Sierra Leone News: GTB Marathon kicks off on Saturday

The much talked about marathon to be jointly organized by Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Trackline and its partners is due on Saturday, 26th April and will start off from three different points in the city.
Sisto Anderma working for Trackline said his company is an international company with a local base in Sierra Leone.
He said his company is an event company but that they are mostly interested in promoting sporting events such as marathons, track and field, racing and car racing. He disclosed that their company has organized lots of track and field events in Kenya and Uganda in East Africa and that they wish to bring those activities to West Africa including Sierra Leone.
“We have several other things that we are doing in Sierra Leone. It is good thing to put Sierra Leone back on the map to where it was before,   that was the reason why we decided to have this marathon,” he said.
Anderma noted,  “We have given the marathon an international dimension and come next year it is going to be an international marathon certified by the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), the world governing body for athletics.
The marathon, he said, will henceforth take place in Sierra Leone annually on any Saturday before the country’s Independence Anniversary.
He assured that they have received participation confirmations from athletes in countries such as the UK and other East African countries. “We are expecting at least one International Marathon Medal Winner,” Anderma assured.
Sisto Anderma explained that the marathon will comprise three races; the first is the 21 kilometer run to start from Grassfield, Kissy in the East of Freetown, through the center of town to Wilkinson Road to the Lumley Roundabout to Kallon’s building to finish at the Family Kingdom Resort.
The 10 kilometer run will start at the Congo Cross Roundabout on to the Family Kingdom Resort, while the 5 kilometer run, mostly for those on wheel chair, will start from the SOS School to also end at the Family Kingdom.
The marathon is not a free-for-all. Only participants who paid their participation fees would be recognized and would be provided running kits which will include a running top, a hand band, a head band, a bag and a medal on successful completion of the race.
According to the Organizers, the race would be timed and there will be a musical jam splash after the marathon in which a number of prominent artists will entertain participants and spectators for the rest of the day.
There will be food and drinks, sponsoring companies will be out there to showcase their business products and there will be a VIP Tent to encourage high-level business interactions.
This first-of-its kind marathon will be broadcast live on local TV and on DSTV. It will also live online by Sierra Wifi. There will be ready-on-hand medical services team to provide emergency medical treatments should the need arise.
Friday April 25, 2014