"We hope this event will serve as an effective means for tourism promotion," Elim Somba, acting head of the Central Sulawesi tourism and creative economic office, said here, Sunday, at the opening of the event.
Besides, the sport event was also a good opportunity for local runners to compete with international athletes, he added.
The event would also promote Palu and other districts in the province as safe and enjoyable places to visit, he remarked.
Central Sulawesi has a lot tourist attractions, including unique ones, according to him.
Among major tourist attractions in the province are Togean Isle in Tojo Una-Una District, Lake Tentena in Poso District, Tanjung Karang in Donggala District, Lake Lindu in Sigi District, and 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, he noted.
Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola flagged off participants of the 2018 CCM in the Central Sulawesi provincial capital of Palu on Sunday.
The CCM is a sports tourism event to commemorate the 54th anniversary of Central Sulawesi Province that falls on April 13.
Some 1,500 athletes, including 80 foreign runners among others from Kenya, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, participated in the marathon race.
They competed in five-kilometer, 10-kilometer, 21-kilometer, and 42-kilometer categories with total prizes amounting to Rp465 million.
Deputy Chief of the Central Sulawesi Provincial Police Senior Commissioner Aris Purnomo flagged of participants of 42 km-long category one hour earlier than the 21 km-long category.
The 2018 CCM aimed to promote the culinary, nature, and marine tourism of Central Sulawesi.
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.
Inhabitants of Palu and other regions were enthusiastic in watching the international marathon event.
"I come to Palu just to see this race," Herman, inhabitant of Sidera, Sigi District, said.
Anto, a resident of Banawa in Donggala District, said he came a long way from Banawa to see the first international marathon ever held in the province.