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(5/10/2010) Balidiscovery.com managed to corner the Event Director of the MRA Bali International Triathlon in the midst of busy preparations for the international sporting event slated to return for the 4th year on Sunday, June 20, 2010 at Jimbaran Bay.
The Interview, Andreas Kansil, Event Director, MRA Bali International Triathlon
Balidiscovery.com : 2007 – 2010, that's four years of hundreds of people swimming, cycling and running through Jimbaran and Nusa Dua. Anything new about this year's race?
Kansil: By popular demand, this year we'll introduce a sprint distance event that will run almost simultaneously with the Olympic Distance Event that covers a 1.5 kilometer swim, 42 kilometer bicycle course and ends with 10 kilomter road race. The Sprint Distance Event will be run over a course that's half the distance of the Olympic Distance Event.
Balidiscovery.com : What was the motivation to offer the shorter course?
Kansil : It's always been our desire to run an event with something for everyone. The Olympic Distance Event will remain the mainstay of the Bali International Triathlon, but the shorter Sprint Distance Event we believe will be attractive to many local and national athletes looking for a stepping stone before graduating to the main event in coming years. Another aspect of our "all inclusiveness" – remember that both the Sprint Distance and Olympic Distance Events can be run by either individuals or teams of three athletes operating the three legs in a relay. Oh, did I mention that teams can also be mixed, with male and female athletes sharing the responsibilities on a common team?
If either the Olympic or sprint events sound too challenging, then join our 5 kilometer Fun Run also being held on race morning.
Balidiscovery.com : O.K. We're convinced. What impact is the addition of a Sprint Distance Event having on registration numbers?
Kansil : From the beginning our goal has been to gradually build the number of participants in order that within 8-10 years we'd have a world class event attracting over 1,000 athletes to Bali. During each of the first three years we've managed to hit our growth targets and we're expecting to have over 500 athletes gathered on Jimbaran beach on Sunday morning, June 20th.
In fact, on line registrations for this year are very strong, showing a 40% increase year on year with 2009.
In addition to a number of ranking international triathletes returning to Bali this year, we'll welcome some Indonesian stars such as Richard Sam Bera, a legendary Indonesian swimming star and currently editor-in-chief of "Men's Fitness" and national athlete Andy Wibowo.
Balidiscovery.com : The MRA Bali International Triathlon claims to be a "Bali Community Event." How so?
Kansil : The MRA Bali International Triathlon would no be possible without the support of the entire island of Bali. Hundreds of police officers provide security and safety at race central and along the entire race course. Villagers and "pecalang" in all the village of Jimbaran and village across South Bali provide another layer of security and traffic coordination. Volunteers from hotels and schools assist in race coordination and man the water stands along the route. The Bali Hotel Association sends teams of participating athletes comprised of staff members, donate valuable prizes and helps house officials and press who travel to Bali for the event. Local Hindu priests bless our course and the bikes of our athletes. I could go on. The point is the Bali International Triathlon has extensive and intensive connections with the people and island of Bali. Without their continuing support the event could not be held.
Balidiscovery.com : You convinced us. MRA Group has been a major supporter of the Bali International Triathlon for the past 3 years. Tell us a little about the people whose generosity makes the event possible.
Kansil : The MRA Group of companies covering printed media, radio and other lifestyle driven brands have provided remarkable support over the past three years. The Four Seasons Resorts Jimbaran and InterContinental Bali Resorts are key supporters on Jimbaran Bay providing both financial backing and allowing us to use their beautiful beaches and resorts as the setting for the race. We are also excited this year to welcome Mandala Airlines as the official domestic airline sponsor of MRA Bali International Triathlon.
Balidiscovery.com : In 2005 Jimbaran suffered a tragic terrorist attack. Did that in any way deter you from holding the triathlon in 2007?
Kansil : Bali in general and Jimbaran in particular needed to "rebrand" following the second Bali bombings of 2005. The founders of the event had the idea that the best way to demonstrate to the world that Bali and Jimbaran were safe was to invite athletes from around the world to swim in our waters, and cycle and rum on Bali's roadways. Now that were back for a fourth year and expecting record numbers vindicates that decision. Further affirmation has been provided by being named "Best Destination Triathlon" in our inaugural year and just last month the Bali Event won a place on the top 10 list of "Best Vacation Triathlons" by Triathlete Magazine.
Balidiscovery.com : We've covered the race. What have we missed?
Kansil : Let me think. Don't forget the beach party that starts at 6:30 a.m. and runs until 2:00 p.m. on race day, Sunday, June 20th. The Coconut Grove in front of the Four Seasons is the start and finish line while the large garden on the north side the Bali Intercontinental will serve as the transition area. All morning long at Coconut Grove will be filled with live music, radio broadcasts, food, drinks, free massages, and award ceremonies for divisional winners. As I said earlier, we have something for everyone.
[MRA Bali International Triathlon Website]
[MRA Bali International Triathlon Facebook Page]
[MRA Bali International Triathlon Twitter Site]