Tusker Lite Mt Rwenzori Marathon becomes first Ugandan marathon to receive World Athletics Certification

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World Athletics has officially certified the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon course, marking a significant milestone in the event’s journey towards global recognition. The announcement was made during a press conference held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala on Tuesday.

World Athletics is the global governing body for athletics which oversees various disciplines including track and field, cross country running, road running, race walking, mountain running, and ultra running.

The marathon’s certification was confirmed on Wednesday, April 3, following a thorough assessment process led by Garvin Wright, an official from World Athletics.

Wright, who is one of just three top-tier (Grade A) World Athletics route measurers in Africa, concluded the measuring and evaluating of the route for the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon in Kasese on Sunday, March 24th.

Sponsors and organisers of the Tusker Lite Mt Rwenzori Marathon pose for a photo moment following the official announcement on Tuesday. 

The assessment focused on accurately measuring the marathon route, evaluating its layout, elevation changes and other factors crucial to the race’s integrity. Now featuring four categories – 42km, 21km,10km, and 5km – the marathon offers something for everyone, promoting healthy lifestyles, community engagement and a field for proving athletic excellence.

Notably, the marathon is now the only Ugandan-run event certified by the World Athletics. Achieving certification from the federation immediately establishes the Rwenzori Marathon as a globally recognized and reputable event. It serves as a testament to the marathon’s adherence to the highest international standards of organization, course measurement, safety and athlete support.

Uganda Breweries Managing Director Andrew Kilonzo welcomed the development.

Managing Director at Uganda Breweries, Andrew Kilonzo addresses the media during the press conference on Tuesday.

“We are thrilled to receive official certification of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon from World Athletics. As Uganda Breweries, we aim to positively impact communities where we operate. Everyone can attest to the economic benefits the marathon brings to people of Kasese and the tourism sector of the country. The global certification is a win for Uganda as more people now have reason to visit the country,” he said.

According to a study conducted by Makerere University’s Tourism Research & Development Centre last year, the marathon injected UGX 3.5 billion into Kasese’s economy during the 2023 edition. 30 per cent of the participants visited Kasese for the first time for the marathon.

(L-R) Amos Wekesa, Director Equator Hikes, Hon. Kabbyanga Godfrey Baluku, Minister of State for ICT and National Guidance and Catherine Ndungu, Marketing and Innovations Director, UBL pose for a photo moment during the press conference on Tuesday.

Matilda Babuleka, UBL’s Head of Beer said Tusker Lite is proud to have achieved this step towards ensuring that the marathon course meets the most rigorous international standards.

“We are proud to be associated with an event that embodies the spirit of healthy living, travel, community engagement while also celebrating the natural beauty of our country. This certification has elevated the marathon up to international standards and we are definitely looking forward to another exciting adventure in our third outing this August,” she said.

With this certification, the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon now joins a select group of globally certified race courses.

Julius Nkuraija, the course director, brings a wealth of experience in designing routes and has expressed his excitement for this grand step in the history of the event.

“The route was designed to be both challenging while also treating participants to an amazing experience. They get to embark on a scenic adventure that takes them alongside Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Equator, the historic Kilembe Mines and more. It is an unforgettable experience and one that will leave you feeling satisfied with life,” he said. 

The marathon will now be able to provide athletes world-wide with unparalleled opportunities to compete and set records on a course recognised worldwide.

The eagerly awaited third edition of the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon is set for Saturday, August 24th in Kasese.

Registration is now open on the official marathon website, with early bird tickets available for East African citizens and residents at 50,000 UGX and international runners at 50 USD. The marathon is also sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank, UNDP, Hima Cement, Britam and Rwenzori Water. Participants can expect an unforgettable experience as they traverse the certified course, showcasing the natural wonders of the Rwenzori region.

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