Sports

Jakarta Marathon scheduled
for October

In a bid to promote the capital’s tourism potential to the global community, the government, through the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry and the Jakarta administration, have agreed to stage a
Jakarta marathon.

The maiden event, which is slated to be run in October, will target thousands of participants including world-class runners from 20 countries.

“Marathons have become one of the most popular activities in the world. We have heard of the New York Marathon and the Paris Marathon, but in Asia there is just the Tokyo Marathon,” Tourism and Creative Economy Deputy Minister Sapta Nirwandar said at the City Hall on Wednesday.

Sapta said the organizers hoped that the marathon would attract over 5,000 professional and amateur participants to run a 42-kilometer course that would wind from Pluit, North Jakarta, to Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta.

“We expect to attract between 5,000 and 10,000 participants from 20 countries,” he said. “We will also provide wheelchairs for the disabled.”

The event, which will have private sector sponsorship, will be held to boost sports tourism and feature a combined prize pot of Rp 4 billion (US$414,808).

“There are many people who know of Jakarta only through the major flooding that frequently hits the city,” Sapta said.

The marathon will feature a cultural carnival and other art performances, Jakarta Tourism and Culture Agency head Arie Budhiman said.

“The performances will be a surprise,” he said, adding that the cultural festival would differentiate the Jakarta Marathon from other established marathons.

Jakarta Sports Agency head Ratiyono said that the administration would also involve the Indonesian Track and Field Association (PASI) and other relevant agencies, including the Transportation Agency, the Public Works Agency and the Public Order Agency.

“We will sterilize the route of vehicles for about eight hours for the event. We also have to spruce up the city,” he said, adding that cultural sites in the capital like the Old Town in West Jakarta would be included in the marathon route.

Sapta declined to give details of the budget that would be allocated to finance the event, saying that the government and the administration were currently discussing the matter. According to Arie, the Jakarta Marathon is planned to be an annual event.

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