Over 3000 have so far registered for the upcoming 15th Kigali International Peace Marathon, due on Sunday, June 16.
According to Rwanda Athletics Federation, over 1000 of those registered are foreigners, and more people are expected to register by close of the deadline on Saturday.
The one-day event, which is open to all, comprises of three main categories namely; full marathon (42.195 km), half-marathon (21,098 km) and the Run for Peace 10km race. They will all start and finish inside Amahoro National stadium.
Meanwhile, star British runner Mo Farah – who had been invited – will not be part of the event, according to his associate Anna-Louise Webster.
“Unfortunately, Mo will not be attending the (Kigali Peace) marathon,” She told Times Sport in an email, adding, “We hope it is a success and the day goes well!!”
By press time, fastest man alive Usain Bolt was also yet to confirm whether he will – or not – honour his invitation. However, Ethiopian legend Derartu Tulu, the first African women to win an Olympic gold medal, has confirmed her availability.
Derartu, 42, is a retired Ethiopian long-distance runner who competed in track, cross country running, and road running up to the marathon distance.
She became the first Ethiopian woman and the first black African woman to win an Olympic gold medal, which she won in the 10,000m event at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
Inaugurated in 2005, the Kigali Peace Marathon has grown by leaps and bounds from a local event to becoming one of the biggest athletics events on the continent. Its 2018 edition attracted around 10,000 participants.
The race was established as an avenue to use sport as a tool to heal and unify Rwandans, and connect them to the world, after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
In the competitive marathon and half-marathon events, Rwanda will field thirteen representatives who are in residential camp for intensive preparations, in Gicumbi District, since last week.
Among the thirteen is Noel Hitimana, the reigning champion in men’s half-marathon.