ARUSHA’S SAFARI MARATHON TO BENEFIT TOURISM
(Posted 31st August 2013)
This year’s Safari Marathon will be the fourth edition of what has become an annual and well attended event. For many still remembering the Mt. Meru Marathon, now fading away in people’s recollection, the Safari Marathon has filled a huge gap left by the initial sporting event, which at the time took place in June every year before it ‘expired’. Over 2.000 participants are expected to assembly at the starting line in the centre of Arusha on the 08th of September, where the iconic Clock Tower has been chosen to launch the races. Besides the 21 kilometre ‘half marathon’ – the full distance of 42 kilometres will not be run – are shorter races on the programme, like the 5 kilometre family or fun run, the 5 kilometre corporate run and a race for those with disabilities over 10 kilometres.
Arusha, half way along the classic Cape to Cairo route, often traversed by adventurers in those days now long gone by, some by foot and others by horse or other means, has since the town was established over 110 years ago entrenched itself as the undisputed ‘safari capital’ of East Africa. From the city one can reach the Arusha National Park within an hour, can climb Mts. Meru and Kilimanjaro or embark on the Northern Circuit which includes Tarangire, Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, all names which raise heads and attention when spoken around the world. The chairman of the marathon organizing committee was quoted earlier in the week to have highlighted the event’s potential to promote tourism to Tanzania and indeed, as seen elsewhere in the region, can sporting events lead not just to an increase in sports tourism itself but attract visitors per se into the destination.
Good luck to all the runners, may the fundraisers attached to the marathon benefit many in need and of course, conducive weather – lock the rain dancers away for a day. Visit www.safarimarathon.com for more information on the route, how to register and how to help sponsor the event.