Island Chill Suva Marathon featured in this quarter’s Fiji Airways In-flight Magazine.
The South Pacific’s ‘greatest road race’ is back, the Island Chill Suva Marathon which begins and ends at the all new Albert Park Grandstand in Suva city on 23 July 2016, thanks to the Suva Marathon Club.
The Island Chill Suva Marathon is open to everyone, from locals to international competitors: individuals, families, friends, senior citizens and people with disabilities who are encouraged to take part — basically everyone from the community.
It is more than just a marathon, it is about healthy living and the community coming together in this great event.
Fiji is seriously tropical, so there is no doubt that beads of sweat will form on foreheads as runners confront the hot, humid environment.
The climate makes the Suva Marathon harder than most and when the sun is shining bright it can make the run almost unbearable, so this is not for the fain-hearted. More than 800 participants competed in the marathon last year, including runners from around the globe.
Island Chill Suva Marathon is increasing in interest for international runners, with more participating in the race each year.
The men’s full marathon winner from last year was Ravnil Rinesh Kumar at a fantastic 2:59:13 and the women’s winner was Anna Cowley at 4:30:21. International competitor Luke Caldwell came third with a time of 3:47:12 and Marita Ferguson, also international competitor, came third in the women’s full marathon at 4:40:48.
The Island Chill Suva Marathon offers race types to cater for all abilities. The full marathon (42.2km) starts at 5.30am, the half marathon (21.1km) starts at 6.30am, the team marathon (10.55km) starts at 8am and finally the individual fun run (approx 8km) that starts at 8am.
The Island Chill Suva Marathon is a perfect way to start up a passion for running, especially for those not at the stage of being able to complete a full marathon.
Suva Marathon Club promotes training for potential competitors and all are welcome to join the sessions along the Nasese seawall or around Suva on a day that suits.
The Club also holds social runs on Thursday nights and has monthly time trials on the first Saturday of every month, so runners can see how much they are improving over the year in the build up to the marathon.
Those who want a change from race training can mix it up with cycling and swimming to strengthen muscles in preparation for 23 July.
The route follows the curving Suva waterfront all the way around the bottom of the city The route gives runners an idea of what Suva city offers, from parks to hotels, restaurants and shop while also giving a view to the sea as competitors trot along under coconut palms and past beaches – the best of both tropical worlds.
There will be six hydration stations along the course where enthusiastic crowds can urge, the Suva marathoners. As they enjoy the excitemnt there will be music, fresh fruit ;and cold drinks laid out by the organisers, including chilled green coconuts, bu, a Fijian favourite thirst quencher.
Visitors and marathon enthusiasts are most welocome to sign up for the marathon:being able to visit another country and experience a run in a tropical climate, worth ticking off your bucket list.
So come down July to take part or just join in the celebrations, a coconut in hand!
For more information visit: www.suvamarathon.org , or email: , [email protected]
By APRIL MICALLEF
Photos by FEROZ KHALIL
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