Kili Marathon 2021 takes Moshi by storm as locals dominate

01Mar 2021
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Kili Marathon 2021 takes Moshi by storm as locals dominate

THOUSANDS of local and foreign runners yesterday flocked Moshi town in Kilimanjaro to take part in this year's Kilimanjaro Marathon that saw local runners steal the show in all major races.

Augustino Sulle, aged 23, won the men's Kilimanjaro Premium Lager’s 42km race (full marathon) after he clocked at 02:18:04 to finish first in the prestigious event that was braced with a clear vision of iced Africa’s highest mountain, mount Kilimanjaro. The rest of nine winners were Tanzanians as well.

“I trained hard and prepared well to make sure that this time I make my country proud after years of Kenyans' dominance in the full marathon,” Sulle, who recently triumphed in Toronto Marathon in Canada, recording 2:07:45, noted.

He beat several other top professional athletes who took part in the country’s premier marathon that will next year be celebrating two decades since its inception in 2003.

Michael Sanga and Charles Sule, who clocked 2:19:21 and 02:20:54, ended second and third respectively.

In the women’s 42km event, Tanzanian Jackline Sakilu, aged 33, won the title with a timing of 02:45:44. Other winners from second to ninth were Tanzanians except the 10th position which went to Kremer Dominic of Netherlands.

“I feel happy to win the major title this time, I lastly won the half marathon in 2014, it’s a milestone for me,” Jackline noted.

“The race was good and I’m happy with its organization for the security of runners from the start, during the race (in all routes) and to the finish line,” she stated.

She noted: ''It actually gave me a good platform to support my preparations for 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games.''

The race's sponsors are Kilimanjaro Premium Lager (42km event), Tigo Tanzania (21km) and energetic drink, Grand Malt that sponsors 5km Fun Run for people of all ages.

Others are water table sponsors- Unilever Tanzania, Simba Cement, TPC Sugar, Kilimanjaro International Leather Company Limited, Kibo Palace Hotel and official suppliers include Garda  World Security, Keys Hotel and CMC Automobile.

In men's 21km event, Ugandan Abel Chebet won the title after clocking 01:03:17, followed by Tanzanians Gabreil Geay, Emmanuel Giniki and Calvin Sarakikya, who ended second, third and fourth.

The trio posted 01:03:18, 01:03:31 and 01:04:12, respectively. The rest of the winners were Tanzanians.

The women's 21km race was an all-Tanzanian affair as Failuna Matanga won at 01:16:17, followed by Angelina Tsere ( 01:17:43) and Anastazia Dolomongo ( 01:18:12).

Hundreds of runners also took part in the Grand Malt 5km Fun Run which was led by the Deputy Minister for Information, Culture and Sports, Abdallah Ulega.

Speaking before the prize giving at Ushirika College ground, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager’s brand manager, Irene Mutiganzi, said that it has been a privilege for her brand, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager sponsoring the event in two race categories, the main race and the 5-km race through Grand Malt. She hailed up the winners, participants, organisers and coordinators for the beautiful race ever.

“The massive winning of the Tanzanian runners shows that they have prepared well for the event, I congratulate all the winners,'' she said.

She was also impressed by a magnitude number of participants from more than 55 countries, making the race as the among the greatest, not only in Tanzania, but African continent.

She said that her brands made a huge effort to promote the race  and through their so-called ‘Twenzetu’ campaign, they boarded a train from Dar es Salaam to Moshi specifically to create awareness through advertisements.

Angelina Pesha, who is the Head of Tigo Pesa Unit, also congratulated the participants for running in the foothills and down of Africa’s highest mountain, adding that Tigo has since 2015 been sponsoring the race and will continue to do that.

And in support of environmental conservation, she said that her firm created an awareness to plant trees in Hai district through the so-called Tigo Green for Kili-One Step One  Tree.

Delivering his speech to the participants who were treated to several entertainment, Deputy Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, Abdallah Ulega, thanked all the sponsors, participants, including the organisers, Kilimanjaro Marathon Company and coordinators, Executive Solutions for making the race possible.

He said that the government has been giving Kilimanjaro Marathon a big priority because of its importance to promote athletes and tourism through sports tourism as foreign runners take part and view mount Kilimanjaro that yesterday came out in full glory with no cloud.

He said the race has also been boasting Kilimanjaro region’s economy as hotels, food vendors and transportation sector do business before, during and after colourful climax.

The winners in all races pocketed millions of cash prizes from race sponsors and went home with medals. Kenyans dominated last year’s event in full marathon events in both men and women disciplines.

The event is organized by Kilimanjaro Marathon Company Limited and locally coordinated by Executive Solutions Limited.

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