1.050 participants from 16 countries including Indonesia enlivened the "Samosir Lake Toba Ultra 2016 Marathon" on September 17 in Samosir, North Sumatra. The event that featured a running competition as well as tourism activities aims to increase the number of both domestic and foreign visitors to Samosir Regency and turn it into one of Indonesia's top travel destinations.
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Image courtesy ofWinda Destiana[/caption]
The beautiful island of Samosir, located in the huge crater of Lake Toba, is renowned for its stunning natural landscape and a rich and lively Batak culture. The event was organized by the local government in cooperation with Running Explorer and Horas Halak Hita Toba International Detour, which unlike other international marathons offers its participants an unspoiled view of Lake Toba aside from its challenging tracks.
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Image courtesy of Ida Ritonga[/caption]
The marathon started in the early morning at Sitio-Tio Resort, which is located close to the Pangururan hot springs, one of the main tourist attractions, after the runners were greeted in a ceremony that featured a variety of local dance and music. They then made their way through winding and tortuous roads and traversed traditional villages alongside the lake.
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Image courtesy of Winda Destiana[/caption]
There were four categories in this competition - the route length was either 50 kilometres, 25 kilometres, 10 kilometres or 5 kilometres - while the total sum of prizes for all categories was IDR 120 million. Among the participating countries besides Indonesia, the majority of runners came from Malaysia and Singapore, followed by India, Germany, England, Zimbabwe and the United States of America.