On his marathon debut, Allan Andiema won the 42km men’s category of the inaugural Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon that was held on Saturday in Kasese Town.
Andiema, 23 came atop a huge field of marathoners after posting a winning time of 2:31:51 to take home the UGX5M cash prize after arriving first at the finish line that was stationed at Stanley Street.
Bahati Sadic came second with a time of 2:33:23 whilst Patrick Omara capped the men’s 42km podium with 2:36:35 taking home UGX4M and UGX3M respectively. Fourth and fifth placed David Solimo (2:38:08) and Alex Chebe (2:39:42) claimed UGX2M and UGX1M respectively.
Andiema is currently a non-contracted athlete with Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Atheltics Club but believes that the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon win will open doors for him to sign his first contract.
“A couple of atheletes have signed contracts (with UWA) recently and I’m hoping that I’m the next in line. I believe that this win will inspire them (UWA) to give me a contract so that I can start earning from my talent,” Andiema said adding that; “but the most important thing is that I’m training at the moment at UWA’s Teryet facility. I believe with time I will sign a contract.”
Andiema says that the win feels good and the UGX5M cash prize is an icing on the cake. He also enjoyed the beauty of the area.
“The adventure was also one of a kind because this is my first time in Kasese. This place looks beautiful and blessed and I’m so happy that I came for the Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon,” Andiema said adding that he now looks forward to other marathons.
Andiema later attributed his win to personal belief and motivation albeit the event being his maiden marathon. Chilly weather due to night rains and early preparations are other reasons for Andiema’s win, according to him.
Meanwhile, in the women’s 42km category, Kenya’s Isgah Cheruto who won the 2021 Dodoma Marathon took gold in Kasese after posting a winning time of 2:51:01. Ugandan pair of Harriet Agnes Amuron (2:51:55) and Priscilla Chelengat (2:54:46) completed the podium. The same criteria of awards in the men’s category was applied in the women’s as well.
Emily Jepkoech (2:57:09) finished fourth while Sheila Ejalu was the final player in the money bracket after finishing fifth with (3:03:18).
The 21km women’s category was won by Annet Chesang of Uganda who posted a winning time of 1:21:29 while the men’s winner was Douglas Chebii of kenyay who posted a winning time of 1:05:56. They each walked home with a cash prize of UGX3M whilst runners up and second runners up returned home with UGX2M and UGX1M respectively.
A huge number of runners took part in the 5km category as it attracted people who prefer shorter races.
The Tusker Lite Mt Rwenzori Marathon attracted a huge field of participants from Uganda and beyond. Budding and active atheletes, tourism enthusiasts, government officials, diplomats, politicians, locals, media and the like were in the mix.
After the marathon, participants and other revellers were entertained by various artists just near the finish line. The party went throughout the night.
Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) were the marathon lead sponsors through the Tusker Lite brand. The partners were; UNDP, Rwenzori Mineral Water and Rocket Health.
The second edition is scheduled for July 2023.
The Tusker Lite Mt. Rwenzori Marathon aims to foster a healthy lifestyle amongst Ugandans, celebrate and promote sports tourism as well as highlight climate preservation.