Bali. After a two-year pandemic pause, the long-awaited Maybank Marathon finally returned to Bali on Sunday.
Maybank Marathon 2022 had 10,000 runners —of different categories, ages, nationalities— aiming for the finish line.
Early in the morning, runners began crowding the Bali Safari & Marine Park in Gianyar, which was both the starting and finish line of the road race.
It was at 4.30 a.m. sharp when Maybank sent off the first batch of runners; namely the marathon category participants. Before the flag off, the runners had to do some stretches before taking on the 42.195-kilometer course which included Medahan and Belega villages, to name a few.
The half marathon runners were the second group to be sent off. Maybank reported that the half marathon was this year’s most popular category, accounting for almost 40 percent of the participants. As soon as the Maybank representative waved the black-and-white racing flag, a throng of people —with red-colored bib numbers on their chests— immediately started running past the starting line towards the 21.1-kilometer meter course. The flag-off was followed by the 10K marathon and later on, the wheelchair-category.
Rain started to pour down when the Maybank Marathon already sent off most of its participants. So runners not only had to test their mettle on a hilly terrain, but they also had to cope with the rain.
For some runners, the rain was a blessing. “God gave us rain, so we did not need to spray water all over our bodies. So the weather was cool,” Women’s Marathon National Category winner Odekta told reporters.
Runner Rikki Marthin Luther Simbolon said that he had a cramp due to the weather. Even so, he managed to emerge as the winner of the Men’s Marathon National category.
Men's Half Marathon Open winner Mathew Samperu was the first to arrive at the finish line. The Kenyan runner recorded a finish time of 1:02:08, earning him a cash prize of Rp 80 million (around $5,373).
As the day went on, more and more people —drenched in rain and sweat— crossed the finish line. Some runners immediately bowed down to thank God for finishing the marathon. Others were seen immediately took out their phones to snap a marathon selfie and high-fived one another.
This year marks a decade of Maybank Marathon.