Organisers happy with turnout at Suva race

OVER 1300 runners participated in the 2017 Island Chill Marathon which saw Australians Ben Ashkettle and Anna Cowley winning the men’s and women’s races.

Ashkettle won the men’s full marathon in a time of 2 hours 27 minutes while Anna Cowley won the women’s event with a time of 4 hours 6 minutes.

Keennol Narayan finished second in the men’s while Joyce Mininiger and Nau Dakuiliga finished second and third respectively in the women’s category.

This was one of the largest road race in the South Pacific which brought together both local and international runners and also included Brent Weigner, who has ran in marathon in a number of countries making Suva his 135th country.

Our very own Avikash Lal of the Jet Runners club in Nadi came first in the half marathon while Lauren Toll won in the women’s grade.

In the team event, Striders dominated the men’s event finishing in a time of 2 hours 55 minutes and the women’s event was won by Island Lady runners which finished the race in an impressive time of 3 hours 46 minutes.

In the mixed team event the A team (APTC) won in a time of 3 hours 58 minutes.

The Suva marathon has been held as an annual community event in the Capital City since 2014 and the club’s vision is to organise a world-class annual marathon in Suva to promote distance running and healthier lifestyles.

The Suva Marathon Club would like to thank all sponsors and partners that made the event a memorable day for the runners and spectators.

Suva Marathon Club president Sandeep Narayan said this year numbers had increased compared to last year.

“We had over 1300 runners participate which is an increase in 400 runners from last year which is fantastic! From an event which started in 2014 with 250 participants we’re really excited about the increase in participants as it shows how much more seriously people are taking their health and fitness.” Narayan said.

“A lot more corporate teams are getting behind the event and we had a big increase in the number of fun runners taking part too.

“We receive corporate sponsorship from Island Chill as the main sponsor who provide cash and in-kind sponsorship.

“We were also very grateful to receive a $10,000 grant from the Fiji National Sports Commission through Athletics Fiji. BSP, Munro Leys and Vodafone are associate sponsors and also contribute cash and in-kind sponsorship.

“We hope to continue to grow the event year on year — our tentative date for next year will be the same weekend — Saturday July 21st 2018.

“Our course is now IAAF certified which means that course times at the Suva Marathon can now be qualification times for other events.

“And with support from the Fiji Government including Tourism Fiji we hope to market it more internationally and attract more international runners to Suva. We will need more volunteers to help us to do this — so if you’d like to help out please get in touch with the club.”

They hope is that these events inspire people to keep running not to just train once a year for the event — but to run throughout the year as part of an active lifestyle.

“We encourage all runners that participated to join us at our club 3km, 5km and 7km runs every Thursday from the Bowling Club at 5.15pm and on the first Saturday of every month for a 5km and 10km social run.

Full results

Full Marathon – Men

Benjamin Ashkettle 2:37’40.77 1st Place – Men

Kennol Narayan 2:55’11.74 2nd Place – Men

William Simpson 3:32’11.21 3rd Place – Men

Full Marathon – Women

Anna Cowley 4:06’26.80 1st Place – Women

Joyce Mininger 4:10’20.36 2nd Place – Women

Nau Dakuiliga 4:22’08.21 3rd Place – Women

Half Marathon – Men

Avikash Lal 1:15’31.52 1st Place – Men

Sebastian Nadler 1:18’09.74 2nd Place – Men

David Song 1:24’57.74 3rd Place – Men

Half Marathon – Women

Lauren Toll 1:48’17.39 1st Place – Women

Olivia Piazza 1:51’07.80 2nd Place – Women

Kate Passin 1:57’13.80 3rd Place – Women

Team Marathon – Men

Striders 2:55:35 1st Place – Men’s Team

Life Runners 3:39:50 2nd Place – Men’s Team

Office of the President 3:50:19 3rd Place – Men’s Team

Team Marathon – Mixed

Mana Island 3:56:24 1st Place – Mixed Team

The ‘A’ team (APTC) 3:58:22 2nd Place – Mixed Team

‘We thought they said rum’ 3:59:40 3rd Place – Mixed Team

Team Marathon – Women

The Island Lady Runners 3:46:32 1st Place – Women’s Team

Team Sunshine 6:35:02 2nd Place – Women’s Team

BSP2 6:50:08 3rd Place – Women’s Team

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