The 2016 Island Chill Suva Marathon was launched by the Suva Marathon Club (SMC) at the Holiday Inn, Suva, Fiji on Thursday 26 May.
SMC’s vision is to organise a world class annual marathon in Suva to promote healthier lifestyles.
Interest in the event has grown significantly from when it started in 2014 with 250 participants to over 700 participants in 2015. A record 1000 participants is targeted for the 2016 marathon which will take place on 23 July.
“The 2016 Island Chill Suva Marathon promotes health and wellness in Fiji. It is calculated that more than 70 percent of deaths in Fiji were caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2012, while the World Health Organisation estimates 68 percent of global deaths in 2012 were due to NCDs. This issue is not only common in Fiji and the South Pacific but is a problem worldwide,” SMC Executive member, Mr Sandeep Narayan says.
Lilian Delana who took part in last year’s event, is aiming to better her time this year. Delana said she was always interested in being active. But her involvement in the marathon was not only about being active. It is also about encouraging more girls and women to take part in this sport.”
"I encourage more girls and women to take up this sport, to be healthy and active," she said.
Momentum is building with two months to go for the event and to encourage the community to train together, the SMC is organising times trials on Thursday afternoons and schedules warm up runs at the Nasese seawall in Suva.
The 2016 Island Chill Suva marathon is open to everyone. Individuals, families, students, senior citizens and people with special needs are invited to take part in this year’s exciting event. It will have a full marathon (42.2km), half marathon (21.1km), Team marathon (10.55 km each, 4 in a team) and a fun run (around 8km).
A marathon is a long distance race of about 42kms. The Suva marathon is a coming together of the community to get fit, to get healthy, to get active, to compete, to meet personal goals, to beat personal bests and to have fun. You can also use the event to raise money for a good cause of your choice. The Fiji Museum is supporting the race by holding its open day on Race Day with cultural and cooking demonstrations, quizzes, dance performances, food and craft stalls at the Botanical Gardens. So it’s more than a marathon, it’s about community.
23 July 2016, Saturday, starting at New Albert Park Stadium
5:30am Full Marathon
6.30am Half Marathon
8am Team Marathon and Corporate Team Marathon
8am Individual Fun run
Words by SHANNON YAM
Image 1 - 2016 Island Chill Suva Marathon Launch, Holiday Inn, Suva
Image 2 - Dr Meciusela Tuicakau - Permanent Secretary for Health in Fiji address