It’s my second time around and Bali Marathon has not lost its favor. The race I loved last 2017 has the same elements in its 2019 edition. It’s fun and the route is challenging.
This time, I ran the half marathon. I was hoping to run a sub-2 hour half marathon. But a early mistake was a clear sign I won’t meet my goal. And of the course, the hills are still a killer. I think my time was still decent for such a course. It will be a morale booster for my next sub-2 attempt.
Back in Bali
I am back in Bali for a celebration. I booked the tickets without knowing the final date of the marathon but I was glad my guess was right. Compared to 2017, I got to see more of Bali before and after the race.
This years Bali Marathon is almost the same as the one I joined in 2017. The race pack claiming was still in Taman Bhagawan in Nusa Dua. Getting there was difficult. There are just so many runners and vehices that it caused traffic.
Once you are at Taman Bhagawan for the claiming, getting the race kit was fast and efficient. The venue was festive. Food and entertainment were available. It would be nice to stay longer but we had to leave quickly to avoid another traffic going back to the hotel.
The start of the half marathon is at 5:15 AM. But my hotel is far from the starting line, thus the shuttle bus leaves at 2:00 AM. So I was not happy waking up at 1:00 AM for a 5:15 gun start. I thought that was the worst thing that could happen.
I went to the starting line at 5:00 AM. Runners are supposed to be segregated into A, B and C groups based on their expected finish times. However, the host has request all runners to moved forward already to prepare for the countdown. I ended up somewhere in the middle.
When the race started, I tried to run in front. There are so many runners and getting past them took a while. I ran my slowest pace on the first two kilometers. I ended up losing about 2 minutes against the target split for a sub-2.
Conquering the hills
At KM3, I got my pace back and hoped to catch up with a negative split. But the course was just going up and up. So instead of a 9:15/mi pace, I was running a 9:30/mi instead.
I just kept on running. Running a 9:30 on a uphill is quite an achievement for me already.
I still get to enjoy the route. Spectators and supporters in Bali are very loud and lively. They are very fun and encouraging. This is what I love about the Bali Marathon.
Everything that goes up will go down. By KM16, the road is going downhill again. I used this chance to speed up. Downhills are my friend, from a 9:30 pace, I was running at 9:00 on the final kilometers.
It’s not enough to make up for the lost time but I’m happy to finish close to sub-2. My official Gun Time is 2:06:17 and a Chip Time of 2:04:26.
Finish Line Festivities
The finish line seemed bigger compared to 2017. It’s just a parking lot, but there are plenty of photo oppurtunities and booths around.
21KM finishers get a bag, hydration, ice cream, banana, and plenty of freebies from sponsors. The 42KM finishers get an extra finisher shirt.
My favorite is the finishers medal! Bali Marathon medal is gorgeous. It’s big and the design is very intricate. It’s a piece of Bali that you’d be proud to take back home.
If next year’s medal will be just as good, I might use it as a reason to go to Bali again.NOW AVAILABLE. TAKBO.PH COTTON TEES AND HOODIES. CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ORDER.
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