Preparations for the 13th edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon, scheduled for May 21, have started early as the organisers bid to stage a successful event, according to the Rwanda Athletics Federation secretary general, Johnson Rukundo.
The official revealed that they expect more participation compared to previous editions. Registration is already in progress at Amahoro National Stadium.
“Preparations have begun already and the organising committee has so far held two meetings in that regard, and we hope to make the official launch of the event towards the end of this month,” Rukundo told Times Sport on Wednesday.
According to Rukundo, this year’s race will comprise three categories, including; the full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km) and run for fun (7km).
He noted that, “This year we expect more than 4000 participants, and it is in that context that we plan to invite neighbouring countries to field at least two athletes (male and female). We shall use the same routes that we’ve used in the past.”
The 21km race will start from Amahoro stadium via Chez Lando, Gishushu, MTN Centre Nyarutarama, Gacuriro and back to Gishushu, then Parliament, Umubano Hotel and then to Gishushu, Gisementi, Tigo, University of Rwanda (former KIE), Control Technique, Sports View Hotel and back to Amahoro stadium, while the 42km will be twice this route.
The 7km Run-for-Fun will start from the Amahoro stadium via University of Rwanda (former KIE), Control Technique, Sports View hotel and then back to the stadium.
Since 2004, Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) has been organising the Kigali International Peace Marathon dubbed ‘Kigali International Peace Marathon.’
It started as a way to use sports in the healing and reconciliation process in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
No Rwandan athlete has ever won this race, which has been dominated by Kenyans in both the men and women categories.
Last year, James Cheritich Tallam won gold in men’s 42km race using two hours, 19 minutes and 3 seconds ahead of compatriots Rono Kibet, who clocked 02:19:20, while William Rutto Chebdi finished in third place (2:20:11). Theoneste Kayiranga (02:24:06) was Rwanda’s best-placed athlete in 7th position.
In the women category, it was also an all Kenyan affair with the winner, Jeruiyot Chemweno, clocking two hours, 38 minutes and 20 seconds, ahead of Alice Cheroti Milgo Serser (02:41:32) while Jacqueline Nyetipei Kipromoo (02:53:56) got the bronze medal.
In the men’s half marathon, Benson Kipruto took the gold medal in 1h:4:13 Rwandan Felicien Muhitira came in 5th position, while the women’s gold was won by Kenyan Anges Jeruto after clocking one hour, 13 minutes and 31 seconds.
Rwandan Salome Nyirarukundo was the only podium finisher scooping silver in the women half marathon after using a time of 1 hour, 13 minutes and 55 seconds.