The Banyuwangi regency administration in collaboration with Bank Mandiri will organize the “Mandiri Banyuwangi half marathon” on March 31. The long-distance race offers a trek that encompasses the town and village of Banyuwangi, with the start and finish lines at Blambangan Park.
“This is what differs the [Mandiri Banyuwangi half marathon] from similar events in other regions. While most marathons usually pass by main streets downtown, in this marathon we also offer countryside atmosphere,” Banyuwangi regent Abdullah Azwar Anas told Kompas.com on Thursday during the event’s press conference.
He also said throughout the route, runners would be entertained with Banyuwangi traditional performing arts such as the gandrung dance, barong using, kuntulan and barongsai. These performances are spread in eight entertainment spots prepared along the route.
“This is a national event, but we strive to keep improving the execution of the event. We aim at making Banyuwangi eligible as an international marathon host,” Anas was quoted as saying.
Vice president of corporate communications at Mandiri, Rudi As-Aturridha, said Banyuwangi is a region with a wealth of tourism potential.
“This region is rich in natural and cultural attractions, and it has creatively offer tourist attractions through the marathon run, which is now globally trending,” said Rudi.
Pandu B. Buntaran, the race director, said the event would have three categories, namely 21K (half marathon), 10K and 5K. Only professional marathon runners can join the 21K category. Meanwhile, 10K and 5K categories are open for general participants.
“All category participants would start and finish in Blambangan Park with various start times. The 21K would start at 5 a.m., 10K at 5.30 a.m., and 5K at 5.45 a.m.,” Pandu said.