The third edition of Botswana’s premiere charity marathon, the Steinmetz Gaborone Marathon, will take place on the 5th of May, 2013.
This year’s edition, which the organizers are hoping will attract more competitors than in the past editions, will also come with a few changes. Speaking during a press conference called to update local writers on the marathon, the race Manager, Stellan Bengtsson, said the changes come as the organizers try to make the marathon one of the biggest in the continent.
Top of the changes will be the race’s starting and finishing points, which will now be moving to the Grand Palm Hotels from Phakalane. Bengtsson said that in view of the race’s continued growth, the organizers felt it was time it moved out of Phakalane. The move will also mean a change in the marathon’s race route, with the race’s main 42.2 km marathon now being made of two 21.1 km loops around Gaborone. Unlike in the past editions when the race was made of three races, namely the 42.2 km main race, the 10 km race and the 4 km fun run, this year’s race will also have a new addition, being the 21.1 km half marathon.
According to Bengtsson, the new race was added to the programme to cater for runners who cannot run in the main marathon but who are seeking a challenge beyond the usual 10 km race.
Going into this year’s race, Bengtsson said the organizers are hoping to get at least 6000 competitors. As has been the norm in the past editions, the organizers said they are also expecting to attract international runners from across the world to compete in the marathon. Sanctioned by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA), the Steinmetz Gaborone Marathon is the country’s biggest marathon. Aside from its attractive prize packages, the marathon is also used as a qualifier for international marathons. This year’s marathon is the official qualifier for this year’s IAAF World Championships billed for Moscow, Russia, from the 10th to the 18th of August as well as a qualifier for the 2013 Comrades Marathon in South Africa.
Commenting on the race route, Bengtsson said the race will be run around the greater Gaborone area while the 4 km fun run, on the other hand, will be run in the Grand Palm Nature treks.
Meanwhile, Bengtsson has called upon potential sponsors to come on board. With the race expected to have at least eight water stations, the race manager said sponsors will be given a water station which they can brand with their own company brands.
On other issues related to the marathon, the race organizers say they are hoping to increase the number of charities benefitting from the event. They have called upon charity organizations seeking to be beneficiaries to approach the organizers.
Bengtsson said from the past event, a total of P200 000 was divided and given out to five charity organizations, being The Lady Khama Charitable Trust, Y Care Foundation, Moremogolo Trust, Mother of All Foundation as well as Seeing is Believing. The Steinmetz Gaborone Marathon is organized by the PGM Foundation and has Steinmetz Diamonds as its title sponsor.