As preparations for the MTN Kampala Marathon take shape, the telecom has organized regional runs, starting with Soroti District in Eastern Uganda on Sunday 3.
This is aimed at giving the event a greater reach and help boost the health status in those respective regions.
Last year, in a bid to give it a national feel, the Telecom giant expanded the annual MTN Kampala Marathon to three other regions.
The MTN Runs were successfully conducted in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara. This year, in the spirit of giving an opportunity to all, the runs have been taken to different districts.
Held under the theme; “A good reason to run”, the 2019 MTN Regional Runs shall start in Soroti this Sunday, Arua and Masaka follow after on 10 and 17 November 2019 respectively, ahead of the flagship ‘MTN Kampala Marathon’ in Kampala on Sunday the 24th of November.
Speaking to the press ahead of the race, Isaiah Ssemamuli, MTN Senior Manager, Regional Operations said the Telecom introduced the regional races as a way of allowing people in the regions to showcase their abilities and also give people in the participating regions an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of others through the causes that the MTN Run and Marathon support.
“We are happy that the people of Soroti have welcomed the race and many of them have already registered and collected their running kits. The money that we are going to collect will go towards improving maternal health in the Teso sub-region,” said Isaiah Ssemamuli.
With an estimated 336 deaths per 100,000 live births, Uganda’s maternal mortality is one of the highest in the world. This explains why for the third year in a row, the Marathon will focus on improving maternal health.
Proceeds from last year’s Marathon are being used to complement efforts by the Ministry of Health to improve service delivery in 5 Health Centre IV facilities across Uganda.
The Guest of Honor, Soroti District Chairperson, Hon. Girgiro Mikairi Egunyu said he was happy that the marathon has come to Teso region. “We are very happy that you have remembered us and we are particularly very happy that the proceeds are going to be used to upgrade a health Center IV in our region,” he said.
Stephen Kiprotich will be the guest runner in Soroti. “I am always excited about the MTN Marathon. This marathon gave me a platfoam when I was starting out which helped me a lot in my international career. I still participate in the marathon because it gives me a platform to practice for my international engagements,” he said.
While the regional races will feature a single 10km route run, the Kampala Marathon will feature five routes including; the full marathon (42Km), half marathon (21Km), the 10Km race and 5Km fun run and the wheelchair race.
The wheelchair race that was previously held a weekend before the main marathon event will this year take place on the same day as the main marathon to foster inclusiveness.
According to MTN, Special attention has also been made to ensure every participant has a vest that fits and enables a comfortable running experience.