Dar es Salaam. Hundreds of participants yesterday took part in the NiE (Newspaper In Education) Corporate Marathon, with acclaimed athlete Suleiman Nyambui commending the organisers, Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), for staging the event.
The race, whose slogan was “Run for Education”, started and finished at the Green ground in Oysterbay, Dar es Salaam.
Participants competed in the five, 10 and 15-kilometre events, whereby the winners were awarded prizes.
Speaking after the event, Nyambui said he had been impressed by the creativeness of the race organisers, and the way they distinguished the event from other corporate marathons in the country.
“I have been inspired to see that marathon running is taking root in Tanzania, with various stakeholders trying to outdo one another in organising events. It’s good for people’s health. However, this particular event has impressed me very much as it is meant to promote education, whose importance cannot be overstated. I commend the organisers for this,” the Olympic medallist said.
Dar es Salaam Athletics Association (DAA) secretary-general Rahim Kalyango echoed Nyambui’s remarks, and also praised MCL for its initiative.
“Any initiative to promote education deserves to be praised and supported. If our young people are educated, the nation is also educated. This is a very good start, and we expect even better events in the coming years,” he said.
MCL managing director Bakari Machumu said the NiE Corporate Marathon started as an idea that had become a reality, whose aim was to support and promote education.
“I’m glad that our initial goal has been realised, and we can contribute to creating a society with thirst for knowledge. We promise to continue along this path in our endeavour to encourage children to study by themselves, and maintain the habit into adulthood,” Machumu said, and thanked the sponsors, namely SGA, Jibu Maji Safi, German Sparkassenstiftung Eastern Africa and Merere Sports.
He called upon public and private organisations, as well as other stakeholders to support the initiative so that as many schoolchildren as possible can benefit from the scheme.
“When this child succeeds later, then the stakeholders who contributed through the NiE Corporate Marathon will be proud to see the nation being taken forward by talented and educated people.
Machumu said NiE provided a platform to corporate and other supporters, including civil society, to come on board and work with MCL through affiliated schools.
“The project will be implemented in phases. We are starting with primary schools, then secondary schools, and later universities.”
The race saw Alarm Kamanga from Malawi win the men’s 15-kilometre race after clocking 1 hour, 20 minutes and 3 seconds, with Kihongo Mwita and Freddy Jacob coming in second and third in 1:24:22 and 1:35:14, respectively.
In the men’s 10-kilometre race, Pilly Kamanga took the title in 44:22 minutes, followed by Batezi Uchebe in 46:32, and Bayo Joseph, who clocked 48:13.
Catherine Simfukwe won the women’s 10-kilometre race in 41.10 minutes, followed by Joyce Richard and Aksa Luganza.
In the women’s five-kilometre race, Christina George came in first in 28:02 minutes followed by Sophia Vedwiki and Amalie Haavardsholm, who clocked 31:16 and 33:23, respectively.
In the men’s category, Qyvino Mellingen from Norway won the event in 23:01 minutes, with Pallangyo Peter and Anthony Chicharito being placed second and third in 24:34 and 26:02, respectively.