On May 26, 13 elite runners made an 84-kilometre run from The Lovina in Singaraja to Old Mans in Canggu for the first ever Bali Hope Ultra Marathon (BHU). It was an overnight journey that covered mountainous roads from the very north all the way down to just short of the extreme south of the island.
The runners raised money for Bali Children Foundation & Classroom of Hope, with the majority of funds allocated to supporting BCF’s initiative of providing education for economically disadvantaged children of the village of Tigawasa in North Bali.
It all began days before the event with many of the runners meeting each other for the first time. They all participated in a Balinese blessing ceremony and visited the very enthusiastic kids from Tigawasa.
The runners started on mountainous roads in the night climbing 1,400 metres above sea level. The beginning of the route was dark, windy, and cold with runners wearing headlamps to light their path.
All the runners were monitored by a tracking app with a support team of four cars, a medical team to provide hydration, nourishment and a lot of motivational support and encouragement for the runners.
Whilst the evening was full of exceptional displays of courage and athleticism, without a doubt one of the most endearing moments was seeing two of the strongest runners hold back to support and encourage the last few who were struggling. This selfless and caring attitude exemplified the spirit of the Bali Hope Ultra and ensured every one of the 13 participants crossed the finish line.
For the runners, it was a fruitful experience with many lifelong bonds made between their fellow participants and the people of Tigawasa.
Founded by Tom Hickman in 2017, the Bali Hope Ultra started small with Hickman being the sole runner.
“The Bali Hope Ultra is an intense physical challenge. We run through the night, climb 1,400 metres and in a variety of weather conditions. It’s a stunning way to experience and bond with the island and give back to the beautiful people here”, said Hickman.
“This year’s Ultra will raise funds to cover 100 children’s complete primary education. The students are from the deeply disadvantaged village of Tigawasa in North Bali. This impact will create long lasting change for the students and their village,” said Bali Children’s Foundation’s Founder Marg Barry.
To donate to the Bali, Hope Ultra overall target please visit: www.everydayhero.com.au/event/TheBaliHopeUltraMarathon2018