The last MTN Regional Marathon is set to happen in Masaka this Sunday 10th November 2019 ahead of the 16th edition of the annual MTN Kampala marathon. This follows two successful regional runs that were held in Soroti and Arua on the 3rd and 10th of this month.
Introduced last year to give the biggest marathon in the region a national feel, the maiden MTN Runs were successfully conducted in Mbale, Gulu and Mbarara. So, this year, in the spirit of giving an opportunity to all, the runs were taken to different districts namely; Soroti, Arua and Masaka.The regional races are now an annual feature of the MTN Marathon season.
Held under the theme; “A good reason to run”, the 2019 MTN Regional Runs started in Soroti last Sunday the 3rd November. Before moving to Arua Town last Sunday10th November. The final regional action has been moved to Masaka town. Over 20,000 participants will take to the track this Sunday 17th November 2019ahead of the main MTN Kampala Marathon in Kampala on Sunday the 24th November.
In the pre-run press conference held this morning at Hotel Brovad in Masaka town, Jimmy Sempuuma, the Central region marketing coordinator at MTN Ugandasaid that the telecomintroduced the regional races as a way of allowing people in the regions to showcase their abilities and also to give people in the participating regions, an opportunity to contribute to the well-being of others through the causes that the MTN Marathon support.
“The response to participate in this run has been overwhelming. This goes to show how enthusiastic the people of Masakaand the surrounding areas are towards the cause of the run and also taking part in the actual run. Like all the other Marathons, the money that we are going to collect will go towards improving maternal health in thisregion,” Tusubira added.
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, Mr. Herman Sentongo, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner thanked MTN for taking the prestigious run to the people of Masaka town and reiterated the importance of decentralizing the MTN Marathon.
“I commend MTN on the choice of improving maternal health. It is tragic to continue losing mothers in childbirth and it is unacceptable that this continues to happen. Maternal health is extremely important for national development. I am therefore extremely delighted that the people of Masaka have been given an opportunity to contribute towards it as we complement government efforts,” Sentongosaid.
Runners in Masaka will be flagged off at the Masaka Recreational Grounds at 7am this Sunday.
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, measures were taken to ensure every participant has a vest that fits and enables a comfortable running experience.