Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon receives World Athletics certification

Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon receives World Athletics certification

The Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon route has officially been certified by World Athletics. This development was confirmed on Tuesday by the marathon organizers during a press briefing held at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, which was also attended by sponsor representatives, members of different running clubs and government officials.

The certification by World Athletics means that the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon route will join a select group of certified courses globally. This accreditation boosts the event’s prestige and offers opportunities for elite athletes to qualify and set records on a globally recognized course.

Expert Measurement

Last month, Gavin Wright, one of only three Grade A World Athletics route measurers in Africa, completed the measurement and assessment of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon’s route in Kasese. Following these measurements and assessments, he submitted his findings to World Athletics, and now the route has been certified. The marathon’s certification was confirmed on Wednesday, April 3 but the announcement was made today.

Public Statement

Amos Wekesa, the team lead at Equator Hikes, the organizers of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon, emphasized the importance of government support following the certification of the marathon’s route by World Athletics.

“After you have been certified, the next thing is to let the whole world know that you have been certified,” said Amos Wekesa, the team lead at Equator Hikes, the organizers of the marathon adding that; “The reality is that as the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon, we will also need government support. Already, we have support from private players, but government input will also be key.”

Ahead of the third edition of the Mt. Rwenzori Marathon slated for August 24, 2024, Wekesa added, “Getting certification is a huge milestone for the marathon, but we now need to attract a large number of participants to the event. Our target this year has been 4,000 runners, but based on current trends, we might exceed 6,000 runners.”

Corporate Backing

Andrew Kilonzo, Managing Director of Uganda Breweries, the producers of Tusker Lite beer, warmly welcomed the groundbreaking development, stressing the importance of the certification of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon route by World Athletics.

“We are thrilled to receive official certification of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon from World Athletics. As Uganda Breweries, we aim to positively impact communities where we operate. Everyone can attest to the economic benefits the marathon brings to people of Kasese and the tourism sector of the country. The global certification is a win for Uganda as more people now have reason to visit the country,” he said.

Government Assurance

Hon. Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku, Minister of State for National Guidance in the Ministry of ICT and a proud native of Kasese, emphasized the importance of the Mt. Rwenzori Marathon, particularly noting the recent certification of its route by World Athletics. According to him, this not only elevates the marathon to international status but also draws more runners and tourists to the region.

Moreover, he pledged that the government remains dedicated to ensuring sufficient security measures for the participants and enhancing infrastructure to elevate the overall marathon experience.

Tourism Boost

Basil Ajer, a director in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities noted that; “The certification of the Mt. Rwenzori Marathon route marks a significant milestone for both the marathon and our tourism sector. It not only highlights the natural beauty of the region but also positions it as a premier destination for sports tourism. This recognition by World Athletics will undoubtedly attract more athletes and tourists, showcasing the diverse offerings of our country and contributing to its economic growth.”

Scenic Adventure

Julius Nkuraija, the course director, boasts extensive experience in route design and eagerly anticipates this significant milestone in the event’s history.

“The route was meticulously crafted to offer participants a challenging yet rewarding experience. It takes them through breathtaking scenery, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Equator, the historic Kilembe Mines, and beyond. It’s an unforgettable journey that leaves participants feeling fulfilled,” he commented.

Industry Endorsement

The marathon has some big backers, including Standard Chartered Bank for prize money, along with support from UNDP, Hima Cement, Britam, and Rwenzori Water. Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is also on board, committed to helping the event gain worldwide recognition.

Global Prestige

Now that the Mt. Rwenzori Marathon’s route has been verified by World Athletics, it now joins a select group of races across the continent with tracks certified by World Athletics. These races include the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, the Cape Town Marathon in South Africa, the Soweto Marathon in South Africa, the Addis Ababa Marathon in Ethiopia, the Lagos City Marathon in Nigeria, the Kilimanjaro Marathon in Tanzania, the Victoria Falls Marathon in Zimbabwe, among others.

The Mt. Rwenzori Marathon is now set to stand out from the rest of track events on the continent and across the globe because having a World Athletics’ certified route boosts the event’s prestige and offers opportunities for elite athletes to qualify and set records on a globally recognized course.

Now featuring four categories – 42km, 21km,10km, and 5km – the marathon offers something for everyone, promoting healthy lifestyles, community engagement and a field for proving athletic excellence.

Moreover, the marathon is now the only Ugandan-run event certified by the World Athletics. Achieving certification from the global body immediately establishes the Mt. Rwenzori Marathon as a globally recognized and reputable event. It serves as a testament to the marathon’s adherence to the highest international standards of organization, course measurement, safety, and athlete support.

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