THE Kilimanjaro region's version of the 18th edition of the Kilimanjaro International Marathon was launched at the Kibo Palace Homes, in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region yesterday, just six weeks before the East Africa's famous marathon takes off.
Speaking during the launching of the event the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner Anna Mghwira praised the sponsors and organisers led by the main sponsors of the 42km full marathon, 21km half marathon and 5 km Fun Run for their contributions in uplifting Kilimanjaro Region through the yearly event that has gained popularity inside and outside the country.
She praised Kilimanjaro Premium Lager for sponsoring the event for 18 years now and for among other things offering an additional 3m/- to encourage Tanzanians to do better, whereby the first Tanzanian male and female will receive an extra 1.5m/- each.
"May I take this opportunity to urge the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to come and join forces with us in this event because it adds new tourists in the region and the country in general every year," she said.
She called upon business persons in the region to make good use of the event as a business opportunity because it attracts many potential buyers from different countries of the world and that this year it was expected to draw participants from more than 50 countries worldwide.
Also speaking during the event, the Kilimanjaro Premium Lager Brand Manager, Pamela Kikuli, whose brand sponsors the 42 km full marathon, expressed her expectations that this year's event would be better due to the excitement and awareness shown by different people concerning the event.
"Tanzanians taking part in the full marathon should train harder so that most of the prizes can remain home," she said, adding, the total prize money is 23m/-with the first male and female receiving 4m/- each while there is an additional 3m/- to encourage Tanzanians to perform better. "There would be an extra 1.5m/- to both Tanzanian men and women who will finish first in the full marathon category and win the category's race", she noted.
On his part, the Northern Zone Tigo Acting Zonal Director, Aidan Komba said they were proud to be the sponsors of the 21 km half marathon which he said has been one of the spectacular races of the Kilimanjaro International Marathon.
"We are excited to once again be part of this iconic road race that brings together elite athletes alongside people from all walks of life under the umbrella of celebrations through sports, fun, culture, tourism and healthy living. I urge participants to register in order to participate in the world-renowned 21km Half Marathon," said Komba.
He added that Tigo was partnering with other organisations to support the landmark event, which not only plays a huge part in promoting Tanzania's tourism attractions to the worldwide community, but also brings together families and friends from all nations to create unforgettable memories.
Grand Malt Brand Manager, David Tarimo, said they were gearing towards a bigger 5 km Fun Run and appealed to participants to register on time.
Other sponsors include Kilimanjaro Water, Barclays Bank, Simba Cement, TPC Sugar, Precision Air, Kibo Palace Hotel, Unilever, GardaWorld Security, Keys Hotel and CMC Automobiles.