The annual Bosele Marathon in Selebi-Phikwe has been the country's flagship long distance race.
The inaugural Gaborone City Marathon will be held on April 18 and is expected to attract international runners from long distance giants like Ethiopia and Kenya. The chairperson of the event's organising committee, Thola Magang told a media briefing that the race brings opportunities to athletes and Botswana tourism.
The Botswana Tourism Board is a main partner in the event. Initially, the race was to be known as the Phakalane Marathon but the tourism authorities suggested that this should be changed.
"Botswana Tourism Board suggested that we have a marathon that is celebrated by the entire city," Magang said. He said there is a lot of interest in the marathon with the first entries outside Botswana received from South Africa.
There will be a four kilometre fun race and a 10km run on the day. Only 2,000 runners will be accepted in the 10km race and 1,500 in the 4km event. "We are investigating ways in which we can expand the numbers, but at present, we have to put these limits on the 10km and 4km events," Magang said. "The interest has been fantastic but it really is going to be a case of first come first accepted. I have a strong feeling that entries will close long before the April 16 deadline."
In addition to prize money of P133,000, the top runner in both the men and women's section stand a chance to each win a Botswana diamond and a trip to the Okavango Delta. Entry forms were made available effective yesterday. The first manual entries will be received at Standard Chartered Bank at Game City on Saturday.
The marathon's technical director, Norrie Williams said proceeds from the registration fees will go to five charities.
The marathon has been internationally accredited by the Association of International Marathon and Distance Race (AIM) and is a Commonwealth Games qualifier for top Botswana athletes.