Sunday’s Great Jakarta Walk featured some of the country’s best long-distance runners, with 2009 Southeast Asian Games gold medalists Agus Prayogo and Triyaningsih winning the 5K race.
Even they, though, were no match for Jakarta’s famously snarled roadways.
Departing from the southwest gate of the National Monument, Triyaningsih took first place in a race that was shortened from 5 kilometers to 3.5 kilometers because of heavy traffic. Oliva Sadi of East Kalimantan was second, with Unik Setyorini of Central Java third.
“I am a bit disappointed with the shorter distance. I had to struggle with the Trans Jakarta buses, too, beside other participants. It disturbed me very much,” said Triyaningsih, 22.
“Now I can focus on my preparations for the Asian Games back in Salatiga before leaving for my next tryout competition.”
On the men’s side, Agus took first place, followed by Ridwan of West Nusa Tenggara in second and I Gade Karang Asem of West Java in third.
Agus, like Triyaningsih, won gold at the SEA Games, taking first place in the men’s 10,000 meters in a 1-2 Indonesian finish, beating out Johan Jauhari in 29 minutes, 51.40 seconds.
The 5K was part of Triyaningsih’s preparations for the Asian Games, which take place in Guangzhou, China, from Nov. 12-27. She plans to compete in the marathon and 10,000 meters.
Triyaningsih returned home from December’s SEA Games in Vientiane, Laos, with gold medals in the 5,000 meters and 10,000. She also won her first marathon of the year in Hong Kong at the end of February, claiming first place in a time of two hours, 47 minutes and 35 seconds.
The Salatiga, Central Java, native said she has been preparing herself to compete in more long-distance events, adding the marathon to a repertoire that already includes the 10,000.
She initially planned to take part in the marathon during the SEA Games, which would have been her first marathon at a multi-sports event.
The Indonesian Athletics Association (PASI) refused her request, though, limiting her to the 5,000 and 10,000 in a bid to keep her fresh.
“I’ve been preparing for marathons since last year because I have enough potential to win the race. Now is the time to do it,” the 22-year-old said.
Her victory in Hong Kong showed her ambition is not misplaced, bringing home the $18,000 first-place prize in addition to top honors.
Triyaningsih, who still uses Salatiga as her training base, said she plans to fly to Australia or Germany and take part in another warm-up competition in June or July. She will then return to Indonesia for another international race in Magelang, Central Java.
“I will compete in the half-marathon event in both competitions, because an athlete is allowed to participate twice a year in marathon events,” she said.
The Great Jakarta Walk, which was organized by PASI and Sports Station, set a goal of attracting 15,000 people to participate in the event by walking, jogging, riding or running.
Triyaningsih said she was eager to take part in the race, adding that she hoped it would convince people to make positive changes to their lives.
“I hope we can motivate people to start living a healthy lifestyle by exercising,” she said.
Despite her thin frame, Triyaningsih said she could stand to shed a few kilograms, as well.
The 22-year-old said she was overweight at last measurement, tipping the scales at a hefty 39 kilograms.
“I need to lose about 2 kilograms more in order to attain better performances,” she said.