Commission steps up  Mokhotlong marathon preps

Commission steps up Mokhotlong marathon preps

MASERU – The Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC) on Tuesday launched the 16th edition of Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon at the LSRC’s headquarters in Maseru.
The annual summer marathon is scheduled to take place in Mokhotlong on December 1.
This year’s showpiece is being organised by a local committee comprising of personnel from the Ministry of Gender Youth, Sports and Recreation, LSRC, Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) and Mokhotlong Celebrations Committee.

The first edition of the summer marathon was held in 2003 as an initiative of the Mokhotlong Athletics Club and the district’s business community.
That first race was called the Mokhotlong Town to Town Marathon and in 2004 the name was changed to the High Altitude Marathon to accommodate a wider vision of attracting tourists from around the world.
The race distance was also increased from the inaugural 32.2 to 42.2km in 2004.

Speaking at Tuesday’s launch, LSRC public relations officer Teboho Rakhomo said this year’s edition has seen new developments.
“We have built a local organising committee that will ensure that the Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon takes place and that will find sponsors to make sure that the race’s standards increase even though we are in this financial crisis where the government is broke,” Rakhomo said.

Rakhomo said the LSRC is working on improving certain areas so that the marathon grows in terms of its organisation and athletes’ participation.
He said the LSRC planned to attend expos to market the marathon but only went to one held in Cape Town, South Africa because of financial challenges.
The goal of race’s organisers, Rakhomo said, is to boost the number of entrants into the marathon.

“We had 1100 registered athletes at last year’s race, our target is to have at least 2000 athletes for this year’s edition and it is only through media that we can achieve this target,” Rakhomo said.
“That says if we attended only one expo, it is a challenge to us, hence we urge you (media) to help us engage many athletes to register.”
The Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon is made up of different race categories.

The 5km race will be run by athletes between ages of 16 and 17. There are also 10, 21.1 and the 42.2 km distance races and, for the first time, this year’s edition will include a 1 mile race.
The winner of the main event 42.2 km distance in both the men and women’s marathons will walk away M120 000 richer.

Prize money for top three finishers:
42.2km (men and women)
M120 000 (gold)
M80 000 (silver)
M40 000 (Bronze)
21.1 km
M20 000 (gold)
M12 000 (silver)
M8 000 (bronze)

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