The annual Maybank Bali Marathon (MBM) will be held this coming Sunday, 28 August 2016, in Gianyar, Bali. In its fifth year, the MBM will welcome more than 7,000 participants from 43 countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, USA, Europe, Australia and other countries in Asia.
MBM is infamous for offering participants a unique race experience that showcases the vibrant Balinese culture complemented with magnificent local landscapes. The traditional art performance comprising of music and dance put up enthusiastically along the course by thousands of locals, including school children from 27 schools, has been a longstanding attraction of the event since its debut in 2012.
MBM 2016 will feature four categories - Full Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and Children’s Sprint. The race course comprises of flat road and rolling hills.
The MBM full marathon and half marathon routes have been certified since its first inception in 2012 from the International Measurement Certificate number INA2012/009 and have been validated by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
These accreditations recognise MBM as a qualified marathon for the Boston Marathon. Runners who complete MBM 2016 within the minimum qualifying time as stipulated by the committee will be able to register in time for the 2017 Boston Marathon, with its registration opening on 12 September 2016.
MBM 2016 is the first marathon in Indonesia that will roll out a GPS-based smartphone application to track runners’ real time location. This innovation not only raises the safety standards but is also particularly useful for spectators to monitor runners’ positions and to choose the ideal location to cheer them on.
In addition, family and friends could use the application to track the race progress and better estimate the finishing timings of the runners.
The application has been used in other international marathons such as the Rotterdam, Barcelona, Rock‘n Roll Madrid and Hong Kong Marathon.
Competition will be intense in MBM 2016, in particular, in the men’s international full marathon category. Two Kenyan athletes who have been competing in the MBM for the past two years, Kennedy Kippro Lilan and Elijah Mwaniki Mbogo, will come face to face again this year. Lilan is the king of MBM, dominating the top position from 2012 to 2014. He holds the MBM full marathon record timing of 02:16:54.
The competition between Lilan and Mbogo in MBM 2015 was intense from start to finish. Mbogo, who was the runner up in MBM 2014, eventually edged out to emerge champion, a mere 3 seconds ahead of Lilan.
It is tough to predict the winner of MBM 2016 but we are definitely expecting a close fight between the two.