My recent trip to Bali was an inspiring one. Instead of sitting in a car for hours and rushing from one tourist destination to another; I embraced the slow-paced life of the Balinese and appreciate the unique beauty of the island.
One of my most remarkable experiences was the BII Maybank Marathon. We left our hotel at 3.30 am (!!) to make it to this world-class sporting event and be there to cheer the runners on!
By 430am, runners from all over the world were here doing their registration, warming up and preparing themselves.
To recap, BII Maybank Marathon is an annual road race event held in Bali. The Bali Marathon will have three categories— the 42.195-kilometer full marathon, a half marathon and a 10-kilometer marathon. There will also be a Wheelchair Category (5km) and Children’s Sprint. The total prize money is lucrative – USD 150,000!
Beautiful Nara and me
We spotted elite runners from all over the world looking all motivated and well prepared.
I like how the organizer embraces local tradition by incorporating traditional Balinese dance as part of the opening ceremony. Balinese dance is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – the music chanted out a haunting, repetitive melody, while the dancers spun and whirled. I was impressed with the dancers’ talents – amazing body gestures and facial expressions.
The organizer has put in place medical volunteers to offer first aid services to marathon competitors and to deal with injuries or accidents (if there is any).
The BII Maybank Marathon began with a lot of enthusiasm and positive vibe in the air.
The runners ran along the course with lots of encouragement from the locals.
Our hats off to the wheelchair athletes. They have the means to inspire able-bodied and disabled persons alike. It makes me think that nothing is impossible and I should really challenge myself by doing the half marathon next year!
After 1 hour 03 minutes and 2 hours18 minutes, the first runners for half marathon and full marathon came back. These people ran at about 20km/hour! We had a fellow Malaysian who emerged as the second runner up for the full marathon category (2 hour 22 minutes). Well done Dennis!
Check out the race result here.
Whether it was 40km or 5km track; completing a marathon is no easy feat, and one’s body and mind require a lot of training beforehand and determination during the race. Every single runner should be respected.
BII Maybank Marathon was an eye opening experience for me – the event is world class. I’ve participated in a few marathons myself but the scale and the crowd of this event was just amazing! The course is fully compliant with the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races guidelines for marathon routes as well as offering stunning views of Bali’s scenic villages. I totally look forward to BII Maybank Marathon in year 2014!