Gianyar was flooded with runners early on Sunday morning as thousands of people participated in this year’s Bali Maybank Marathon. More than 7,000 runners from 43 different countries reportedly took the streets.
As expected, Kenyan runners nearly swept the podium spots for this year’s Bali Marathon, held on Sunday.
But the Kenyan who took the biggest prize was actually an “underdog,” not one of the two rival runners expected to take the Rp 178 million prize for the men’s full marathon, open category.
Kenyan Julius Kangethe Mbugua crossed the finish line first with a speedy time of two hours, 29 minutes and 46 seconds, beating out reigning champs and fellow Kenyans Mbogo Elijah Mwaniki and Kennedy Kiproo Lilan.
Mbogo had the fastest time last year, while Lilan reigned as “the king of MBM” as a three-time champion from 2012 to 2014.
Of course, Mbugua was quite pleased with his win.
“Running for me is a challenge. I also get the chance to go to many places and meet many people. It’s good to be in Bali to join this marathon,” he said post-race, as quoted by the Jakarta Post.
On the woman’s side, Kenyan Edinah Jeruto won the full marathon open category with a time of two hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds.
Other than the full marathon, runners also competed in distances of half marathon (21K) and 10K, while there was also a 10K wheelchair race.
The race started before sunrise at Bali Safari & Marine Park on the bypass and wove through villages and rice paddies to the west of the highway.