The FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon 2022 organisers are happy with the level of interest from runners who have registered to take part in the marathon. The sentiments were shared by marathon Marketing and Public Relations director, Obonye Malope in an interview with The Telegraph sport.
“We are happy with the level of interest and support the FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon has received so far. We have had support from central and local government, sponsors, the broader business community, participants and other critical stakeholders such as the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force, Kazungula Bridge Management team and the media,” Malope explained.
She further explained the race will be one of the biggest events in Botswana since the lifting of the covid restrictions.
“We were aware that with this being the first year, as well as the largest sporting event since the lifting of government restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there would be a lot to be learnt. We remain committed to executing an event worthy of Chobe and the iconic Kazangula Bridge itself, and, along with all our stakeholders, making history on Saturday 26 February 2022,” she said.
The marketing director said the benefits of the marathon are many and is destined to benefit Chobe district and Botswana.
“The FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon will contribute to the Chobe region, and indeed Botswana in several ways. Economically, the event will directly benefit the hospitality sector as participants and those coming to exhibit will be staying in hotels, guest houses, lodges and campsites in the region. In addition, the very same participants and spectators will take part in excursions and other entertainment offerings during the week leading up to and including the race weekend,” said Malope.
She said they currently have just under 1000 participants who have registered and paid for the four races. The marathon has targeted to have 2500 participants.
“In our planning for the FNB Kazungula Bridge Marathon, we catered for 2500 race participants. We have about 3000 registered, with 1000 participants having paid for their races. We have therefore extended payment until Friday 18 February 2022 to cater for those who have registered and are intending to pay. 2500 remains our cut-off point,” explained Malope
She also explained that they have planned an exhibition area at the race start and finish point, as well as a Market Place for local producers to showcase their various products to a captive market, ready and willing to purchase.
The organisers further expect the informal sector to benefit before, during and after the race day itself. “For the broader Botswana economy, due to the fact that we will all converge to Chobe from Botswana and beyond, the race will contribute to the travel and petrochemical sectors. We expect first-time visitors to Chobe to return based on their experience,” she explained.
The marathon has partnered with Botswana Tourism Organisation as its technical, quality assurance and marketing partner. The prize money cumulative for all winners across the categories is P500, 000.