Mon, 14 Jul 2003

Osias and Erni win Lombok run

I Wayan Juniartha, The Jakarta Post, Senggigi, Lombok

Osias Kamlase and Erni Ulatningsih both took their second victories in a week after they won the Lombok Bagus Half-Marathon 2003 in Senggigi, Lombok on Sunday.

Last week they triumphed in the National Sports Council (KONI)-sponsored Surakarta 10K run.

On Sunday, 40-year-old Osias, from Bali, clocked a time of one hour, four minutes and 43 seconds in the men's category to complete the 21 kilometer-long course along the idyllic tourism resort of Senggigi.

Central Java-based Noce Matital finished in second place in 1:05.44 and the local runner Wahab, with a time of 1:07.15, took third.

Erni Ulatningsih, a 23-year-old runner from the Dragon Athletic Club, Salatiga, Central Java, recorded the fastest time of one hour, 18 minutes and 31 seconds to beat her senior, Ruwiyati, and local runner Yuliani in the women's competition.

National team member Ruwiyati scored 1:21.43, while Yuliani clocked 1:28.14.

Osias and Erni each received a cash prize of Rp 25 million (around US$3,000) presented by the secretary of the minister of tourism, arts and culture, Sapta Nirwandar, during the closing ceremony at the Holiday Inn, Senggigi.

Around 200 runners, including expatriates, participated in the run, which was held to bolster tourism.

The competition started from the governor's office in downtown Mataram. The runners headed north along the west coast of Lombok.

The routes incorporated Montong, Senggigi and Kerandangan, where the morning sun gazed warmly through rows and rows of coconut trees that shaded the unspoiled beaches, dotted with groups of parked traditional boats on its black sand.

Osias said that the course was a bit difficult for him, particularly the stage stretching from the 14th to the 20th kilometer, which was characterized by hills.

"Fortunately, the run started on time, at around 6:00 a.m., when the temperature is still cool, so I did not have to endure early exhaustion, which would be caused by the heat," he said.

"We also encountered minor problems in the 5th and 6th kilometer, where several cars got in our way," he added.

Erni, her face glowing with joy, said she enjoyed the run.

"I always like uphill and downhill courses better than a flat and straight course. This half marathon has several uphill stages and I enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the course," said the long-distance bronze medalist at the 2001 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur.