Fred Arapusudi and Patricia Chekwemboi were the biggest winners walking away with a motorcycle and a flat screen TV at the inaugural Ibanda marathon in Ibanda town on Saturday.
But chief runner IGP Kale Kaihura’s 21km run was more valuable fetching sh21m from Simba Telecom after he requested that every kilometer of his ‘tiring’ race be valued at sh1m so as to raise more money towards community policing.
Race organizer, Private Sector Foundation chairman Patrick Bitature immediately obliged and announced the cash offer on behalf of the telecom company at the end of the one-day run.
Police Athletics Club’s Arapusudi beat Sadik Bahart and Alex Cherop to first position in the elite athletes 21km race while Patricia Chekwemboi came first ahead of Annet Chebet and Sylivia Kengibirano in the women category.
Over 1000 people including children, the eldery, policemen, corporates and politicians participated in the run organized by the Private Sector Foundation and Uganda Police aimed at creating awareness and raising funds for Community Policing.
For some runners, making an appearance at the Ibanda Intergrated Primary School venue was enough as they reported long after the 7.5 and 21km races had started at 8.30am.
Thirty minutes after the official flag off by State Minister for transport John Byabagambi many were just strolling in ‘ready for the marathon’.
Other community policing officers mistook the run for a Mchaka Mchaka parade arriving at the venue matching and carrying clubs long after flag off.
Some who just followed the 21km route in the end found it too hot and could be seen returning to the finish line with kit in hand and a bottle of water in the other.
Even those without official competition kit where socked in joining other runners along the way to the finishing point.
Led by a group of hooting boda boda cyclists, an hour later, a group that had minister John Byabagambi, AIGP Andrew Soroweni, Private Sector Foundation Chairman Patrick Bitature and several other prominent politicians trotted back to the finish line as others followed suit.
The event was supported by New Vision, B.O.U, Crane Bank, LG, Microsoft, Tecno, Century Bottling Company, Sadolin Paints, Stanbic, Stanchart Bank, Orient Bank, Tian Tang, Pearl Diaries and Simba Telecom.
By Michael Nsubuga, The New Vision
Courtesy of in2eastafrica.net