Route changed for Blantyre 42.195km Race to be held on July 30

The route for this year’s Blantyre 42.195km Race — to be held on July 30 has been changed in which athletes will run a 14km stretch three times as a lap loop as opposed to the original of one long stretch up to the finish.

The original route was starting from Ginnery Corner opposite NBS Bank  along Masauko Chipembere Highway heading towards Chichiri Round About.

This time, the start is at the main entrance of Kamuzu Stadium turning right along Makata Road to Chichiri Round About — to proceed along Masauko Chipembere Highway up to the Independence Arch where the athletes will turn right for the Kasungu Crescent up to the entrance to Chichiri Shopping Mall to take the Kwacha road all the way to MBC TV.

Tasosa flanked by Tenthani (left) and Makawa

After MBC Stadium, before reaching St. Columbus CCAP Church, the athletes will turn right along Njamba Road up to Njamba CDSS to connect to Kenyatta Drive all the way to Kamba junction where they will connect to Mahatma Gandhi Road to head for the junction opposite Malawi Red Cross.

They will then held into Mandala Road up to CFAO to turn right to reach Masauko Chipembere Highway up to the Clock Tower.

They will then take the Masauko Chipembere Highway all the way to Chichiri Round About and start another lap on the same route — giving people more chance to watch the progress of the race throughout.

Last year’s winning podium

On the third lap, the athletes will take Makata Road and held for Kamuzu Stadium through the main entrance up to the finish at the VIP Stand.

This was announced on Tuesday by the organising committee headed by Malawi National Council of Sports’ Board member Helene Tasosa, who is chairperson of the Council’s sports development committee.

Accompanied by the organising committee’s chairperson, Chifundo Tenthani and the Race’s technical leader, Mzee Makawa, Tasosa also announced that registration has been opened at K20,000 from Tuesday, May 23 — whose deadline is at close of business on July 25.

“But late entries shall be entertained up to 5pm on July 30 but will be expected to pay more at K30,000,” she said. “Prizes are K1.5 million for the champion of each category of male and female — the same for runners-up at K1 million and K500,000 for the third place.

“There will also be consolation prizes from position 4 to 10,” she said, adding that previous other activities that were held as people waited for the athletes on their long rout to finish — such as relay races — have been scrapped off since people will be expected to line up the streets to watch them pass by their locations for three times.

“However, aerobics are also on the menu to start from 6am as well as the Fun Run from 7am.”

Explaining the change of the route, the head of technical, Makawa — himself a former marathoner — said this is according to new international standards to have loop laps marathons, saying the previous route had very high gradients of above 1m per kilometre.

He also said as a new route, the race will only be open to residents in Malawi and not international athletes as the route awaits certification by world athletics governing body.

Meanwhile, the organising committee chairperson, Tenthani said they will now start courting corporate companies to partner with them as sponsors, saying since more people will be out in the streets, they will be allocated designated places where they could market their products and services.

“This is going to be very strategic for their visibility of their products and services,” he said.

The previous route — from Ginnery Corner Round About — had athletes branch off towards Kwacha Roundabout  from Chichiri Roundabout all the way to MBC TV, 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 Luanda 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.

Makawa said since this is a new route, records are going to be set again — rendering the 16-year-old record of 2:18:40hrs, set by veteran Henry Moyo in 2003 as archived.

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