Monday, April 16, 2018


Jakarta, April 16, 2018 (Antara) - Central Sulawesi is blessed with beautiful nature comprising mountainous areas, lakes, beaches, and forests.
          The province's main tourist destinations include include Lake Poso; Lore Lindu National Park, which is filled with several megaliths, and has a wildlife-rich jungle; Togean National Park; the Salodik and Saluopa Waterfalls; the Morowali Nature Reserve where the Wana people of the jungle live; Talise Beach; and the white-sand Tanjung Karang Beach for divers and those fond of the beach.
        Standing in splendid isolation in Tomini Bay, Togean or Togian Islands are the prima donna of the province's tourism industry, as they are known for their scenic blue sea, white sandy beaches, pristine waters, impressive landscapes, amazing corals, abundant fish, and friendly people.  
    In fact, Togean is among the world's best diving spots to be found in Indonesia, apart from those in Raja Ampat, Komodo Isle in East Nusa Tenggara, Derawan in East Kalimantan, and Wakatobi, Gilir Air and Bunaken in North Sulawesi.
        Besides, the province has   Lake Tambing in Lore Lindu National Park (TNLL), which has been designated as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO since 1971.    
   Infrastructure such as roads to support the tourism industry has been constructed in 13 districts and municipalities in Central Sulawesi.
           Sectarian conflicts in Poso, Central Sulawesi, from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, had slowed down the tourism industry in Central Sulawesi Province.
           But now, peace has returned to the province, which was once known for its inter-faith harmony and tolerance before the conflicts were provoked.

        In a bid to promote its tourist destinations, Central Sulawesi has, over the last couple years, organized various events, including sports tourism activities. 
    In November 2017, in a bid to attract tourists, Central Sulawesi had organized the first Tour de Central Celebes (TdCC) in which domestic and foreign cyclists had participated.
           Following the success of the TdCC, the province held the first Central Celebes Marathon (CCM) event this year.  
    Celebes is the former name of Sulawesi, one of the four Greater Sunda Islands, and the world's eleventh-largest island, situated between Kalimantan (Borneo) and the Maluku Islands.    
     The CCM is a challenging event in which participants trek along mountains, valleys, rivers, and beaches, finally finishing at a location that holds traditional and cultural festivals as well as traditional culinary delights for the visitors and participants alike.
         Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola had flagged off participants of the 2018 CCM in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu on Apr 15.
        Deputy Chief of the Central Sulawesi Provincial Police Senior Commissioner Aris Purnomo flagged off the participants of the 42 km-long category an hour earlier than the 21 km-long category.
           The CCM was a sports tourism event to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Central Sulawesi Province that falls on Apr 13. 
      The event was also expected to promote Palu and other districts in the province as safe and enjoyable places to visit.
           Some 1,500 athletes, including some 600 runners from outside Central Sulawesi, and 80 foreign runners from Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore, among others, had participated in the marathon race.
           The runners competed in the five-kilometer (km), 10-km, 21-km, and 42-km categories, with total prizes amounting to Rp465 million.
           For the 21 km-long category, the participants started from the Central Sulawesi City Hall and finished at the same site after circling the city.  
     The participants were entertained with cultural and art performances along the race route, a cheering spot with two thousand students gathering along the track to encourage the participants, and 30 free culinary spots for attendees and spectators.
         "We hope this event (CCM) will serve as an effective means to promote tourism," Elim Somba, acting head of the Central Sulawesi tourism and creative economic office, noted in Palu on April 15, 2018.
           Besides this, the sports event was also a good opportunity for local runners to compete with international athletes, he added.
           Inhabitants of Palu and other regions were enthusiastic on being able to witness the international marathon event.
           "I have come to Palu to just see this race," Herman, an inhabitant of Sidera, Sigi District, noted.
           Anto, a resident of Banawa in Donggala District, said he had travelled a long way from Banawa to see the first international marathon ever held in the province.
           The winners of CCM's 21-km (21K) and 42-km (42K) categories were runners from Kenya.
           The winner of the 21K male category was Jakob Kibiwur Kitur, while Jepkosgei Naum emerged as the winner in the female 21K category, both from Kenya.
           Winners of the 42K male and female categories were respectively Edwin Kiptanui Kichwen and Purity Jerimo Serem, also from Kenya. 

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 16-04-2018

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