Upcoming long distance runner Salome Nyirarukundo is optimistic about winning a gold medal in the inaugural HeForShe half-marathon set for today—starting and ending at Amahoro National Stadium.
Fresh from winning this year’s Dar-es-Salaam Rotary half-marathon with a personal best of 1:11:00 last month, Nyirarukundo will be looking to claim a second title in a space of three weeks.
The APR athletics club runner, Nyirarukundo, who made her breakthrough on the international scene at the inaugural African Youth Athletics Championships in 2013 in Nigeria, will be hoping to overcome stiff challenge from her rivals Clementine Mukandanga and Claudette Mukasakindi.
“It is going to be a tough race, almost all elite runners have registered and each one of them, including myself will be targeting the gold medal. I am fit and ready for the competition especially after winning the Dar Rotary Half-Marathon,” Nyirarukundo told Sunday Sport.
The 18-year old added, “However, there is no room for complacency on my side, I have got to go into the race determined to win.” Over 500 runners have registered for the race.
Nyirarukundo, who acknowledged that she is determined to register an impressive performance in her bid to climb up the radar as Rwanda’s top female long distance runner, also finished fourth at this year’s Kigali International Peace Marathon.
According to the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) secretary general Johnson Rukundo, the competition will be an annual event and is expected to grow bigger with every subsequent edition.
The race is organized by the Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) and the Ministry of Sports and Culture (MINISPOC) in partnership with the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion (MIGEPROF) under the HeForShe Campaign.
HeForShe is a solidarity Movement for Gender equality developed by UN Women to engage Men and Boys as Advocates and Agents of Changes for the achievement of Gender equality and Women’s rights.
The Kigali HeForShe half-Marathon will include a half marathon (21km) and ‘Run for Fun’ (5km)—all starting and ending at Amahoro National Stadium.
The 21km run will start from Amahoro via Kacyiru Police headquarters, Kinamba, Poid Lourd, Kanogo, Rwandex, Minisante headquarters, Sonatube, Christus, FARG headquarters and back to Amahoro stadium.
The 5km run will also start from Amahoro stadium via University of Rwanda (former KIE), FERWAFA headquarters and back to Amahoro stadium.