Running in Port Moresby

Port Moresby is hardly a runner’s paradise, but one resolute group never misses a chance to hit the bitumen.

Regular winner of POMRR events Swans Pinampio with Australian distance legend Steve Monaghetti after an event in 2012.

Regular winner of POMRR events Swans Pinampio with Australian distance legend Steve Monaghetti after an event in 2012.

The capital’s heat, humidity, security concerns and poorly-maintained or non-existent pavements are some of the excuses would-be runners can use to convince themselves to stay indoors—whether on a treadmill or on the couch.

But every Saturday at 5pm (public holidays included) a determined and eclectic bunch gather under the banner of the Port Moresby Road Runners (POMRR) at a pre-arranged location.

The personnel differs quite a bit from week to week, depending on starting venue, course, and even just who’s in town (see picture). But it invariably includes a mix of expats and local runners. There are a few stalwarts however, including coordinator Simon Nutley, better known as a Partner at corporate law firm Leahy Lewin Nutley Sullivan Lawyers.

‘We welcome all sectors of the Port Moresby community and the weekly race entry fee of 20 toea (one fifth of a kina— US$0.10) has not changed since 1979,’ he says.

POMRR genuinely caters for runners of all standards too. On 9 February, the shorter 5km race was won in sweltering conditions by Papua New Guinea Junior International Freddy Kongowori, who eased around the hilly course as his second training session of the day, while the most of the field ran at a much more measured pace far behind.

For those intent on keeping up with Freddy one day, another group sets off on a training run from the Royal Papua Yacht Club at 5.30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

To find out the venue for the next POMRR event, visit the special POMRR page on this site.