The guests and representatives of sponsors in a photo call during the launching ceremony. Abdul Karim is at eight left.
KUCHING: The Kuching Marathon returns for the sixth consecutive year on Aug 18 this year, with more prize money and expected to attract more international participants.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, who officiated the launch of Kuching Marathon 2019 today, said the state government is looking into increasing the prize money for this increasingly popular event.
Last year, the cash prizes totalled RM80,000. As in previous marathons, prizes will be awarded for the winners of the full marathon, half marathon and 10-kilometre (km) runs.
“This year’s Kuching Marathon will offer better prize money. The state government will look into this and discuss with organising committee how much increase it will be. We hope with the increase of prize money, this will encourage and entice more people to participate
“We also make sure Sarawak Tourism Board and those in tourism industry will play their part to promote and publicise this event,” he told reporters after the launching ceremony at a shopping mall today.
Earlier in his speech, Abdul Karim said he envisioned Kuching Marathon one day will become one of the ‘biggest’ marathon in the region.
“Although this sounded like a dream, I believe this can be reality if everyone play their part. Kuching Marathon, when it first started, attracted 5,000 participants but now the numbers have doubled and this can grow in years to come,” he said.
On his ministry’s role, he said they are now trying to improve air connectivity to Kuching so that more international visitors can come.
“We have recorded participants from West Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. And hopefully we can get more from Hong Kong, Japan and other countries,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kuching Marathon Association (KMA) president Wong Chen Yi said the Kuching Marathon is the first in Sarawak, and the fourth in Malaysia, to be accredited by Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS).
He also informed that Kuching Marathon forms part of the Great Borneo Series which also comprises Miri Marathon and Borneo Marathon Kota Kinabalu for the past two years.
“We are now aiming for recognition from the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) so that we can attract more international athletes to join this marathon,” he added.
As in previous years, Kuching Marathon 2019 on August 18 this year will begin and end at the Padang Merdeka. It is expected to attract over 11,000 participants including volunteers assisting in organising the races.
This years event will again feature four distance categories including the 5km, 10km, half marathon and the full international-standard 42.195km run that is recognized and sanctioned by AIMS.
The full marathon will take participants through and past the administrative centre of Kuching North and through some of the more historic parts of Kuching South before heading back to the finish line at the iconic Padang Merdeka.
Prizes will be awarded for the full marathon, half marathon and 10km runs with individual categories for Men, Women and Veterans while the 5km fun run is open to runners of all ages and offers an opportunity for participants to soak in some of the unique architecture and rich history of Kuching city.
Isuzu Malaysia is the main sponsor for this year’s marathon. Details and participation in the Kuching Marathon 2019 can be found at www.marathonkuching.com.
(Taken from The Borneo Post)