Welcome Address by Suva Marathon Club President, Mr Sandeep Narayan
- The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Ms Alison Burchell,
- Mr Albert Miller from the Executive Committee of Athletics Fiji,
- Mr Kunaseelan Sabaratnam of Carpenters Group and representing our naming sponsor Island Chill
- Representatives of our Associates Sponsors: Vodafone, Munro Leys and BSP
- Representatives of our Media Partners: FBC and Fiji Times
- Our Run for a Cause Initiative Partners: Cure Kids Fiji and Save the Children
- Members from fellow sporting bodies and clubs
- Members of the Media
- Suva Marathon Club members
- Invited guests,
Welcome to the Official Launch of the Island Chill Suva Marathon 2017!
Rewinding to 2014 and the Suva Marathon Club’s humble beginning, which now is somewhat well-known, from a handful of friends planning a marathon and attracting 250 runners to 2016 having attracted over 1000 runners, the Suva Marathon Club, and our premier event the Island Chill Suva Marathon is a well-established sport in our local sporting calendar.
With the support of our naming partner, Island Chill, and other entities along the way, we have grown in stature.
From 2016, we have added 2 more events to our annual sporting calendar, our ½ marathon event run in April, named as the Munro Leys Suva Challenge this year, and another in November.
These are some additional events to our weekly Thursday Social trial runs, and 1st Saturday of the month runs.
The activities are organised and run by a team of volunteers dedicating their precious time and effort to promote our club goals which are to promote healthy living, and to promote long-distance running i.e. marathon running as a sport in Fiji.
The Island Chill Suva Marathon 2017, like it preceding events, will have an 8km fun run and 10.55km team event, and the long-distance categories, the 21.1km half marathon and 42.2km full marathon. It is fair to say the shorter runs are entry-level events designed to build the public’s interest in the sport of running, with the aim of encouraging those participants to at a later stage partake in 21.1km, with the serious and dedicated ones one day running a full 42.2km marathon.
At this stage, I’d like to mention Suva Marathon Club Members Avikash Lal, Jeremiah, Raj and Kunal as candidates who will represent Fiji in the Oceania Championships. Suva Marathon Club’s affiliation with Athletics Fiji, which is an Official Member Federation, qualifies the Island Chill Suva Marathon and Suva Challenge as recognised club events under a Member Federation. Hence, the Suva Marathon Club is realising its goals of promotion long-distance running as a sport and even providing avenues to represent Fiji for our premier athletes.
Moreover, we have gathered international interest in the event with almost 50 international participants last year. We’ve been marketed internationally via Fiji Airways magazine, Run for Your Life Magazine and assistance from Tourism Fiji.
This year we have an international runner, Richard Holmes, who will be running his 623rd marathon in his 105th country. An army officer candidate in 1977, he has run over 96,000 miles, almost four times the circumference of the earth.
A new initiative this year is our Running for a Cause program whereby participants can choose to support our official partners Cure Kids Fiji or Save the Children Fiji. Participants can target to raise money on every kilometre run and support noble schemes run by Cure Kids Fiji and Save the Children Fiji.
With such initiatives, we hope to grow each year and one day stand alongside leading marathon events around the globe. However, we need the support of our sponsors, sporting affiliates, and the community, and that is why we’ve invited you as our distinguished guests to show our gratitude.
Special appreciation to our naming sponsor Island Chill who have supported us for three years now, Associate Sponsors Vodafone, Munro Leys and BSP, Media partners FBC and Fiji Times who have also been supporting us since 2014, and partners and friends Suva City Council, Fiji Roads Authority, Fulton Hogan Hiways, Athletics Fiji, Fiji Sports Council, Oceania Athletics, Holiday Inn, Greenhouse Studio, St Johns Ambulance, and my sincere gratitude to anyone I may have missed out.
To sum up, the Island Chill Suva Marathon 2017 is all-inclusive event for the community and I encourage all individuals and corporates, being first time runners or running your 623rd marathon, to take part in the Island Chill Suva Marathon 2017, on Saturday 22nd July!
- Full marathon 42.2km – 5.30am
- Half marathon 21.1km – 6.30am
- Team event 10.55km – 7.00am
- Fun run 8km – 7.00am
See you there.