By Ntokozo Nkambule
The Imbube Marathon is back after a three-year absence. This was disclosed by Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) Acting Chief Executive Officer Futhie Tembe when launching this year’s event at the Happy Valley Hotel.
“As we gather here today, I am reminded of the question that has been echoing throughout the kingdom. When will the marathon return? Well, the wait is over. I am thrilled to officially announce that the Imbube Marathon will take place on the first Sunday of October, which falls on the 1st of October 2023. So mark your calendars and get ready for an exhilarating day of running, cheering, and celebration.”
She encouraged everyone to be a part of the event as the marathon is not only about running but celebrating the beauty of the Kingdom.
“Together, let us continue to promote health, fitness, and community spirit through the Imbube Marathon. Let us inspire each other, uplift our athletes, and showcase the beauty of our kingdom to the world.”
Tembe then thanked all those that have supported them since the marathon’s inception.
This year’s main sponsors entail Standard Bank Eswatini which donated a whopping E350 000, Stefanutti Stocks came through with E100 000. Old Mutual is the third largest sponsor so far with E50 000, while Build It Mbabane donated E10 000, and Manzini City Council donated E20 000.
The Acting CEO was also quick to point out that they are still open to more sponsors, should organizations, corporates, and individuals be interested.
“It is also important to mention that we are still in discussions and actively seeking additional sponsors. We welcome any organizations or individuals who wish to partner with us and be part of this incredible journey. The opportunity to support the Imbube Marathon is still open, and we look forward to forging new partnerships.”
Arguably, one of the highlights of her presentation was the announcement that three of Imbube Marathon’s major races have been officially certified by the governing body of world athletics.
“I am delighted to announce that all three major races of the Imbube Marathon, namely the 42.2 kilometers, 21.1 kilometers, and 10 kilometers, have been officially certified by the governing body of world athletics. This certification is a testament to the exceptional quality, organization, and standards of our marathon.”
She continued “This is a historic moment for Eswatini as we proudly unveil our internationally recognized marathon. We believe that this achievement will serve as a catalyst, attracting more international runners to join us in this remarkable event. The certification not only validates the excellence of our marathon but also opens up new opportunities for our local athletes to compete on a global stage.”
· There are two registration periods for the race. The early registration period will commence on the 24th of July and run until the 11th of August 2023.
· The second phase of registration commences on the 14th of August until the 10th of September 2023, which also happens to be the last day of the International Trade Fair.
· Late registrations will incur a penalty of E50.
· There will be a stand at the Trade Fair which will serve as one of the registration points where you can register in person. Additionally, the Fund is also working on establishing registration points at the Fund’s 9 branches.
· ENPF is also exploring the possibility of enabling registration through the MyENPF mobile application.