Runners head to Rwenzori ranges for tourism boost

Let’s Do This. Amos Wekesa, Elizabeth Mutamuliza and Robert Kabushenga share notes during the launch of the innagural Mt. Rwenzori Marathon.  PHOTO/SHARIFAH NAMBI

What you need to know:

  • Plans. The long term plan for the event is to become an internationally recognised marathon that will attract elite athletes. 

Over 3000 runners are expected to grace the inaugural edition of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon on September 3, 2022 in Kasese district.

The event, that’s also aimed at boosting tourism in the district, will consist of the full marathon 42km and half marathon 21km distances. Though the main route is yet to be determined, Kasese marathon grounds will act as the start and finish point. 

The event launch at Margherita Hotel in Kasese attracted a number of dignitaries including the area MP Kambale Ferigo, Robert Kabushenga and tourist enthusiast Amos Wekesa.

Robert Kabushenga says the idea was first mulled on three years ago but the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic put paid to their implementation. 

Kabushenga lauded the Rwenzori Mountain as the Uganda Garden of Eden that can do more to boost the growth of tourism in the country hence the marathon being named after it. 

“Every single drop of water that Uganda irrigates comes from Rwenzori,” Kabushenga added

“Mountain Rwenzori has the potential of generating one billion shillings per year,” stated Amos Wekesa, one of the organisers of the event.

Prior to the launch, Wekesa and Kabushenga had led a group of hikers up the Rwenzoris in a promotional climb. The two believe this project can be sustained over time but they’ll need to go one step at a time.

The long term plan for the event is to become an internationally recognised marathon that will attract elite athletes. Kabushenga said a number of athletes have been invited but the first major target is organisation of the event and assessing runner turn up.

With the sceptre of the Covid19 virus still looming large, Kabushenga says vaccination might be a requirement for participants since it’s impossible to run with a mask on.

“We’re still thinking the way forward but vaccination might take a lead,” said Kabushenga First of its kind, it will also feature a wide range of activities including the grand finale of the Miss Tourism Kasese region, Greening Kasese, Tourism Expo among others.

Tusker Lite are the official sponsors of the Marathon and the brand manager Elizabeth Mutamuliza explained why the brand joined the race

“We have been involved in so many fun runs but we’re now pushing the envelope with the Rwenzori Marathon. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore the great outdoors away from the hustle and bustle of town,” said Mutamuliza.

Organisers are still looking for more sponsors to partner with the race Runners are also expected to register with an undisclosed fee as one of the qualifications for the participants.

ACTIVITIES 

September 3: Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon
September 1-4: Tourism Expo
September 2-3: Kasese Carnival
September 3: Grand Finale Miss Tourism


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