Imbube Marathon 2024 Officially Launched

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) has officially launched the 6th edition of the Imbube Marathon, scheduled for October 6th, 2024.

The event is expected to draw over 6,000 runners, making it Eswatini’s biggest annual running event. ENPF CEO Futhi Tembe introduced the 2024 race with enthusiasm, highlighting its significance as a symbol of health, community spirit, and athletic excellence.

“This year marks the 6th edition of this exciting national event, which has become a symbol of health, community spirit, and athletic excellence. Get ready to lace up your shoes and join us for a truly unforgettable experience,” Tembe stated during the launch.

Tembe emphasized the marathon’s continuous growth and the international doors it opens for athletes.

“The marathon received international accreditation from the World Athletics Association in 2023, making it a qualifying race for the renowned Comrades Marathon and drawing elite and international runners.”

The ENPF CEO revealed that registration is now open, and encouraged participants to secure their spots early.  Participants can register for the 2024 Imbube Marathon online through the FinishTime portal and Standard Bank’s UNAYO. Manual registration is available in ENPF branches nationwide. The registration process features three tiers: Early Bird Registration from July 8th to July 26th, Mid-Registration from July 27th to August 23rd, and Late Registration from August 24th to September 22nd, with respective E50 and E100 price penalties. Early registrants will receive a commemorative goodie bag filled with exciting race merchandise.

Several key improvements have been introduced for this year’s marathon, including strategically placed water points to ensure runner hydration. The ENPF is inviting companies to sponsor these water points, offering brand visibility while supporting a healthy community initiative.

Standard Bank Eswatini and Old Mutual Eswatini have once again committed to sponsoring the competition, with the former injecting E350,000 and the latter E75,000.

Mvuselelo Fakudze, Chief Executive (CE) of Standard Bank Eswatini, expressed pride in the ENPF for transforming the Imbube Marathon into a larger, regional, and international event.

He highlighted the event’s unforeseen growth and expressed gratitude to sponsors, runners, and athletes for their continued participation. He further mentioned that this notable growth of the event is the main driver behind Standard Bank’s continued sponsorship.

This year’s marathon also features a partnership with FinishTime, a leading South African event timing company, to provide precise race results and a seamless registration experience.

“FinishTime’s advanced technology and experienced personnel will ensure accurate timing and efficient operations, elevating the overall race experience,” Tembe explained.

Tembe concluded the launch by revealing the design for the 2024 Imbube Marathon t-shirt, celebrating the athletic spirit of its participants. The goodie bag will include two additional mystery items, enhancing the race day experience. Companies are invited to partner with the marathon by including free samples or launching new products in the goodie bags, offering a unique opportunity to reach thousands of enthusiastic participants.

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