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Orange Prepares For A Smooth Marathon

CALISTUS KOLANTSHO
Striders and Orange runners club
LENTSWELATAU: Phikwe marathon sponsors, Orange Botswana has been busy working on rectifying mistakes that occurred in the past. As a way of fixing its blunders, the company partnered with Gaborone Striders Runners Club.

The telcom giant held a build up exercise here over the weekend.
Orange public relations officer, Carol Kgafela told Sport Monitor that
the activation was meant to create hype ahead of the marathon. “Even though the marathon is in Selebi-Phikwe, running is popular in Gaborone.  We want more runners to come on aboard. Last year we had around 800 runners and this year our target is 1,200,” she said.

Kgafela said if they were visible on the ground, it would create more interest.  She said they partnered with Striders as their technical partners.
She added that the main complaint that the Phikwe marathon’s 42.2km is not always planned properly, could be attended to.

“Orange Running Club are babies and we brought in our elders being Striders.  We do not want them to stop running Phikwe because of past mistakes. Instead of boycotting the marathon, we requested them
to come onboard and assist,” Kgafela said.

The Phikwe marathon is divided into the 4km fun run, 10km, 15km, and 42.2km races.  Kgafela said they had wanted to replace the 15km with the 21km
run, but time was not on their side. She said a

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new route has to be mapped out and approved by the International Association of Athletics
Federations (IAAF).

She said they are working on introducing the 21km because the 15km is not challenging and most people are calling for the 21km. 

Kgafela said
the other complaint that they received from last year was shortage of water points. She said this year they are introducing more water
points, especially for the main marathon and also a mobile water point.

“Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) and IAAF technical officials measured the route. As you know, the marathon is a qualifier for marathons in the region,” Kgafela said.

She said the greatest interest shown from other countries is from South Africa and Zimbabwe, adding that currently she does not have the
number of runners who have registered. Striders chairperson, Tsholofelo Mvungama said Orange approached them because they have experience when it comes to marathons.  He said they
intend to assist in making sure the Phikwe marathon is a success.

Mvungama said Striders have many members who can drive more runners to look forward to Phikwe.  The 25th edition of the Phikwe marathon is billed for August 11, 2018.



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