Fireworks expected at High Altitude Marathon
THE Lesotho Sport and Recreation Commission (LSRC) expects greater competition at this year’s annual High Altitude Summer Marathon takes place in Mokhotlong on Saturday.
Since its inception in 2003, the country’s biggest race has been under the supervision of the Sports and Recreation ministry but it was transferred to the LSRC last month.
The race is divided into three categories of 5 kilometres, 21.1 kilometres and the main 42.2 kilometre race.
Winners of the main race will walk away M100 000 richer while the first and second runners up will pocket M60 000 and M40 000 respectively in the male and female categories.
The half marathon (21.1km) winners will get M20 000 with first and second runners up getting M12 000 and M8000 respectively.
The third category of the race is 5 kilometre for under-17 athletes and the prizes range are M5000, M4000 and M3400 for the winners and the first and second runners up respectively.
LSRC public relations officer Refiloe Maphallela recently told the media in Maseru that preparations were at an advanced stage and they expected at least 1000 runners in all three categories.
“This is our first time in full control on the race and we want it to be the most memorable race ever in the country,” Maphallela said.
“About 200 runners have confirmed their participation in this year’s event and we are expecting at least 1000 in all categories.
“The marathon will start at Mafolaneng at 6am while the half marathon starting point is at Ha Khatleli at 6:30 am. The five kilometre race starting point will be at Thabang 30 minutes later with the finish line at Pitso Ground Mokhotlong.
“Registrations are open and will close on the day of the race an hour before the starting times. Runners 20 years and older qualify for the marathon and those who are 18 and above qualify for the half marathon. The five kilometre event is for the under- 17 as it is a development race.”
Maphallela said the entry fees were as follows: M200 for international athletes and M75 for locals in the marathon.
M175 for international athletes and M70 for locals in the half-marathon. Both international and local athletes will pay M50 for the five kilometre.
Maphallela further said they expected top international runners including five Kenyans.
“This is one of the top races in the region and we therefore expect top athletes from outside the country so we have sent out invitations especially to some Kenyans and as we know every Kenyan runner is a top athlete,” he said.
The Lesotho duo of Teboho Sello and ‘Makampong Masaile Letsie won last year’s race while the half marathon was won by Khoarahlana Seutloali and Nthabeleng Letsela.