The second edition of the Gaborone Mayor’s Marathon turned into a fiasco on Saturday morning, as some of the athletes got lost along the route.
Some of athletes who got lost include Mema Thiango who was seen by Monitor Sport team asking for directions from a Police officer at Princess Marina Hospital traffic circle.
Two athletes from Kenya did not complete the race after getting lost.
Thiango said after the race that she had registered for 21km but ended up doing 22km. “I got lost along the way. I tried asking for assistance from a Police officer, but she was also in the dark.
“I had to strategise quickly because time was not on my side. When I completed the race I realised that I had ran 22km,” she said. There were no marshals on the way and athletes depended on the Police for directions.
The mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe was seen driving around distributing water to the athletes. There was no water for the 10km and 21km routes. Some of the runners went home empty-handed because there were no medals.
Matheus Jesaya from Namibia who finished in the second position in the men’s 42.2km race complained that the route was difficult.
“The route was not marked and there were no marshals. The organisers should have put up boards that indicated the distance they have covered.
“We were just running in the dark. The police officer who was leading us also got lost at one point,” Jesaya said.
Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson, Ipolokeng Ramatshaba told Monitor Sport that they were unhappy about the way events
“It is embarrassing for foreign athletes to get lost. The same thing happened last year. It does not sit well with us,” he said.
Ramatshaba said BAA officials were provided with the map route a day before the race.
He said time was not enough for them to familiarise themselves with the route. Sports Volunteer Movement (SVM) chairperson, Ntebo Maplanka told Monitor Sport that the volunteers could not be part of the marathon because there was no request made to her office.
“I learnt that the mayor had announced during a press conference last week that they have engaged us.
“I sent him a text message, but he did not respond. Instead, I received a call from someone who informed me that he was working with the mayor in organising the marathon and he wanted us to discuss volunteers,” she said.
Maplanka said she received an email from the organisers, but it did not state the date of the marathon.“I am surprised that the event has passed. I had responded to them asking for the date and the requirements they should fulfill before we release volunteers,” Maplanka said.
Meanwhile, Judas Kiplimo Maisei from Kenya won the men’s 42.2km race with a time of 02:21:38.
Rapula Diphoko finished third clocking 02:21:45. Monica Mengich from Kenya won the women’s 42.2km with a time of 02:57:41 followed by Mantshape Badumetse who registered 03:00:15 and Lillian Kiprop came third with 03:07:48.