The Orange Phikwe National Marathon is expected to be bigger and better this year. The sponsors of the race Orange Botswana have assured that the race will be improved from last year’s version. The race will be held on the 5th August 2017 in Selebi Phikwe. This is the second year that Orange will be the sponsoring the race after signing a three-year sponsorship deal with the organisers worth P600 000 for the duration. Orange Director of Corporate Affairs Lepata Mafa-Nthomola said this year they want to increase the participants of the race from 500 to 2000. Mafa-Nthomola said they want to grow the race so that they bring the limelight to the town of Selebi Phikwe. She said at Orange they no longer see the Phikwe marathon as just a race but an opportunity to reposition Selebi-Phikwe. “To us at Orange, the Phikwe Marathon is not only about running. It presents an opportunity to discover talent for the country but most importantly it gives us the chance to bring back life to Phikwe,” said Mafa-Nthomola. According to her, the race can be used to promote tourism and to support different businesses in Phikwe and surrounding villages. She called on other companies to come on board as sponsors of the race so as to help revitalise Selebi-Phikwe.
To try and bring more people to the event, the LOC has announced that all sectors with activities such as corporate challenge as well as kids’ functions. Furthermore, LOC spokesperson Kennedy Dudzayi said there will be price money for athletes from position one to 10 for the 42km race for both men and women. In the past only position one to three were given prices. Dudzayi said they want the marathon to be of high standard, hence early preparations this year. He said everything is being arranged to make competition for the runners as smooth as possible so that they put their utmost performances. The Phikwe Marathon, which is IAAF accredited, is used for qualification for other international marathons. Dudzayi said this year the race will be used as qualifiers for Commonwealth Games. Registration for the marathon is on-going and people can register online at www.selebiphikwemarathon.com. Registration fee for the 42.2km is P200, P150 for 15km, P100 for 10km and P75 for the 4km race.