Phikwe marathon targets 3000 runners

SELEBI-PHIKWE: The organisers of the Selebi-Phikwe National Marathon (formerly the Selebi-Phikwe Bosele Marathon) are targeting at least 3,000 runners for the July 25 race.

Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to be a guest runner.

Speaking at the launch of the marathon’s new committee at Bosele Cresta yesterday, vice chairman Omphemetse Makwate said their target is 3,000 runners.

In preparation for the national marathon, the new committee was elected and officially launched yesterday.  The newly elected members include amongst others, Selebi-Phikwe town Mayor Amogelang Mojuta who is the chairperson.

Kennedy Dudzani is the public relations officer while Thato Okie is the treasurer. Connie Keneilwe was elected as the secretary while Alfred Basiamisi will be in charge of logistics. 

The committee is expected to be in office for four years. Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) president, Moses Bantsi said the committee has been given four years in order to enable it to improve the marathon. 

“The committee will be supported and assessed by BAA and they will be carrying out their duties for four years. This is to enable them to have ample time to improve the marathon,” said Bantsi.

Bantsi also urged the Selebi-Phikwe Town Council to improve sporting facilities in the town as he said sports could also be used to diversify the economy.

He said most of the good sports facilities are based in the south of the country. “Athletics should be improved for its growth, he said,” he said.

The coming event marks the 30th anniversary for the marathon, which was started, by the late Boet Kahts and Phill Roberts in 1985 as the Bosele Marathon just for the fun of it. The marathon, which is divided into four categories being 4km, 10km, 15km and 42km, is expected to be different from the previous one as this year several companies are involved after last year’s sponsors pulled out in the last minute.

The 4km race will only be for fun. 

The marathon is used as a qualifier for IAAF sanctioned competitions. The organisers said position four and five have been added to the prizes category.

According to Dudzani, this year’s marathon has several improvements in the prizes to be won.

“I urge residents and different organisations to take part in the marathon to help improve it. They must have ownership of it to help change and re-brand it. By the year 2019, we want this marathon to be a world class event,” he said.

Online registrations for international athletes will commerce on May 18.  Local registration dates are still to be announced as the committee is waiting to launch this year’s sponsorship. The sponsorship figure and prizes are yet to be revealed.

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