Rwanda’s middle-distance runner Salome Nyirarukundo has her eyes on winning the inaugural ‘Run Blue’ half marathon race on Sunday.
The race will have two categories, 21km and the 5km run for fun. The big names in men’s category include; Jean Marie Vianney Myasiro and Noel Hitimana.
Clubs like APR, Mountain Classic Club, Vision Jeunesse Nouvelle, New Athletes Stars, Sec Academy, Nyamasheke, Kamonyi, Burera, Ntarama and Huye will contest for the top prize.
In May, the 20-year-old youngster made history after becoming the first Rwandan female athlete to win the Kigali Peace Half Marathon since the inception of the annual event in 2005.
The APR Athletics Club runner, qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games women 10,000 metres, where the Rutsiro-born athlete debutant finished 27th after clocking 32:07:80.
Nyirarukundo also qualified for 2017 IAAF World Championships held in London in August, finishing 25th despite running on an injured leg.
Looking ahead to Sunday’s ‘Run Blue’ race, her first competition since recovering from the injury, Nyirakundo said, “I’m feeling good, so far there is no recurrence of the injury since I started training last week.”
“My focus has been on the ‘Run Blue’ race, a competition that will facilitate my comeback after three months on the sidelines,” she said, adding that, “my aim is to win the race on Sunday.”
The Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF) technical director, Jean Pierre Ndacyayisenga, said that they expect about 2000 participants to take part in the first edition of what is going to be an annual event.
The race is being organized by Rwanda Athletics Federation (RAF), Rwanda Biomedical Centre (RBC) and Rwanda Diabetes Association (RDA).
Crispin Gishoma, the head of the Diabetes Association (RDA) said that they want to sensitize people to do sports which will protect them from life style diseases like Diabetes.
“We want many people to turn up for the event because it is a good platform to raise awareness about healthy living,” Gishoma noted.
The winners (men and women) will walk away with Rwf100,000, second-placed with Rwf80,000 while third, fourth and fifth will get Rwf60,000, Rwf40,000 and Rwf20,000 respectively.