44 countries contest biggest Colombo Marathon

Over 350 runners from 44 countries will be participating in the Colombo Marathon that will take place today starting from opposite the BMICH at 6 a.m.

They will join the Sri Lankan runners who have entered in large numbers will count up to nearly 7000 runners in total. This is the 16th edition of the ever popular LSR Colombo which has always been dominated by the Nigerian athletes.

Sadly, the entries among school children has reduced this year due to reasons best known to them. The race for children in the under-15 category is 5 kilometres and 10 kilometres for those over 15 years. Then there are races for veterans which will be of 10 kilometres, while some will run the full distance.

This marathon that is conducted on similar lines of other leading marathons conducted in cities such as London, New York, Boston, Munich, Singapore or any other city in the world, is conducted by Lanka Sportreizen in collaboration with the Athletic Association of Sri Lanka.

The total expenditure to conduct this event is approximately Rs. 25 million and the organisers are overwhelmingly confident it will boost the image of the country. The objectives in conducting this event is to further boost the image of Sri Lanka as a safe and secure tourist destination, to promote Sri Lanka as an ideal destination for recreational activities, to foster the habit of participation among schools children and the youth, to unearth talent of Sri Lankans by running alongside international runners and to introduce the ‘Fun Run’ culture and thereby promote the concept of a ‘healthy society’.

The distance for a full marathon is 43.195 kilometres and a half marathon is 21.097 kilometres. The full marathon is for men and women 18 years and above. Half marathon is for those 50 years and above (veterans men and women), 17 years and below and a fun run of 10 km for those men and women (schools/other) 15 years and above and a fun run of 5 km for those in the same age category. The race will finish at the Negombo beach, as in previous years where the prize distribution will take place.

The winners in the Open event for men and women will receive US$ 2,500 each plus an air ticket from SriLankan Airlines.

The first runner-up will receive $1,500, second runner-up $1000, fourth place $500, fifth place $250, sixth to tenth places $100 each.

Winners in the half marathon (men and women) will receive $500 each plus an air ticket from SriLankan Airlines. Those who finish second to fifth places will receive $400, 300, 200 and 100 respectively.

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