Organizing committee for Blantyre Marathon says it still expects a good perfomance although the competition did not take place last year.
Chairperson for the committee Martin Matululu said this yesterday at a press conference where the committee gave an update of the competition, which is expected to be held on Sunday, June 20th, 2021 in the commercial city.
Matululu says they have extended registration period for athletes, and have also put in place good prizes to attract many participants in the race sponsored by Rab Processors through their product, Vital water.
“So far what has been put in place is that we have started receiving registration forms from athletes across the country. We put up our marketing team and we placed some adverts through social media and newspapers. So the response has been good.
“Apart from targeting the athletes, we are also targeting the general public in Blantyre so that they come and participate in the fun- run as well as aerobics. So far we have 33 men and 2 women; this is just on individual basis. In addition, we also have 10 relay teams. We have just received information that the Police team is also coming to participate.” Matululu said.
He added that the extension of registration period to Friday, June 18th had to do with late entry fee of ten thousand Kwacha which athletes complained about. Initially, registration until Sunday, 6th June was twenty thousand Kwacha and application later than that was going to need an extra ten thousand Kwacha.
“They complained and we scrapped that off. So participants can still pay twenty thousand Kwacha up until 18th. We will close on that date so that the organizing committee has Saturday, on 19th, to make logistical arrangements.” He said.
A record breaker for the 42.195 kilometers marathon will have not to hit 2 hours 18 minutes which Henry Moyo set in 2019.
“Whoever beats this record will get an extra 500 thousand Kwacha on top of 1 million Kwacha which is top prize.” Matulu said.
The competition was not held in 2020 due to Corona Virus (Covid-19) restrictions that government put to all functions including sporting activities. But Matululu says they still expect athletes to perform up to standard, adding that all preventive measures will be observed.
Sponsors have committed to provide 1300 Vital water and 1000 bottles of thumbs up which is also their product. Julio Nailo, Marketing Officer for Rab Processors says they are happy to be part of this event.
“With the Covid 19, there has been no events. So when the Blantyre marathon committee approached us, we thought it wise to be with them. We partnered with them already in 2019 competition. When you are doing a marathon, you cannot do without water. This why as Rab Processors we have come in.
“It is like we are giving back to the community. So, Vital water will be exposed to the athletes. That is our expectation during this event.” Nile said.
The 6 hour marathon will start 6 AM at Ginnery corner and end at Kamuzu Stadium. There will also be a 4 by 400 mixed relay where top prize is one hundred thousand Kwacha.
All participants will receive certificates and medals in the race that will also have 90 volunteers.