The runners who participated to Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon in Mokhotlong on December 1, 2019 advised the organizers to improve on few things.
The race attracted runners from different countries such as South Africa, Kenya, Ireland, Australia, Namibia and many more. It was comprised of 42.2 km, 21 km, 10km and 5 km.
Zandile Maphumulo from Durban in South Africa showed that she was excited to be in Lesotho and partook in 21km race for the first time.
She said LHASM should improve by availing cold water and energy drinks. She emphasized that all drinks were very hot, but they could have bought some ice.
She indicated that fruits, banana, oranges were supposed to be available for the runners.
Furthermore, there were no boards on the routes to show how many km left until to the finish line and many marshals were required to assist for the directions of the routes. As a result of shortage of marshals runners got lost on way.
Maphumulo cited an example of the person who cheated by joining on the way and became the winner of 21 km race which was not fair for other athletes.
She advised Lesotho authorities to source many sponsors for the race in order to put more funds in this good effort.
“Next year I will come back again to participate in Lesotho High Altitude Summer Marathon if they improve organization.
“It was so hot and the race was tough, but I am happy I got my silver medal”, continued Maphumulo.
She stressed that Lesotho should strengthen their marketing strategies in order to attract more runners in future.
“To have less than 200 hundred runners in 21 km race is a failure to Lesotho”, concluded the South African runner.
She said people do not mind travelling for long distance as long as the event is well-organized.
Fallang Khechane from Lesotho who said it was the first time to participate in this event said it was boring.
“I have been to other races outside Lesotho and when I compare them with this oneorganizers failed dismally”, said Khechane.
He said on the way people were not many, there was no music system to entertain the onlookers. Khechane showed that even in the morning when they were supposed to go to the starting points it was chaotic they left 40 minutes later.
“The announcers were talking too much without any music to entertain people”, he complained.
Khechane is the 21km and 10km runner, but he participated to 10 km race at Mokhotlong.
On the other side public relations office of Lesotho Athletic Association Mr Sejanamane Maphathe told
Lesotho Sports Blizz that elite athletes came back.
“More than ten people who participated long time ago returned for this event, therefore as for the major race (42.2) it was not predictable, it was tough”, said Maphathe.
He said statistics of the athletes ranged between 800 to 900 runners.
Maphathe indicated that the changes they made did not work well for them.
21km, 10 km and 5km circulated in town of Mokhotlong as compared to passed years where they would showcase on the road, hence the spirit was low.
Secondly, the race was on Sunday whereas it used to be on Saturday. For outsiders, it would not be possible to be in Lesotho on Sunday while on Monday they are expected to be at work. As a result, many people did not turn up as expected.