President honours Suva marathon team

THE President of Fiji Jioji Konrote yesterday presented medals to members of the presidents office’s team after they finished third in the Island Chill Suva Marathon on Saturday.

The president’s office team led by aide de camp (ADC) Julian Toganivalu, Peni Taoi, Nitesh Narayan and Savenaca Kenawai finished the race with a time of 3 hours 50 minutes and 19 seconds.

Suva Marathon Club secretary Marita Manley applauded the President for his service as a champion of addressing non-communicable diseases in Fiji.

“For the Suva Marathon Club, our vision is to support runners in Suva and throughout Fiji to work towards entering and compete in long-distance races as part of a healthy and active lifestyle,” Manley said.

“In a small way we hope that our events are playing a role in the fight against NCDs.

“Our events aim to not only provide competition for serious runners in Fiji to improve their performance but also to provide an accessible, inclusive event that allows everyone to challenge themselves to improve their fitness through working up to running longer distances and to have some fun along the way.

“Our regular club runs have seen a growing number of people from across Suva help each other to improve their times week by week. From beginner runners walking and running 3km to regular runners who are looking for others to push them a bit harder.”

Anna Cowley retained her women’s full marathon title. In the men’s full marathon event, a new course record was set by Ben Ashkettle, Kennol Narayan, a Suva Marathon Club member from Rakiraki, also beat the previous course record.

In the half marathon event, Avikash Lal, of Jet Runners Nadi continued his dominance of the distance. And in the Team events, the Striders Club, Mana Island and the Island Lady Runners performed impressively.

“We are excited that more women are getting involved in distance running and we’re very happy to have the half marathon record holder Salome Tabuatalei, who is such a role model for women’s sport start the half marathon on Saturday.

“We also had a number of international runners join us from around the world. They expressed their thanks to all the volunteers along the course for the incredible encouragement they received. I am sure they will return home with great memories from Fiji and will act as ambassadors for the event and Fiji’s growing sports tourism.

She thanked the sponsors Island Chill, the Fiji National Sports Commission, Athletics Fiji and associate sponsors Munro Leys, Vodafone and BSP for assisting them.

“This year, our two charity partners Save the Children and Cure Kids Fiji also used the event to raise awareness and funds for their respective causes.

“A healthy workforce is good for workplace productivity and morale ?? and with the NCD crisis that we face ?? we are encouraged by the number of employers supporting their staff is to achieve their personal fitness and wellness goals.”

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