Saturday, December 3, 2022

Runners from 20 countries for Diacore Gaborone Marathon

When the Diacore Gaborone Marathon gets under way on the 30th of this month, at least more than 20 countries across the globe will be represented.

According to the Steinmetz Marathon’s Public Relations Officer, Thabo Makgato, a quick look at those who have registered for the marathon has shown an unprecedented interest from international and local athletes to compete in the marathon.

Speaking in an interview, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon PRO said while numbers are yet to be verified, athletes from close to 30 countries have registered. He said the overwhelming response has now forced the registration of athletes to be closed before the anticipated February 9 deadline.

“Initially, we had set the 28th of February as the deadline for registration of athletes to compete in the race. However, by the time of deadline, we had exceeded our quota of preferred number of athletes and there were still a lot more who wanted to register. We then decided to increase the quota and extend the deadline to the 9th of this month to accommodate these,” Makgato explained.

According to the Diacore Gaborone Marathon PRO, the organisers then had to pull the plug off the extended registration process this past Friday, three days before the extended deadline day quota was filled.

While the organisers are yet to verify the number of athletes to compete in this year’s edition of the marathon, indications are that the number of athletes competing will exceed the 4 300 registered for last year’s edition of the race.

In view of the unprecedented interest shown in the marathon, Makgato said organisers will look into whether to increase the quota of athletes for next year’s edition.

Meanwhile, with many international athletes expected in the country for the race, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon PRO said measures have been put in place to elevate the status of the race.

“One of the latest developments for this marathon is the introduction of the chip system for every race number. This will help monitor the runners and will at the finish point automatically register the position and the time recorded for the athlete to complete the marathon. Our hope is that this system will eliminate the tedious task of manual registration at the end of the race,” Makgato explained.

Regarding security of the athletes and spectators, Makgato said the organisers have taken deliberate steps to beef up security during the race.

As such, he said the expectation is that there will be an increase in the number of Police officers during the race.

“We have also been engaging with the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), who also have a team competing in the marathon, to help us should we need their assistance during the race,” Makgato said.

With the marathon being a charity race and all proceeds going to charity, the Steinmetz Marathon PRO said another new development will be the presence of charity organizations during the race.

“We have allocated various charities designated various points where they can set up stall. This is for them to increase their visibility and engage spectators and create awareness on their charity work,” he explained.

With prize money of P50 000 for the winners in both the men and ladies’ section of the marathon’s 42,2 km main race, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon is the most lucrative in Botswana. This year’s marathon also serves as a qualifier for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games as well as the 2014 Comrades Marathon in South Africa.

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