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Foreign athletes ignore High Altitude Summer Marathon

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — Preparations for the High Altitude Summer Marathon are going on well despite lack of interest by foreign athletes this year.
This is according to the spokesman of the Lesotho Athletics Amateur Association (LAAA) Sejanamane Maphathe.
“Preparations are going on very well and we are happy with the pace at which athletes are registering their names since we started on June 1,” Maphathe said.
“However since the registration lines were opened on June 1, no foreigners have registered their names as yet. We are however certain that they will come because they are given until the day of the marathon to register.”
The marathon which is held in Mokhotlong annually is sponsored by Letšeng Diamonds to the tune of M1 million.
This year it will be held on December 3.
Maphathe said the registration fee for the international athletes is M175 while the locals pay M25 each.
“There is this difference in their registration fees because foreigners’ prize monies are not taxed while the locals’ are taxed.”
The first 600 athletes to register would get free transport from Maseru to Mokhotlong and back, Maphathe added.
The first prize for the 42 kilometres race is M50 000 with the second, third and fourth prizes have been pegged at M30 000, M15 000 and M10 000 respectively.
Since Letšeng Diamonds started sponsoring the marathon in 2009, the race has attracted international athletes from South Africa, Zimbabwe and several other countries.
Zimbabwe’s Samukeliso Moyo won the 2009 women’s category.

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