Bali run gaining popularity with rising participant numbers

Bali run gaining popularity with rising participant numbers
Runners at the BII Maybank Bali Marathon 2013 getting cheered on in Gianyar by young people in traditional Balinese costumes.

The annual Bali marathon will see higher participant turnout this year, partly thanks to its inclusion in an international race directory.

The organizers announced that 3,700 athletes, an increase from last year's 3,000, had registered for the 2014 BII-Maybank Bali Marathon (BMBM), which will be held on Sept. 14, in Gianyar, Bali.

"We are glad to see the increased enthusiasm of runners for the third edition of this event," project director of the 2014 BII-Maybank Bali Marathon Thila Nadason told reporters.

She hoped participant numbers would continue to increase up until the last day of walk-in registration at all BII branches on Aug. 29 and online registration via www.balimarathon.com on Sept. 7.

The first edition, which was held in 2012, saw around 2,000 participants.

"This year we are targeting up to 5,000 national and foreign runners. However, to make sure all runners enjoy the event, we will probably limit the number of participants to 4,500," said BMBM project manager Satyo Haryo Wibisono.

Among the registered runners are two-time BMBM full marathon champion Lilan Kennedy Kiproo of Kenya and his compatriot Luke Kibet, the 2012 half marathon champion and the runner up in the same category in 2013. Kibet will try to compete in the full marathon this year.

According to Indonesian Athletics Association (PASI) secretary-general Tigor Tanjung, national runners who have confirmed their participation in the event are, among others, Southeast Asian (SEA) Games long distance runner Nico Silas, Asmara Bara and sports legend Supriyati Sutono, a multi SEA Games gold medalist.

BMBM, which will start and finish at the Bali Safari and Marine Park, Gianyar, will be divided into four categories; full marathon, half marathon, 10 kilometers and children's sprint, which covers a distance between 100 meters and 450 m and is participated by children between 5 and 12 years old.

The runners will vie for US$150,000 in prizes.

"This year's event has been included in the official race directory of the Boston Marathon," said Nadason.

On account of the race's inclusion in the directory, those who successfully complete the full marathon in qualifying time will be able to register for the Boston Marathon.

"The difference between Bali Marathon and other races is that the Bali marathon will provide a scenic view," said Satyo.

The marathon's route has also obtained international certification from the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).

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