The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) plans to start training marathon coaches to boost the country’s chances of producing long distance runners.
BAA vice president, Glody Dube told Mmegi Sport that the training will be offered to individuals interested in being marathon coaches. He said it was unfortunate that locals never qualify for major races during marathons. He stated that Botswana has over the years never had a good long distance runner and this could be attributed to a shortage of long distance coaches. He said the main challenge with marathons in Botswana is that they are held at almost the same time. He proposed that there be breaks between races to give runners time to rest. Dube said BAA would hold a meeting with marathon organisers after the Francistown marathon to discuss a plan that would benefit all.
“We have a small pool of runners and they are overwhelmed by many events. You must be aware that some runners are enticed by money. At least if races where held three months apart from each other, it was going to be better,” suggested Dube.
Meanwhile, the registration for the Diacore Gaborone Marathon slated for March 22 ended last Sunday. The Local Organising Committee spokesperson, Thabo Makgato said so far, around 5,700 people have registered as compared to 4,000 that participated in the race last year. Makgato explained that the number is likely to go up as there were runners who have been given a grace period of seven days to pay registration fees.
He mentioned that it was unfortunate that some people still wanted to register after the closing date had passed. He said this could not be allowed because they had given people enough time to register.
“All proceeds from the marathon are awarded to charity and as such, Diacore and its co-sponsors are proud to support Botswana through sport, education and charity. Last year we raised a record breaking P615,000 and this year we look to do even better than that,” he said.
Makgato said international runners have shown interest in the marathon and they have put their names forward. The race has been divided into 42.2km, 21km, 15km and the 4km fun run. He said the marathon is an important qualifier for major international races.