Almost all major cities around the world have marathon races. The most famous ones are the Boston and New York Marathons that attract runners from all over the world.
Botswana has now joined the bandwagon because for the first time this year, Botswana will hold a charity race, themed, Gaborone City Marathon. The 42.195 marathon will be held on the 18th of April and is expected to rope in some of the internationally ranked athletes from all over Africa, including Kenya and Ethiopia.
The event, which promises to be engraved boldly in the local sports history books, has been internationally accredited by the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races, (AIM) and is a Commonwealth Games qualifier for top Botswana athletes. The competitors are also destined for bigger incentives, with the prize money totaling P133┬á000, with the top man and woman standing a chance to each win a diamond.
The top winners will also win themselves a trip to the Okavango Delta, something unique in the history of local sports. There will also be two other races besides the major 42.195 major race, which is open to the public at large.
Felicity Hunter, one of the organisers of the race, said that there will be a 10km run and a 4 km fun run/walk, which is targeted at children and the less active.
The races will be conducted within Phakalane roads while the major race will start in Gaborone and go through some of Gaborone’s major land marks, stated Hunter.
Entries for both races are available countrywide in places including Gaborone sun, Gaborone Gyms and Standard Chartered banks countrywide.
For the 10km and 4km race, entries are limited to 2000 and 1┬á500 respectively.
“We are investigating ways in which we can expand the numbers, but at present we have to put these limits on the 10km and 4 km events,” explained Thola Magang, who chairs the Marathon Organising Committee. The event, which is still open to sponsorships, is part sponsored by the Botswana Tourism Board.
Commenting on the marathon, Myra Sekgororwane, the chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Tourism Board, said, “We are very pleased and proud to be part of the Gaborone City Marathon. As we have already seen, with the very first entry, this will attract people and attention to Gaborone and Botswana and that only helps the local tourism industry, employment, and commerce as a whole.”
Money raised as entry fees will be split between five official charities to be named.