Who does not know about Bromo? It is one of those touristy places in Indonesia, not only for a world traveller, but also for local tourists looking for a weekend gateway. Usually people come to Bromo for the very pretty view you get at sunrise and the trekking (or horse riding if you feel lazy) to the crater. Let me share with you some information about the area:
This year (2013), something really unique and inspiring will happen. As an amateur runner, I’ve kept my eyes on the Bromo Marathon. It’s going to be different!! I said deeply in my heart. I am curious! This is why I decided to learn more about it by contacting one of the teams organising the event. It is not only about the race, Bromo Marathon offers something else.
[Firsta] Story behind the Bromo Marathon, where did the idea come from?
[Shane Butler, General Director of Bromo Marathon] Running through the mountains here, it’s hard to believe an event does not already exist! The temperature is perfect, the terrain is challenging, the views are spectacular, and the culture is one of a kind. As running has grown so much in popularity here in Indonesia in the past few years, it seemed like an exciting time to bring something to the Tengger.
Furthermore, the event was created to provide an opportunity to improve education, health, and economic prosperity throughout the many low-income, low resource communities inhabiting the region. Our mission this year is to advocate the importance of literature, critical thinking and creativity through reading – with all proceeds of the event going to the support of local schools through the development and advancement of school library facilities in the surrounding communities. In improving literacy, the Bromo Marathon aims to enhance academic performance, develop professional and intellectual capacities, and promote reading as a culture for education and leisure by strengthening resources available for the students, teachers, and staff.
Do you think that this activity will have a negative impact to the region? What is the plan if it does? For a very easy example: those plastic cups for water station will become a trash mountain.
We have a large pool of volunteers and staff working to make sure our event will be picking up after itself! Many volunteers are Tengger locals themselves, but several have signed up coming in from outside the region as well. We intend not only to clean up anything we produce, but to leave conditions better than when we found it.
Can you share with me, from which countries have runners already registered from?
With roughly 60% of participants coming from within Indonesia, and the remaining 40% traveling in from abroad, the Bromo Marathon draws a diverse collection of adventurous runners; emphasizing the importance of cross-cultural exchange, celebrating cultural diversity, and promoting peace through understanding.
So far, 2013 Bromo Marathon runners will be representing the following countries:
Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Myanmar, The Netherlands, Philippines, Poland, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam.
What were the challenges with making this event?
When first approaching the project, there was quite a bit of red tape in regard to gaining permission to hold the event. However, by gaining the support of the communities here and working side by side with community members, we were able to overcome the bumps in the road.
Expectation for Bromo Marathon for the future?
The Bromo Marathon plans to be an annual event held every September! And as we move from year to year, we’ll be choosing a new beneficiary of our charity efforts. This year we’ve chosen education and literacy as our primary focus, but next year we are inclined to focus on the environment or health. We hope the Bromo Marathon to live on for many years to come!
Shane Butler, Dedik Kurniawan and their team, will be organizing the first marathon in this mountainous Indonesia. The first annual Bromo Marathon will take place on Sunday, September 1st, 2013 in the villages surrounding Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park – a region known for its unique culture and breathtaking views and vast amazing landscapes. With the recent surge in the popularity of long-distance running throughout Indonesia, and Mt. Bromo’s reputation as one of Indonesia’s top tourist destinations, the Bromo Marathon expects an avid and adventurous group of runners from within Indonesia and abroad will participate. The race aims to attract over 1,000 participants this year, and over 3,000 spectators. This year’s event will feature three race categories: The Bromo Marathon (42.195 km), The Bromo Half Marathon (21.097 km), The Bromo 10K.
Offering an amazing landscape as the running track and the kindness of Tenggernese, Bromo Marathon offers charity as well. This year focus is on the importance of quality education, with all proceeds of the Bromo Marathon going to the support of local schools through the development and advancement of school library facilities in the surrounding low-resource communities. Local community members are working together to establish the event which will provide an opportunity to improve education, health, and economic prosperity throughout the many low resource communities inhabiting the region.
The Bromo Marathon is more than just a race, it’s an adventure through some of the most unique and dramatic landscapes and cultures Indonesia has to offer – all while supporting a good cause to develop and advance quality education in the area. Running might be not everybody’s cup of tea, but Bromo Marathon can definitely offers a great way to enjoy the area. If you are interested, you can participate as a runner, volunteer or spectator. Are you joining the race?
Thanks Shane for all the beautiful pictures!