The Indonesian Defense Forces (TNI) International Marathon, which offered prize money totaling Rp10 billion, kicked off on Sunday morning with the flag-off from Indonesian Military Chief Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto.
The event was aimed at introducing the Indonesian island of Lombok as an excellent tourist destination, and boosting its tourism industry in the aftermath of the recent deadly earthquakes that rocked the resort island, he said.
"This TNI International Marathon is expected to be a momentum for making the people of awakening Lombok Island get smiled," Hadi Tjahjanto said.
Among those participating in the marathon were 250 runners from 22 foreign countries, including Deputy Chief of Australian Army Major General Justin Frederick Ellwood.
This TNI International Marathon is divided into four categories, consisting of a full marathon (42 km), half marathon (21 km) as well as the 5-km and 10-km runs.
The island of Lombok had recently been rocked by several earthquakes, including the 7.0-magnitude quake that shook it on August 5.
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) noted that the earthquake killed at least 555 people and caused injuries to 829 others.
The majority of the fatalities were residents of North Lombok District areas, due to their close proximity to the strong earthquake`s epicenter. The repeated earthquakes have also damaged at least 23,098 houses and forced 134,236 people to be displaced.
Regarding the impact of the recent earthquakes, Tourism Crisis Management Head of the Ministry of Tourism Dessy Ruhati said in a written statement that Antara received recently that the tourism of Lombok and Bali islands remained conducive.
Reporting by Nur Imansyah
Editing by Rahmad Nasution