A good run: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (second right) joins some 4,000 participants from 50 countries at the Borobudur International Hash (Interhash) 2012 in Magelang, Central Java, on Saturday. The biennial non-competitive running and social event is the third to be hosted by Indonesia. (Courtesy of Abror Rizki)
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono enjoyed the rural scenery of Borobudur area while joining the Borobudur International Hash House Harriers (Interhash) 2012 in Magelang, Central Java, on Saturday.
The Presiden, with some 1,000 hashers, walked 4.2 kilometers during the event, which started and finished at Tuksongo square, Tuksongo village.
The President was flanked by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, Governor Bibit Waluyo, Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, State Secretary Sudi Silalahi, Home Minister Gamawan Fauzi, Coordinating People’s Welfare Minister Agung Laksono and Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik.
The group began walking at 8 a.m. local time and covered a route that included rice fields and kampongs in the rural areas near the Borobudur Temple.
Local villagers greeted and cheered the presidential entourage, waving their hands. The Hash House Harriers event is a non-competitive group run.
Jero Wacik said that another region in Indonesia might seek to host the biennial event.
“Other regions, such as Toraja, Manado, Bukit Tinggi, Lombok and Komodo have the potential to host the event,” Jero said after the VIP run, as quoted by Antara.
Indonesia was appointed host of the event in 2010 in Kuching, Malaysia. The hashers are expected to be exposed to tourism, especially around Borobudur.
“This is a positive impact for Indonesian tourism. The hashers from dozens of countries look to be relishing the panorama of rice fields, villages and rural life,” he said.
According to the organizers, some 4,700 hashers from 50 countries took part in the three-day Interhash 2012 until Sunday, held as part of a promotional campaign to boost tourism in Central Java.
“The event can hopefully help promote tourism in Central Java, in particular, and Indonesia, in general.
“We are highlighting several tourist attractions, such as the Prambanan and Borobudur temples and surrounding areas, in addition to Bali,” the minister said.
The organizers have designated 17 running routes, 15 of which are located in Magelang with the other two in Yogyakarta.
The routes are classified into short routes (4-6 kilometers), medium (6-8 kilometers), long (8-12 meters), super long (12-30 kilometers) and the VIP route of 4.25 kilometers.