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Locals urged to reap rewards from marathon

Pascalinah Kabi

MASERU — Organisers of the Letšeng High Altitude Summer Marathon have called on the people of Mokhotlong to use this race to improve their lives.

The M1 million Letšeng High Altitude Summer Marathon will take place on December 3 in Mokhotlong, about 302 kilometres north of Maseru.

Letšeng Diamonds public relations officer, Tšepo Hlojeng, said his company is not looking at this marathon as a sporting event only.

“We are not looking at it (marathon) as a sporting event only but there are also social and political benefits for both the runners and people of Mokhotlong,” Hlojeng said on Friday.

“We want Mokhotlong residents to take advantage of this opportunity to improve their lives by coming together and utilise business opportunities like providing catering and accommodation services,” he said.

The official launch of the Letšeng High Altitude Summer Marathon, which was supposed to be on Thursday, was postponed due to some commitments by the company.

A new date for the official launch is yet to be announced.

Hlojeng said they have been struggling with accommodation since taking over as the main sponsors in 2009.

Before Letšeng Diamonds took over as the main sponsor, the marathon was sponsored by the Ministry of Sports since its inception in 2002.

“The general handling of the marathon has not been good as we would want because we’ve been struggling with accommodation and we now want the people of Mokhotlong to take advantage of the race,” Hlojeng said.

“We want all the services like catering, accommodation and many others to be sourced from Mokhotlong so that the residents can benefit more than anyone else.”

Hlojeng said Letšeng Diamonds wants to see Mokhotlong-born athletes winning this marathon.

“We also want Mokhotlong athletes to take advantage of their everyday high altitude experiences and win the marathon as well as shining in Soweto, Two Oceans and other international races,” he said.

Since Letšeng Diamonds took over the organisation of the race it has attracted international athletes from Zimbabwe, South Africa and Kenya.

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