Run for a cause

The 2017 Island Chill Suva Marathon saw more than 1300 runners at Queen Elizabeth Drive last Saturday. Australian, Benjamin Ashkettle took the first prize for the full marathon of 42.2km in the men’s event, crossing the line in a course record of 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Anna Cowley finished in first place for the women’s event with a time of 4 hours and 6 minutes.

Suva Marathon Club president Sandeep Narayan said preparation for this year’s 4th event was smooth sailing. More corporates joined to run this year and most of them supported the “Run for a Cause” initiative.

“This year we introduced ‘Running for a Cause’ initiative whereby people pledged to raise certain amounts. Our charity partners are Cure Kids Fiji and Save the Children

Fund. In addition to people collecting funds for their respective causes, they sold merchandise on the day,” he said.

Mr Narayan said there were a lot of prizes and giveaways from sponsors for participants and volunteers and families.

Cure Kids Fiji director operations Sally Cooper said the Suva Marathon was a fantastic, it encouraged people to exercise which was one of the five most important things to do, to combat NCDs.

“For Cure Kids Fiji and the Ministry of Health it is also a great arena for us to get messages out to the public. We have this year 165 people who have registered to support Cure Kids Fiji and each one of them will be issued with a T-shirt that has very important messaging around Rheumatic Fever. So, we anticipate that through imagery in the media, people seeing the T-shirts at the event and personal posts on social media forums would help this message spread far and wide in Fiji.

The South Pacific’s largest road race brought together both local and international runners which included Brent Weigner who recently broke the world record for the person who has run a marathon in the most number of countries making Suva his 135th. Richard Holmes ran his 623rd marathon and Joe Church who has run a full marathon on 25 Royal Caribbean cruise ships took part as well.

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

The Suva Marathon thanked all sponsors and partners that made the event a memorable day for all runners and spectators including Island Chill, the main event sponsor,

Associate sponsors BSP, Vodafone and Munro Leys, Fiji National Sports Commission, Athletics Fiji, Oceania Athletics, our media partners FBC and The Fiji Times, Fulton Hogan Highways, Suva City Council, Save the Children and Cure Kids Fiji.

Vinaka vakalevu also to all our volunteers on the day and other partners including the Burning Rock cycling club, Suva Physio, Volunteer First Responders, Fiji School of Medicine, FASANOC, our timing and finishing chute teams, club members, Suva runners, Greenhouse Studio, Prodesign, JR White, Hot Glass Fiji, SportsWorld, the Holiday Inn and the Fiji Police.

The full marathon runners ran 42.2km that started at 5.30am, half marathon ran 21.1km that started at 6.30am — team (10.55km) and fun runners (10km) that started at 7am.

The run began at the Albert Park Pavilion and along Nasese seawall.

Fun runners did not need to register and just had to turn up before 7am last Saturday.

More Stories