Costumed heroes compete for charity at annual Central Rat Race
Halloween is yet to arrive, but the costumes were out in full force yesterday as the Central Rat Race brought fundraisers dressed as Batman, pharaohs, pirates and more onto the streets.
More than 460 employees of 52 companies turned out for the event, which raised HK$3 million for Mindset, a charity supporting people with mental health issues. The amount was the highest raised since the annual race began in 2006.
Teams this year were required to run a relay with a yellow briefcase through eight obstacle courses, including a maze of inflatable yellow tunnels and a rope ladder, solve puzzles and finish challenges such as running in a pair of giant shoes while holding a newspaper and coffee mug.
The event route wound between several commercial buildings along Chater Road. A race for senior executives took a shorter, less demanding route, and NGO representatives and children aged five to eight took part in separate race categories.
The winners in the staff and executive races were both from commercial real estate services firm CBRE. Tim Gilmore, chief financial officer, said the company's team had been doing a lot of hiking before the event.
Craig Shute, senior managing director of CBRE, won the executive race. He had felt a little pressure representing the company. "Now I feel relieved," he said.
The award for the best-dressed team went to property consultancy DTZ, whose staff were dressed in inflated balloon suits of different colours complete with clown wigs. The award for most creative dress went to a couple working for Maxim's, who wore giant sushi suits.
Construction company Gammon raised HK$200,000 for the event. Their firm has raised the highest amount among all teams for eight years in a row.
The Mental Health Association won the NGO race.
Officiating at the event, Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said the event aims to promote work-life balance and raise awareness of mental health issues.
Now in its eighth year, the event has so far raised a total of HK$18 million.