With inspiration drawn from the iconic Kilimanjaro run in Tanzania, Uganda is set to have its first-ever marathon in the ranges, dubbed the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori marathon.
The run will take place on the 3rd of September between 6:30am to 12:30pm at the Kasese marathon grounds.
Partnering with a number of both regional and multinational brands, the event organizers Equator hikes anticipate hosting more than 2000 participants in the run and close to 5000 revelers.
Director Equator hikes Amos Wekesa is optimistic the marathon will help attract world attention to the iconic Rwenzori ranges and boost the tourism numbers.
“As equator hikes we are very excited to partner with such big brands. This is not going to be the usual marathon you see. Our dream as the team is to bring business to kasese and increase the number of climbers. We also want to encourage health living. Our dream in the next five years is to make sure rwenzori has more than 5000 climbers. If you can not run, buy a kit for someone who can.” Wekesa said.
He went on to reveal the Chief runner who will be the country’s representative in UNDP Ms. Elsie Attafuah and also gave assurance of how every runner will receive a medal at the end.
The brands teamed with are; Standard chartered, a banking partner covering the cash prizes amounting to 42 million shillings that will be handed to the top five and top three winners in the 42km and 21km respectively for both the men and women’s categories.
Jumia, an online trading partner assigned with helping participants in obtaining their running kits, and RocketHealth, a mobile health service provider that will take care of the medical and healthcare needs at the event. Other partners include UNDP, and Rwenzori Mineral Water.
As official sponsor, Tusker Lite has announced a sponsorship package of Shs800m for the inaugural marathon along with organizing a big concert after the marathon, which is more reason for people to get out of town on top of other fun activities like hikes, bird watching and boat rides on Kazinga channel.
During a presser in Kampala, Director of marketing and innovations at Uganda Breweries Emmy Hashakimana noted that the package is just the start of something bigger coming, and their partnership in the marathon is intended to encourage a health living.
Emmy Hashakimana said; “I’d like to give assurances that this will not be a one off. Tusker Lite has made a long-time commitment to ensure the Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon grows into one of the biggest events of its nature on the continent and even the world.”
Emmy emphasized how the marathon will not only benefit the participants and travellers but also the local communities in Kasese by ferrying potential clients to the different businesses in the locality.
“As Tusker Lite, we are looking forward to being a part of this monumental event that champions healthier lifestyles and reminds us of the need to conserve our environment. On top of this; our parent company UBL is not just in the business of selling beer, but is committed to transforming the lives of people. We are certain the marathon will transform businesses and the lives of the common people in Kasese,” Hashakimana added.
A representative from RocketHealth, Sandra Arinaitwe guaranteed stretching sessions before and after the run, as well as a team of medical personnel on-site, to provide medical attention whenever need be.
In charge of the accommodation and transport arrangements, Tripesa’s David Gonahasa summarised the whole communication with a single phrase; “if you can’t run, go for the fun.”
A street rave will welcome the participants into Kasese with a lineup of DJs and guest performers to have the partygoers sorted and at the end of the event as well. Revelers who won’t have interest in the prize money will have a chance to take on a prizeless 5km run as they explore the scenic beauty offered by Kasese.
Prizes (Both men and women)
42km (full marathon)
Position one – 5 million
Position two – 4 million
Position three – 3 million
Position four – 2 million
Position five – 1 million
21 km ( half marathon)
Position one – 3 million
Position two – 2 million
Position three – 1 million
The official running kit can be purchased online via Jumia at ush50,000 with options to be delivered around Kampala or on D-day in Kasese.