RAF, RCB to co-organise 2019 Kigali Peace Marathon

Kigali International Peace marathoners during the 2017 edition. No Rwandan has ever won gold in full-marathon events of the competition. Sam Ngendahimana.

Rwanda Convention Bureau (RCB) has entered into partnership with the local athletics governing body (RAF) to co-organise the 15th Kigali International Peace Marathon, Times Sport has learned.

The 2019 edition of the annual event is scheduled for June 16.

Speaking to this publication on Tuesday, the RAF Secretary-General, Olivier Umutangana, admitted that, “the event is becoming too big for the federation to handle by itself”, which is why RCB has stepped in to take over some responsibilities.

It is understood that RCB, among other tasks, has taken over marketing and communication of the competition, whose inaugural edition was held in 2004.

“Kigali Peace Cup has steadily grown big over the years, and the intention is to make it bigger every other year. That is why we needed the support of RCB,” said Umutangana.

“RAF will remain in charge of the technical aspects of the marathon, while RCB will take over other responsibilities; especially the marketing, communication and partnerships.”

By press time Tuesday, it was yet to be determined if MTN Rwanda would again be the event’s main sponsors, while Skol Brewery had pulled out as a potential replacement should the telecom company end their long-term partnership with RAF.

Full-Marathon gold medalists will this year pocket US$D5,000 (about Rwf4.5million), while the silver and bronze medalists will walk away with 3,000(about Rwf2.7million) and 2,000 (about Rwf1.8million), respectively, more than double the prizes for 2018 champions.

Umutangana further revealed: “We have invited officials from one international marathon organising company; they will be there to assess the potential of the race before we start working with them next year.”

It is expected that around 6,000 participants – professionals and amateurs – will take part in the one-day multi-category competition.

It is divided into five categories; full marathon (42km), half marathon (21km), 10.54km marathon team relays, 5km course for children and an open-for-all 5km run for fun.

Kigali Peace Marathon, one of the biggest marathon events on the continent, was first held in 2004 in an effort to use sport in the healing and reconciliation process in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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