It is being anticipated that more than 3000 athletes will be racing along with wildlife in the forthcoming Lake Manyara Half Marathon.
The sporting event gets flagged off on September 17, 2023 in the Mto-wa-Mbu area.
The Marathon comes in three categories, the main 21 kilometers event, a ten kilometers executive race and 5 kilometers fun run covering parts of Karatu and Mto-wa-Mbu areas.
The routes striding Karatu and Monduli Districts are mapped mostly along Lake Manyara and its corresponding National Park.
‘Racing in the Country of Flamingo,’ is the guiding theme and indeed, all participants will be given special ‘Flamingo,’ T-shirts, in honor of the pink-colored trademark species of Manyara.
The Marathon will be flagged off from the Lake Manyara National Park entry gate and after covering the distances, it winds up for the climaxing entertainment events at the Barafu grounds of Mto-wa-Mbu.
International Athlete, Emmanual Giniki, who has been appointed the Goodwill ambassador of the Lake Manyara Marathon, is among the race participants.
“The Marathon, which covers mostly cultural and attractive sites, is doubling as an active tourism event, cultural sampling fair and talent identifying platform,” said Morris Leonard Okinda, the Director of GreenLeaf Mohar.
GreenLeaf Mohr is the firm behind the organization of the maiden Lake Manyara Marathon of 2023 and beyond.
Morris Okinda added that they have chosen the area because most residents of Mto-wa-Mbu have always been playing the role of tour and safari guides to foreign visitors.
“Mto wa-Mbu is also a spectacular tourist destination in its own right, starting from being located next to Lake Manyara National as well featuring cultural offerings such as traditional food, cultural ornaments, banana plantations and paddy farms,” he added.
Mto-wa-Mbu happens to be a cultural melting point for both locals and foreigners.
The small but very active township is perched below the Great Rift Valley wall and serves as gateway to Karatu, Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.
And now the Lake Manyara Marathon is being added into the mix to spur things up through the hybrid sports and tourism offering.
Of all the categories, it is the Fun run which covers five kilometers that has attracted the most participants with 1500 showing interest.
The Executive Race of 10 kilometers has on the other hand attracted 1000 participants, while the main toiling event of 21 kilometres’ Marathon will be undertaken by 500 athletes.
Medals for all the 3000 participants of the Lake Manyara Marathon have been imported all the way from China.
Bonite Bottlers Limited of Moshi, through its Kilimanjaro Natural Spring Water Product is among the race sponsors, Jungle Pearl Lodge, Tanzania Cultural Tourism, the Tanzania National Parks and the Scorpion Tour Company.