The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo (right) and 44th United States president Barack Obama (left) head to the Grand Garden Cafe in the Bogor Botanical Gardens, West Java, on June 30. (Antara/Puspa Perwitasari)
Runners participating in the upcoming Bogor Marathon in West Java on Sunday will take the path walked by President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and former United States president Barack Obama during the latter's recent visit to the Bogor State Palace.
"The Bogor Botanical Gardens is set to be the start and finish point of the 2017 Mandiri Bogor Sundown Marathon on Sunday. Participants will cross the tracks passed by Pak Jokowi and Obama when they met," Bogor Mayor Bima Arya said on Thursday as quoted by Antara news agency.
During his visit to Bogor last month, Obama visited the gardens with Jokowi. After welcoming him at the Palace, Jokowi drove the 44th US president in a golf cart to the Grand Garden Restaurant, located in the Bogor Botanical Gardens, where the two spent about half an hour talking about and enjoying Indonesian food.
Around 3,500 people from six countries are set to participate in the upcoming marathon, Bima said, adding that preparations are already underway.
"Angkot [public minivans] will be organized. We will also ensure a safe and comfortable lane [for runners], which has become our priority. We will try to be a good host to all participants," Bima said.
The marathon will begin at 1 p.m. Participants will run in one of four different categories, namely a full marathon that spans 42.195 kilometers and a half marathon spanning 21.1 km, 10 km and 5 km.
Bank Mandiri Corporate Communication vice president Maristella Tri Haryanti said the marathon is part of the state-owned bank's efforts to promote outdoor sports in Indonesia.
In addition to hosting the marathon, the Bogor Botanical Gardens is also gearing up for another big event in celebration of the city's 535th anniversary later this month.
On July 24- 28, the Bogor State Palace, which is located in the gardens’ complex, will be open for its annual Open Palace event.
"This year's Open Palace will be different than previous years’ as visitors can enter the Bogor Botanical Garden free of charge," Bogor Culture and Tourism Agency head Shahlan Rasyidi said on Wednesday.
Like in previous years however, visitors will only be able to enter the palace's front and back yards. The building itself, which is the president's official residence, will remain closed.
Visitors must first sign up, Shahlan said, with registration already open since Monday in the Kemuning Gading Building at the Bogor Regional Legislative Council (DPRD) complex, as well as in the Culture and Tourism Agency office.
"Some 1,500 people have already signed up," Shahlan said, adding that registration can also be done on business days. (liz/kes)
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