Lake Manyara Marathon draws 3,000 athletes

OVER 3000 athletes will be running along with wildlife in the forthcoming Lake Manyara Half Marathon to be flagged off on September 17th this year in Karatu.

The event will also stage the 10km and 5km fun races despite the main event, 21km Half Marathon.

Mto- wa Mbu area in Monduli, is the main  venue to host both starting and finishing stages.

The area is adjacent to both Lake Manyara and its corresponding National Park.

‘Racing in the Country of Flamingo,’ is the guiding theme and indeed, all participants will be given special Flamingo T-shirts, in honour of the pink-coloured trademark species of Manyara.

The Marathon will be flagged off from the Lake Manyara National Park entry gate and will climax at the Barafu grounds in Mto-wa-Mbu.

International Athlete, Emmanual Giniki, who has been appointed the Goodwill ambassador of the race, is among the participants of this year’s Lake Manyara Marathon.

“The race, which covers mostly cultural and tourist sites, will double as an active tourism event, cultural sampling fair and talent identifying platform,” said Morris Leonard Okinda, the Director of GreenLeaf Mohar.

GreenLeaf Mohar is the firm that organises the maiden Lake Manyara Marathon.

Adding, he said they have chosen the area because most residents of Mto-wa-Mbu have always been playing the role of tour and safari guides to foreign visitors.

“Mto wa-Mbu is also a spectacular tourist destination in its own right, starting from being located next to Lake Manyara National Park as well featuring cultural offerings such as traditional food, cultural ornaments, banana plantations and paddy farms,” he added.

Mto-wa-Mbu happens to be a cultural melting point for both locals and foreigners.

The small, but very active township is perched below the Great Rift Valley wall and serves as gateway to Karatu, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

And now the Lake Manyara Marathon is being added into the mix to spur things up through the hybrid sports and tourism offering.

Of all the categories, it is the Fun run which covers five kilometres that has attracted the biggest number of runners as so far 1,500 shown interest.

The Executive Race of 10 kilometres has on the other hand attracted 1,000 participants, while the main event, 21km Half Marathon will be run by 500 athletes.

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