The second Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited-sponsored Francistown Marathon is set to attract international runners from across the southern African region including Kenyan athletes to Botswana’s northern city on October 15. The base of the marathon will be the Francistown Sports Complex.
The marathon includes the 42km and 21km races expected to be of a high standard while the 10km and 6km races are categorised to be fun races expected to bring together the Francistown community and corporate entities.
After registering more than 1 500 runners on its maiden season last year, it is expected to attract more than 2 500 runners this time.
‘’While we are promoting and preaching a healthy nation, everyone should understand that this is a sport tourism and business event. There is a lot at stake and we want all stakeholders to understand the effects of the marathon on the city of Francistown,” Local Organising Committee Chairperson of the marathon Ben Tobedza told Sunday Standard.
Tobedza said they were expecting a magnificent attendance at this year’s edition due to the hype that it created last year in bringing the Francistown community together. We are expecting a much better and bigger event hence we are now staging at a bigger venue to accommodate runners and avoid a stampede.
We already have a number of foreign runners registered for the marathon and some from as far as Kenya continue to enquire. We have now realised that there is a lot of support from regional athletes and they have shown a willingness to be part of the event,” said Tobedza.
“As a sports tourism event the city will be alive with visitors from across nations and culture, so it is vital that our reception be of the highest standard,” Tobedza told Sunday Standard.
The marathon has in their first year donated equipment and food hampers to various charity organisations in and around the city of Francistown. “While the marathon stimulates sports interest in Francistown, we have also been social in the sense that some proceeds from the marathon are donated to charity. Early this year we donated hampers and equipment to seven charity organisations. We will be injecting runners’ registration fees to charity initiatives and with the targeted 2 500 runners, the proceeds will surely make a difference in the community,” said Tobedza.