7 November 2012

Uganda: MTN Marathon - Police Promise 'More Order'

Kampala — Police is doing everything within its means to ensure participants in the ninth MTN International Marathon have a smooth run.

There have previously been reports of disruptions on the course with motorists, cyclists and at times even pedestrians inconveniencing runners.

"We assure competitors of more order," promised Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesman Ibin Ssenkumbi at the launch of the marathon on Monday.

Ssenkumbi, while responding to a plea for more space on the course, caused laughter when he said the participants were part of the problem.

"Boda Bodas have been difficult to contain because some competitors use their services in the race," noted Ssenkumbi.

Vision Group, the event's official media partner will in the last week to the November 25 race day provide police with a platform to educate the masses on measures to ensure a smooth run.

Organisers expect over 20,000 runners in the competition where proceeds will go towards provision of clean water to the people of Bududa.

A total of sh300m is targeted.

Huawei Technologies, a top information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, kick-started the fundraising on Monday with a sh168m cheque.

Meanwhile, Ugandans are assured of cash prizes even if they don't make it amongst the top finishers in 42 and 21km races.

In a bid to motivate local talent, organisers have set a separate award list for Ugandans. There have been cases where Kenyan runners have restricted the podium to themselves.

Under what is categorised as the national championship, the 42km race will have the first Ugandan finishers getting sh1m irrespective of their positions.

In the 21km race the first prize is sh0.5m.

But should Ugandans make it among the top ten finishers, they will receive both the international and national prizes. The top prize in both the men and women's international marathon is sh14m

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