MTN Kigali Peace Marathon open to foreign runners

RWANDA ATHLETICS Federation has allowed foreign runners to participate in the 10th edition of the MTN Kigali Peace Marathon scheduled for May 18. 
Alex Nizeyimana, 2nd from left, and Godfrey Rutayisire, right, will be among the home favourites in the half and full marathons respectively. File.
Alex Nizeyimana, 2nd from left, and Godfrey Rutayisire, right, will be among the home favourites in the half and full marathons respectively. File.

RWANDA ATHLETICS Federation has allowed foreign runners to participate in the 10th edition of the MTN Kigali Peace Marathon scheduled for May 18. 

Initially, the federation had taken a decision to prohibit foreign runners from taking part in the half marathon race as part of giving local runners a chance to excel. 

However, the decision was rescinded following appeals from foreign runners interested in competing at the event.

“We found it useful to consider foreign runners in the event following requests from international runners. Since we also want the marathon to be certified by nternational Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), it would not be wise to stop foreign participants from taking part,” the local athletics governing body’s technical director Jean Pierre Ndacyayisenga told Times Sport yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Ndacyayisenga disclosed that the federation has plans to organise a half marathon meant for local runners in June as part of identifying potential long distance runners for the future. 

With 17 days left to the event, registration is underway at all MTN service centers across the country as well as Rwanda athletics federation offices at Amahoro stadium. 

Rwandans are parting with Rwf.2000 while foreigners are paying Rwf.6000 as registration fees to participate in the one-day event which will have three categories of races – the full marathon – 42km, half marathon – 21km and the ‘run for fun’ – 5km. 

The event will attract foreign athletes from countries like Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania among others. 

The proceeds from the race will go to the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission to support its activities. 

MTN Rwanda has injected Rwf53m in the event. The theme of the event is ‘In the new world, we run together.’ 

Kenyan Barnabas Kipyego and Ethiopian Faye Mosjsa Dabele are defending champions in marathon and half marathon races.

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