Eyes of athletics enthusiasts are today gazing towards Moshi University College of Cooperatives and Business Studies (MUCCoBS) grounds where the 10th Kilimanjaro Marathon anniversary is being held.
Organizers and sponsors of the internationally-applauded event said yesterday that preparations for the event have been completed, with over 5000 athletes from 40 countries scattered across six continents expected to battle for honours in the race that carries the name of Africa’s highest mountain.
George Kavishe, the brand manager for Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, the main sponsor of the event, said yesterday that to make the event more entertaining and competitive, prizes for three top winners in the 42.195km Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Marathon have gone up by 100 per cent to reach Sh6m, Sh3m and Sh1.5m respectively for both men and women categories.
“This is to make sure that we attract as many elite runners as we can as we keep pondering on how best to go, ten years since the Kilimanjaro Marathon initiated,” he said.
Kavishe was in the company of the head of sales and marketing for Gapco Tanzania Limited, Ben Temu, and the head of sponsorship for Vodacom Tanzania, George Rwehumbiza.
Gapco is sponsoring the Disabled Half Marathon while Vodacom is sponsoring 5km Fun Run.
Meanwhile, Tanzania Athletics (AT) has promised that local athletics will outperform their Kenyan counterparts and participants from other countries, so that all medals remain in the country.
Local athletes were put to a one month camp at Arusha and Moshi.
According to the team’s coach, John Manyama, athletes have been equipped with all the necessary skills and tactics of winning in such competitive races.
He said he has grouped his squad into four, depending on the category of the races and that each group has leaders who will guide other local athletes on how to run as a team.
Top Tanzanian marathon super stars like Oswald Revelian and Getuli Bayo will lead local enthusiasts against foreign competitors in the battle for honors in the 42.195km race for men.
In the women’s marathon, a star studded pack, including Sarah Majah and Farida Gusi, will lead their fellow countrywomen against other contenders.
Emmanuel Nduwayo and Dickson Marwa will lead fellow countrymen in the Half Marathon as Godfrey Charles has been tasked with the duty of leading Tanzanian charges so they may win in the 5km Fun Run.
Similar initiatives have been undertaken at a similar camp in Arusha.