Sports

High Altitude Marathon Beckoning

Chris Theko

A date for the 16th annual the High Altitude Summer Marathon (HASM) is set, and the marathon tie will take place on December 1.

The event is built-up of multiple races, and this year’s edition is said to be the biggest one ever.

It is set to be overseen by the Local Organising Committee made up of personnel from the Ministry of Gender, Youth, Sports and Recreation (MGYSR), Lesotho Sports and Recreation Commission (LSRC), Lesotho Amateur Athletics Association (LAAA) and Mokhotlong Celebrations Committee. 

The race first took place back in 2003 as a project initiated by the Mokhotlong Athletics Club and business community. 

During its early years, the race received a M250 000 sponsorship from Letšeng Diamond Mining Company which had been sourced out by a cabinet Minister, Mohlabi Tsekoa.

The sponsorship was then improved in 2009 to an annual amount of M1, 3 million, for a contract spanning three years which lasted until 2017 when the competition was officially handed over from MGYSR to the LSRC. 

The LSRC Public Relations Officer, Teboho Rakhomo said they have been working hard to market and publicise the event in a quest to attract the international community, athletes and spectators.

“We normally attend multiple expos outside the country with the aim of attracting participants and to learn how other events like ours are organised especially in South Africa, but this year we only attended one in Cape Town due to the prevailing financial challenges from our main funder, the Ministry of sports,” Rakhomo said. 

He said since the beginning of the event, in its 16 years of existence, they had not reached the participation of 2000 athletes and that is their goal this year.  

“Last year we had approximately 1100 athletes, but our target this year is to get to 2000 athletes from both local and international representation.”

According to Rakhomo the registration was open in April and will end on November 24. 

“It is taking place at all district Sports and Recreation offices as well as the District Athletics Association Offices, while in Maseru, it will be done at the LSRC and MGYSR offices. This year, there will be a new feature, the introduction of the 1 mile race to accommodate athletes under 16, and the entry fee is M10.00.  “The 5km race will only be run by athletes between the ages of 16 and 17 with a registration fee of M20.00 which will be the same for the 10km race.  The 21.1km race will accommodate mostly semi-amateur athletes and will go together with a M40.00 registration fee, while M50.00 registration fee will be for the elite 42.2km race,” he said.  

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