The long-awaited MTN Kampala Marathon kicked off this morning with the 10km wheelchair race, ahead of the other races scheduled for 20th of November.
The MTN Kampala Marathon has for many years led the way in promoting, endorsing, and showcasing the very best wheelchair race in the country since the inception of the marathon.
Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability, amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, and partially sighted.
Unlike the previous (2019) MTN Kampala Marathon that featured the wheelchair race on the same day as the other races, this year, a special date was set for the wheelchair race as was the norm in the earlier marathons, to give the wheelchair race the prominence and recognition that it deserves.
Despite the early morning showers that hit Kampala in the morning, the wheelchair race attracted 20 participants who were flagged off by UAF and MTN Uganda officials at the Lugogo by-pass for a 10KM race around Kololo, a Kampala suburb and back through Jinja Road to finish at the Lugogo by-pass.
Paul Okello the organizing secretary of the Uganda Athletics Federation expressed his excitement over the return of the MTN Kampala Marathon following a two-year break and thanked the participants who turned up for the wheelchair race.
In first place was Richard Ocira, an electronic repair and maintenance expert based in Gulu city. He won Ugx.3 million.
In second place for the men’s category was the 2019 defending champion, Kevin Mubiru, a fourth-year computer science student at Makerere University. Mubiru won Ugx.1.5Million shillings.
In third place was Brian Mugabe, a nursery teacher at Mulago Beupa learning site who was participating in the MTN Kampala Marathon for the first time. He won Ugx.1 million.
On the women’s side, Achai Pauline, a retailer based in Gulu city claimed the first position for the 4th time in a row, earning herself a cash prize of Ugx.3 million.
In second place was Lorna Lamono who won 1.5 million while her colleague, Florence Acen won Ugx.1 million for her 3rd place position.
All 6 wheelchair race winners shall receive their prizes on Sunday 20th November along with the other winners in the upcoming races.
Proceeds from this year’s Marathon shall be used to upgrade maternal and newborn services in four selected health facilities across the country.
The beneficiary health facilities include Kisenyi and Kawaala health facilities in the suburbs of Kampala plus those in Kachumbala (Teso sub-region) and Kabong (Karamoja sub-region)
The MTN Kampala Marathon has over the years raised over Ugx.4 billion and benefitted several causes such as helping expectant mothers with maternity kit, resettling people displaced by war in northern Uganda, delivering clean water and improving sanitation in communities/schools, and most recently, improving maternal in health facilities.
The other races of the MTN Kampala Marathon, including the full marathon (42Km), half marathon (21Km), 10Km race and 5Km fun run will be held on Sunday 20th November starting at the Kololo independence grounds.