Some 1500 marathon runners gathered at the Beau Vallon Promenade to take part in the seventh edition of the annual Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon.
The Seychelles Tourism Board, National Sports Council and the Seychelles Honorary Consul in Korea, jointly organise the Eco-Friendly marathon annually.
Initially, the marathon was named Eco-Healing in 2008 when it had just began.
Since that time, slowly but surely, the event which features 5 and 10 km runs, and both full and half-marathons, has grown in stature to the point where the 2014 edition boasted no less than 1465 participants, comprising 890 Seychellois and well over 500 foreign runners from a grand total of 35 nations.
The Seychelles Eco-Friendly Marathon is recognized internationally through the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) label.It is organized jointly by the National Sports Council, Seychelles Tourism Board and INOCEAN M&C – a South Korean company headed by Mr Dong Chang Jeong – which is also the main sponsor for the event.
Beginning in the cool of the early morning, the longer races kicked off at 07.00 on a course that would take runners first to the north and north-east of the island, as well as Victoria and beyond, with the shorter 5 & 10 km runs and walk commencing an hour later and keeping the runners in the north, between Bel Ombre and Glacis. It was Alain St.Ange, the Seychelles Minister responsible for Tourism and Culture who had the honour of opening this year's Eco-Friendly Marathon as he fired the starter's gun.
“I am delighted with the success of the Eco-Friendly Marathon,” said Korean Dong Chang Jeong, the event’s chief organiser, “and have ambitions to grow it to the point where we will have as many as 3000 runners in future.”
Meanwhile, Mr St.Ange said that the annual Eco-Friendly Marathon is the result of the partnership existing between the Ministry responsible for Sports and the Ministry responsible for Tourism. "Cooperation between Ministries continues to bring positive results for Seychelles. This Marathon Event sees the consolidation of Sports-Tourism for Seychelles as it brings Marathon enthusiasts from all over the world together to participate in the event they all like and appreciate. But what a better place to run a Marathon than in paradise," Minister St.Ange said.
Seychellois Simon Labiche registered his 6th overall win of the full marathon in a time of 3h03:15 with Swedish runner Anneli Sodergards the new woman’s champ in 3h48:30.
The event culminated with a special Korean evening at the Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort on the evening of Sunday 23rd which doubled as a prize- giving ceremony for the marathon winners.