Friday, July 9, 2010

Stage set for 25th Phikwe Marathon


Top marathon runners will be among 5,000 athletes expected to descend on Selebi-Phikwe tomorrow for the 25th Mascom Phikwe 42.2km Marathon. Mascom has sponsored the event to the tune of P250,000.
The marathon has attracted runners from South Africa, Kenya (one), Namibia (one), Lesotho (one) and Zimbabwe (five).
The marathon has a new feature, which the organisers said is meant to bring the event closer to the people.
"We have decided to change the route because we wanted residents of this town to feel the race and to be part of it. We did not want a route that goes out of town. People would like to see runners because over the years, residents have not been feeling the presence of this magnificent event," the organisers said.
Last year's champion in the men's category, Keineetse Moswasi of Sports View Club, will be out to defend his title. Moswasi has won the Phikwe Marathon three times and would look to better last year's time of 2:24:13secs. He is expected to face a tough battle from his club rival, Bashingili Ndabili who was the runner-up last year.
In the women's section,w there will be stiff competition from international athletes who are expected to push defending champion, Onkemetse Selotate of Gaborone Runners Club to the limit.
Selotate won with a time of 3:02:37secs ahead of team mate, Tina Mekgwe who clocked 3:44:26secs. The course was recently measured and given the nod by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). The Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) has said it is impressed with the new course. IAAF measurer Norrie Williamson said in his report to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) that the course measurements comply with the IAAF rules and the measured distance is within the prescribed distance for the event. He explained that the route was a complete new measurement as a result of the completion of one of the roads on the circuit.
"I spent a considerable time redesigning the route, using the principles established by the organisers in order to ensure that the course met IAAF standards," he said.