Stage set for Serengeti Safari Marathon

Preparations for the fifth edition of the Serengeti Safari Marathon are in top gear with organizers of the East Africa’s biggest annual event working round-the-clock, less than a month to go.

Already, more than 100 athletes, joggers, tourists, nature lovers and the general public have registered for the long-distance foot race whose theme will be centered on promoting sports tourism and sustainable conservation.

In an interview with ‘Daily News’ , Serengeti Safari Marathon Director Timothy Mdinka, described this year’s race as unique event which will also celebrate Serengeti National Park’s recent feat at the World Travel Awards (WTA) and a time of reflecting on the famous 1961 Arusha manifesto, which is Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere’s philosophy to protect and cherish Tanzania’s spectacular wildlife as a prime national heritage.

“While it happens in the same year when Royal Tour got premiered, the race will also center sustainable conservation, with the focus being on communities reaping benefits from the natural attractions surrounding them,” he disclosed.

Mr Mdinka pointed out further that the Marathon which will attract 1000 participants from around the world, will see each athlete contribute $1, to support a de-snaring program, a brainchild of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators(TATO), jointly implemented by the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and the Frankfurt Zoological Society(FZS).

“Sustainable tourism also entails at protecting the flora and fauna in our natural attractions,” the Serengeti Safari Marathon Director explained.

According to Mr Mdinka the marathon, slated for November 12, will be preceded by a marathon week which will held in Simiyu and Mara regions respectively.

He added that some of the runners have already been put through their paces by Alexander Crowther from the United States.

The much awaited race will start with a gun’s shot at Ndabaka gate with the runners battling out the first 10 kilometers within the Serengeti National Park through the shores of Lake Victoria and cross the finish line at Ndabaka gate.

The United Nations defines Sustainable tourism as that which benefits and engages local communities, can also provide a source of livelihood, strengthen cultural identities and spur entrepreneurial activities, thereby helping to prevent violence and conflict to take root and consolidate peace in post-conflict societies.

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