- All running slots taken up within a week of opening
Kuala Lumpur – Some 368 Malaysians will be participating in the Maybank Bali Marathon to be held on 28 August this year – nearly 30% higher than the 286 who registered last year. They make up over 5% of the runners from 39 countries who have been confirmed for the event, which will be held in the district of Gianyar in the renowned holiday island of Bali, Indonesia.
Maybank Indonesia President Director Taswin Zakaria said the Bank was overwhelmed by the response to its annual marathon event, which will be held for the 5th time this round.
“We are especially thrilled to have so many Malaysians participating in our event, and assure them of a warm welcome as well as a unique experience unlike other marathons,” he said. “Malaysians have been one of the largest foreign nationalities in our marathons, and the number has grown from the initial 186 in 2012. I believe there would have been many more Malaysians if not for the fact that we had to close registration when the total number of participants exceeded our initial target.”
“We had initially wanted to cap the numbers at 6,000 but decided to increase it to over 7,000 as we did not want to disappoint the many running enthusiasts who have been looking forward to our event,” explained Taswin.
Taswin said that running slots were snapped up when registration opened recently and were closed within a week following tremendous response from marathon runners.
The Maybank Bali Marathon was the first international standard marathon to be held in Indonesia in 22 years when it started in 2012, with some 2000 participants. The event consists of the Full Marathon (42.195k), Half Marathon (21.0975k), 10K and the Children's Sprint. In addition, it has a wheelchair category to accommodate persons with disabilities to enjoy participation in a marathon event.
Continued Taswin, “The Maybank Bali Marathon is distinctive as it enables enthusiasts to enjoy the vibrant Balinese culture and breathtaking landscapes within scenic routes in Gianyar, while competing against some of the world’s best runners.”
“Our event is also unique as we have made it our purpose to help improve the economic status and social conditions of the community in Gianyar in line with Maybank’s mission to humanize financial services,” he added. “Over the past 5 years, we have been supporting schools in the area with educational and infrastructure facilities and helped upgrade a community clinic for mothers and children.
We have also undertaken environmental awareness programmes including cleanliness competitions to create greater appreciation for conservation among the villagers.”
Since 2015, the Bank has been supporting the disabled through economic empowerment programmes by providing financial support to the Centre for Disability in Bali especially to improve their productivity in producing wheelchairs and artificial limbs and further support to improve their standard of living of the community with disabilities. In addition, financial support was also given for the procurement of operational vehicles which will facilitate the mobility of persons with disabilities, including in distributing their products.
He said, “This year, we are going a step further by inviting participation from our runners, who are given the option to support the disabled in Bali by making a donation of Rp 5,000 and having their names printed on the bib (participants number). The funds collected will be contributed to the Corporate Responsibility initiatives (CR) undertaken by Maybank Indonesia, particularly to ease the burden of the disabled.
Since 2014, qualifying runners from the Maybank Bali Marathon have been eligible to register in the renowned Boston Marathon which is among the six World Major marathons (beside Berlin, New York, London, Chicago and Tokyo Marathon).