The mouth-watering US$ 100,000 prize tag up for grabs at this year’s Diacore Marathon has reportedly caught the eyes of some of the World’s fastest marathon runners. Lured by the prize monies, a couple of East African long distance runners are said to be ready to descend into the country for the marathon, which is slated for May 13th this year.
Among the athletes said to be interested in coming into the shores of Botswana for the marathon are Kenyan IAAF World record holder Dennis Kimetto, his fellow countryman and Rio 2016 Olympic marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge as well as Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa, just to mention a few.
Kimetto is the World record holder in the 42.2km race category with a time of 2:02:57 in 2014 at the Berlin marathon. Kipchoge on the other hand is regarded as Kenya’s current best marathon runner. Kipchoge once ran one of the fastest times at the Nike Breaking2 race in Monza, Italy, crossing the finish line in 2:00:25, two minutes faster than the World record.
Now the two Kenyans are likely to battle it out here in Botswana on the seventh edition of the Diacore Marathon, with the runner completing the 42.2 km marathon in less than 2 hours 08 minutes guaranteed to pocket the prize money. Since the Diacore marathon inaugural in 2010, the fastest in the 42.2 km race clocked a record 2 hours 17 minutes.
In an interview with Sunday Standard, Diacore marathon mouthpiece Thabo Makgato said they have invited some of the best runners to compete in the 2018 marathon. “We can confirm that we have been in contact with the World record holder Kimetto to compete in the race and for now nothing concrete can be divulged but the best runners will compete. It is not only him as we also invited some of the best runners worldwide to throng the event,” said Makgato.
With the marathon now well established, the Diacore Marathon spokesperson said they have now set their eyes on making the Diacore Marathon one of the best ranked races in the world.
“The marathon has been doing well over the past years and we have grown tremendously. At this point we have sent some invitations to some of the top athletes so that we can have a competitive time and be ranked among the best in the likes of Berlin and London marathon,” Makgato explained.
He added that they are proud as Diacore for being supportive to local athletes in their sports development program. “As we speak we are engaged in preparations for the London marathon next year as we are assisting two athletes to compete in the international marathon next month,” concluded Makgato.