Thursday, June 20, 2013

BII Maybank Bali Marathon 2013 – 10km

Date: 16 June 2013
Venue: Bali Safari & Marine Park, Bali, Indonesia
Distance: 10km (Garmin: 10.04km)
Timing: 50:21 (Gun); 50:13 (Chip); 50:10 (Garmin)
Pace: 4:59 min/km (Garmin)
Result: 4th (AG); 9th (WO); 12th (all Women); 51st (overall) (all results here and here)

The second edition of the event with 3 categories on offer: FM, HM and QM with sides of Kids Dash and a special race for wheelchair runners. This was a loop course for all categories starting and ending at the road outside the Bali Safari & Marine Park.

Lots of apprehensions heading into the race after hearing about the temps in the inaugural event. Think roasting BBQ on pavements. Literally.

Route map from their webbie

Started from further-back-than-usual and it was a straight out on the bypass with the first and only switchback around km2.5 after which you make a left turn to head into the back roads. A few minor bumps – the usual humdrum of road elevations etc. Saw the lead pack just after km2 (not the race leaders! Coz they’re too fast!). I didn’t like this stretch too much because some portions were really dark but since this was a major road/bypass, there weren’t too many uneven or potholes to navigate around. We started at 6am and it was still a bit dark.

Back roads passing through villages, paddy fields, temples, small provision shops and stalls. Most of the “climbs” (minor ones, not the Bukit Tunku catastrophic ones!) were in the first half and the last 2-3km was a downhill course. The setback in terms of route would be the turns and twists typical of a back road – did nothing for my hips (I ached all Sunday and Monday); I did try to run the tangents and from the looks of it, did it. Wasn’t too sure about this during the run though – the Garmin beep was kinda way off the distance markers.

This section is probably why you should sign up! Lots of cheers from the “official” cheer teams (they even had a leader to direct the team and was so nice to request the cheerleaders to keep those pom pom balloons out from my path!) and villagers coming out. Loudest cheers, slaps and encouragements ever!

Heading out from the back roads, left turn into the bypass. OMG – this was the longest stretch to the finish! You can hear the crowd, you can somewhat see the finishing chute and yet you’re still plodding along. At what-feels-like-turtle-speed. Ok, I’m doing a disservice to the turtles here! Sorry!


a) Great organization. When an event is put up by runners, you know they’ll have all angles covered.

b) Staggered start times (30 min apart I think) and different routes (except for the bit at the start and finishing) mean no congestion, even on the narrow back roads.

c) Scenic and picturesque route through the back roads and villages – yes, this is something within the organizer’s control; just don’t throw brickbats at them for eg hills, slopes – that’s basically down to your own training!

d) Distance markers at every km although they were a bit off my Garmin – this is what happens when you try to run tangents (or not!).

e) Plentiful of hydration stations along the route (4 for the 10km; probably about 1.5-2km apart) and at the finishing stocked with plain ole’ water and Pocari Sweat. They even had signages to let you know that a hydration point was coming up.

f) Volunteers, supporters and police were all out in force! Adding to this network of the loudest cheers and merriment were local residents and children who clapped, waved and cheered their heart out. If there was one singular factor to running the event, this has to be it!

g) Clear pathway post run: grab a bottle of water and/or can of Pocari Sweat, walk along a further bit to head into the safri park, collect your finisher’s medal and mingle among fellow runners while taking in the sights and sounds of the “mini expo”.

Collecting your finisher's medal


a) The first stretch on the bypass was poorly lit up – I understand from Ayu that this road is not normally lit up and they switched on the street lights just for the event. However, some portions were not lit up and the distance between each street light seems too far apart to provide sufficient lighting.

b) Not sure if they served any water or Pocari Sweat at the start – I was looking out for it but wasn’t “dying” of thirst and didn’t feel like I needed it unlike some of the other times.

c) Roads were not closed on the back roads and there were more than one very close encounter. Generally traffic management was ok-ish and volunteers do tell motorists to slow down etc; great thing was they do comply!

d) The railings at the sides of the start pen – not sure how I should describe this but the railings upright were ok, just that they also had some horizontally on the road after a few rail sections – probably as a “leg” or “stand” to keep the railings upright. Those rails had minor bars across them like those drain covers and if you don’t look too closely or down at the road, you could trip yourself up. Not sure about you, but I typically assume that the start pen is just an enclosed area with railings or blocks on the sides and a “smooth” pathway.

Photo log:


Finisher’s Medal

Expo at Westin Nusa Dua

Race site and mini expo, runners' hangout area

Runners along the last 2km

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