The Tigo Kili Half Marathon has over the years attracted a huge number of participants ranging from individuals, jogging clubs and corporate.
Out of over 10,000 participants of the Kilimanjaro Marathon, almost half of them are participants of Tigo Half Marathon, which just goes to show how prominent this race has become and how Tanzanians have started taking athletics and healthy living seriously.
Tigo, one of the leading cellular phone operators in the country, is now in its fifth year of sponsorship of its prestigious event.
The race’s 2016 edition saw Tanzanian Emmanuel Giniki emerge first in the 21km race, hence making Tigo more proud of their sponsorship.
For the past five years, Tigo have decided to continue being part and parcel of the Kilimanjaro Marathon because of the success and popularity attained since its inception in 2002.
A section of athletics stakeholders that are currently shaping up for the race have disclosed that Tigo Kili Marathon has a lot to offer for them, as it helps to expose talents to the world.
The Tigo Kili Hal Marathon 2020 will take place at the Moshi Cooperative University (MoCU) ground in Moshi, on March 1.
The Moshi Municipal Athletics Association (MMAA) chairman, Abdi Massawe, explained that, Tigo Kili Half Marathon has played a big role in exposing talented local athletes including Emmanuel Giniki and Alphonce Simbu.
“We want to see athletics make a further step ahead by promoting our local runners to the international level competitions,” he said.
He pointed out Tigo Kili Half Marathon has to be proud of having managed to produce the likes of Simbu and Giniki, who are doing well locally and internationally.
Massawe further explained that MMAA will take 17 professional athletes, as well as other 50 to 60 runners from jogging clubs in Kilimanjaro, to participate in this year’s Tigo Kili Half Marathon.
Moshi jogging club’s member, Wenceslaus Tarimo, said that he and other members of his club are still continuing with exercises at the Moshi Club ahead of the March 1 race.
“There are also some athletes here at Holili as you have seen preparing for the upcoming Kilimanjaro marathon event scheduled for the March 1, 2020 in Moshi,” Said Hamisi, one of the runners at Holili, disclosed.
Many Tigo Kili Half Marathon participants are in different areas in Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Manyara regions preparing for the upcoming event.
Speaking during the launch of the race at Kibo Palace Homes in Moshi Municipality recently, Tigo’s Acting Northern Zone Director, Aidan Komba, explained that his company has continued sponsoring the Tigo Half Marathon for the past five years to promote the sports tourism through Mount Kilimanjaro.
The mountain is one of the crucial tourism destinations in the country where government earns foreign money through tourism.
“To avoid unnecessary disturbances, I advise the participants of the Tigo Kilimanjaro Half Marathon to register early before February 16, this year, and they can use our registration number for the Tigo Kili Half Marathon and other races via service menu number *149*20#,” he explained.
Confirming Tigo’s commitment to promote healthy living through the upcoming Tigo Kili Half Marathon 2020, Komba encouraged people from all walks of life to participate in sports and recreation in an effort to safeguard health.
Tigo are the main sponsors of the annual 21 km Tigo Kili Half Marathon road race.
“Registration for the Tigo Kili Half Marathon along with the 5km and 42 km road race is open to users of Tigo network by dialing *149*20#. To register, dial *149*20#, select the particular race that you want to run and follow instructions to pay required registration fee for the selected distance. After sending the required registration fee you will receive an SMS message confirming your transaction. Save this SMS message as you will need to show the SMS message as proof of your transaction along with a valid identification card when collecting your race number from physical registration points in Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Moshi,’’ Komba explained.
According to him, the number of the participants has increased from 4,500 to 5,500 this year, and each of the first 4,500 finishers in the 21 km race will receive a commemorative medal, with all the participants in the race receiving certificates of participation.
‘’For the fifth year in a row, Tigo is thrilled to be part of the iconic Tigo Kili Half Marathon road race that brings together elite athletes, sports lovers, friends and families in a celebration of sports, fitness, fun, culture, tourism, environmental conservation, healthy living and lasting memories,” Komba added.
Komba further assured all guests and participants of the Tigo Kilimanjaro Half Marathon of reliable communications through the Tigo network.
‘’We encourage them to share their memories with loved ones on Tanzania’s largest and fastest internet network - Tigo 4G+ that is available in 24 cities across the country. Additionally participants to the Tigo Kili Half Marathon are assured of reliable, safe and secure financial transactions through the Tigo Pesa mobile money network of over 73,000 agents across the country,’’ he said.
Speaking on behalf of organizers, the Race Director, John Bayo, explained that all roads are expected to lead to Moshi as the Kilimanjaro Marathon 2020 is just around the corner with over 11,000 runners expected to take part in the prestigious event.
Organizers are doing final touches as registration also comes to an end on February 16, 2020 with participants from different countries streaming in to collect their numbers.
"The turnout is huge and we are looking forward to yet another big and exciting event on Sunday at the Moshi Cooperative University," said a statement from the organizers.
The organizers said that this time the online registration worked out so well with more than 90 per cent of participants in the 42kilometres and 21 km races registering in time.
The Acting Regional Manager for the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Khalid Mchuma, said during the race’s launch that they will participate in this year’s marathon.
Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Anna Mghwira, Moshi District Commissioner, Kippi Warioba, hoteliers, sponsors and national athletics leaders, among many others, turned up for the launch.