| Hakim Hayat |
THE BSB International Marathon yesterday saw over 1,500 participants including some 40 international runners competing in Brunei Darussalam’s first full-marathon event organised by the Brunei Athletics Association (BAA).
The event, which included a 42km full marathon, 21km half-marathon and the 10km and 5km veteran, students, 3km fun run and walk, was flagged off and ended at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Collins Kipkorir from Kenya clinched the first place, winning himself a cash prize of $6,950 in the full marathon category with a split time of 2:16:31 while Bruneian Sefli Ahar came in second place with a split time of 2:17:22.
Sefli received a cash prize of $3,700 for being the best local in the category.
Another local Mohd Shah Azhar Abdullah Ahar was in the third place with a split time of 2:24:36.
Meanwhile, in the 21km category, John Lorano Lorira came in first place in the men’s open division while Alice Kabura topped the women’s open division in the category.
In the 10km category, Muhammad Nor Risman bin Ismail won first place in the men’s division while Vanessa Lobb was the winner in the women’s division.
Lim Wei Kuang topped the men’s division in the 5km Men category while Sarah Powdrill topped the women’s division in the category.
For the Veteran 10km category, Hj Md Azmi bin Hj Suhaili topped the men’s division while Mayumi Tono won the women’s division.
The prizes were presented by Datin Paduka Hajah Adina binti Othman, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports.
Race Secretariat Pg Hj Khairil bin Pg Dato admitted to several challenges faced in organising its first international full marathon event, which has come under fire by some participants over the alleged lack of organisation, such as the shortage of bottled waters at checkpoints and other issues such as safety.
Rafie Saiful Redzalli, a 21km category participant, said the marathon, which took the route of several busy highway stretches in Berakas and Jerudong, posed many risks to the runners.
“The lack of traffic police presence in areas with high volume of traffic was worrying,” he said.
Rafie said most participants were disappointed.
He also criticised the medic’s slow response in attending to dehydrated runners and the lack of bottled waters.
Pg Hj Khairil said “the supply was adequate but last minute registrations caused the shortage.
“This was our first time. It was very challenging to organise this. We will learn from this experience.
“We accept any constructive feedback from everyone, and hope this will go a long way in making us better,” he added.
The event attracted some 4,000 participants, including international runners from Kenya, Japan, France, Colombia, the United Kingdom and regional countries.