This year’s 13th edition of Kigali International Peace Marathon will cost Rwf90 million, an increase of Rwf19m from last year, according to the organizers, Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF). The annual event is scheduled for April 21.
The budget increase comes after MTN Rwanda, the official event sponsors increased their sponsorship package from Rwf69.75 million last year to Rwf71 million with the rest (Rwf19million) expected to be raised from other partners including the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
RAF president Jean Paul Munyandamutsa said, “We expect a very successful event this year. And also we expect to have between 5,000 to 6,000 participants, which would be the highest in the history of Kigali International Peace Marathon.”
This year’s theme will be “Run for our Heroes” in a bid to honor the lives lost during the struggle to liberate the country.
Despite an increase in total budget, the prize money will remain the same as last year’s where the gold winners in both men and women categories will walk away with Rwf2m, while silver winners will pocket Rwf1.5m and bronze winners will take Rwf1.2m.
The race will comprise three categories, namely; Full Marathon (42km), Half Marathon (21km) and Run for Fun (7km).
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 race will run 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.
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 (02:19:20) and William Rutto Chebdi (2:20:11). Theoneste Kayiranga (02:24:06) was Rwanda’s best finisher in 7th place.
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 while Rwandan Felicien Muhitira came in 5th position.
The women’s gold was won by Kenyan Anges Jeruto in one hour, 13 minutes and 31 seconds and Rwandan Salome Nyirarukundo scooped silver clocking 1 hour, 13 minutes and 55 seconds.