K500,000 once again dangled as incentive to break 18-year-old Blantyre City Marathon record

K500,000 once again dangled as incentive to break 18-year-old Blantyre City Marathon record

Malawi National Council of Sports still keeps the K500,000 which was dangled as an incentive three years ago to the athlete who might break the 18-year-old Blantyre City Marathon time record of 2:18:40hrs set in 2003 by retired marathoner Henry Moyo.

The annual race then went into hibernation until Sports Council revived it four years ago in which the K500,000 incentive was added as well as K1 million each the winners in both male and female categories.

Sponsors Lab Processors hands over the Vital Water and ThumbsUp juice to Matululu

No athlete achieved this in the past two editions as last edition’s champion in 2019, Zomba-based Mphatso Nadolo, was some 12 minutes away from it at 2:29:38 — and it was not even his personal best because in 2018, in his maiden marathon, he was third in 2:28:42.

The 2018 winner, Moyale Barracks soldier Ndacha Nchelenje, finished in a time of 2:27:10, over by 9:30 minutes of the 2:18:40 record.

In the women’s category, the benchmark set as a record was that clocked by Theresa Master at 2:48:21, which is her personal best she set at the Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.

The 2019 winner was South Africa-based Nalicy Chirwa, who finished in 3:05:55, beating Master to it who finished in 3:17:11 in third place.

However, Master beat her 2018 time of 3:19:49, in which she overshot her Rio Olympic Games personal best by 31:28 minutes.

Master’s 2018 runner-up, Doris Fisher was also second in 2019 while the men’s second place was taken by Kefasi Kasiteni in 2:32:35 with Jafali Jossam, in his maiden marathon, in third in 2:34:37.

At a press briefing on Friday to announce that all is set for the third edition of the marathon on Sunday, June 20, chairperson of the organising committee, Martin Matululu, confirmed that the K500,000 incentive is still on offer on top of the K1 million prize winners’ money.

Runners-up prize in both categories is at K500,000, third place at K250,000, 4th at K150,000 and 5th at K80,000.

There will also be prizes at K70,000, K60,000, K50,000, 40,000 and K30,000 for 6th-10th positions respectively.

The cut off time for the first 10 places is set at 2:45:00hrs for men and 3::50:00hrs for women.

Extra activities after the marathon’s start will include a 6km race from the roundabout near NBS Bank at Ginnery Corner to the roundabout at the Clock Tower in Blantyre and turning back all the way to Kamuzu Stadium — the finishing point of the marathon.

There will also be relay races at the stadium awaiting the arrival of marathoners as well as aerobics activities.

Matululu said the registration, whose deadline was initially set at June 6, was extended to June 18 — responding to calls from athletes who pleaded that they were still raising the registration fees of K20,000 each.

He said as of Friday, there were 33 individual men and two women registered but they expect more athletes by the end of business on June 18.

And just like last year, Lab Processors are the sponsors, who will provide 1,300 bottled Vital water as well as 1,000 bottles of ThumbsUp energy juice.

Minister of Sports Ulemu Msungama and other dignitaries such as the Blantyre City Mayor and Sports Council Board members are expected to grace the occasion.

The route starts at Ginnery Corner Roundabout in Blantyre near NBS Bank to Chichiri Roundabout where it branches off towards Kwacha Roundabout all the way to TVM, past St. Columbus CCAP Church and all the way to Kudya trading centre.

At Kudya, the route heads towards Zingwangwa and all the way to Stella Maris Secondary School where it turns towards Moneymen Club then past Catholic Institute (CI) and reaching Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre Central Business District.

Then it turns to what is popularly known as Kandodo Corner Shop where it branches off to Mbayani heading all the way to Kameza Roundabout before turning towards Machinjiri turn off where there is the Ernegem Filling Station.

The route then heads into Machinjiri, past Luwanda Trading Centre; Area 5; Mkolokoti, Makhetha before joining the road from Zomba and going down past Lever Brothers; past Maselema Roundabout and reaching Chichiri Roundabout where it branches off Makata road and enter into Kamuzu Stadium for the finish line in front of the VIP Stand.

Matululu said extra police officers shall be placed at all hot spots such as Zingwangwa, Manase, Blantyre’s central business district, Mbayani, Chirimba, Kameza, Luwanda, Mkolokoti and Makhetha.

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