travelling through rough terrains: Motorized Rickshaw (Bemo-Becak Motor) — a 3-wheeler vehicle with 175 cc air cooled engine made in Solo, Indonesia.
The team was welcomed by ASEAN Deputy Secretary-General for Community and Corporate Affairs Mr Bagas Hapsoro; Deputy Governor of Jakarta responsible for Culture and Tourism Mr Sukesti Martono; Permanent Representative of Republic of Indonesia to ASEAN Mr I Gede Ngurah Swajaya; Director for Dialogue Partners and Regional Cooperation Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Indonesia Mr Rahmat Pramono; representative from Ministry of Youth and Sports of Republic of Indonesia Ms Adiyati Noordin; media, and the public.
Last October, the Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr Surin Pitsuwan and the Governor of Jakarta Mr Fauzi Bowo flagged off 66 brave adventurists from the ASEAN Secretariat building. While all 66 participants were spotted in the finish line in Krabi, Thailand, only 25 out of 28 Bemos successfully arrived. Three of the Bemos had severe engine damages.
“The activity will reach out to many people along the way….The event could help to promote the beauty and connectivity of ASEAN to the eyes of the world, and foster close relationships among team members and the people of ASEAN along the journey,” said Dr. Surin. “The ASEAN Rickshaw Run is the first in this region, but I hope that the success this year will encourage us to turn this into an annual event—featuring the diversity in each of our country,” he continued.
And indeed, on 11 March 2012, the event re-occurred —with even more participants than the last. The ASEAN Rickshaw Run 2012 was again flagged off by Dr. Surin. “We have extensive plans over the next 10 years to develop the connecting infrastructure in the region. What you are doing is demonstrating connectivity in the ASEAN region,” the Secretary-General expressed to participants in Krabi.
The teams this week pushed their creaking three-wheelers through Sumatra Island’s terrain toward Java Island by Crossing Sunda strait via Bakaheuni, Lampung.
The ASEAN Rickshaw Run is being organized by The Adventurists, an English award-winning adventure company which specializes in running extreme global adventures to raise money for charities in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat.
“Actually, there’s no guarantee of the teams making it to the finish line and no back-up. It’s just them, half a horse power of engineering genius and every obstacle an unfamiliar continent can put in their way,” said Adventurists’ CEO, Tom Morgan. “We want them to get lost, stuck, and lost again, more stuck and waist deep in mud and mangroves.”
The ASEAN Rickshaw Run 2011 raised £ 30,000 for charity. As much as £ 12,500 went to Harapan Forest in Sumatra via Birdlife International Foundation and the rest went to participants’ own choice charities.
A part of this year’s fund raised will again go to Harapan Forest—as the world’s largest conservation partnership and the world’s leading authority on birds and their habitats.
“The funds raised from the ASEAN Rickshaw Run will also help the reforestation work and training of local people to become forest wardens. This will save many species from becoming extinct and make the world a better place,” stated DSG Bagas Hapsoro.
Updates from the participants are posted via www.theadventurists.com.