Millennium Marathon Gears Up For Saturday

After months of anticipation and successful regional road tours, the maiden edition of the Millennium Marathon is set to take place on Saturday in Accra with an estimated 15,000 participants. Unlike known marathons, the Millennium Marathon will be for both competitive runners, as well as amateurs, as organisers seek to promote quality health, mass sports and lifestyles. The half marathon will be run over 21 kilometres and is open to all professional marathoners, while the Ambassadorial and Family Run will be over 5km. Information picked up by the Daily Graphic indicate that the Ambassadorial and Family Run event was equally attracting many participants just as the half marathon. Most members of staff of the embassies and high commissions, as well as other foreign diplomatic groups in GHana were among the first group of people who picked up their registration forms when registration opened last Saturday. One of the first teams to have registered and have reportedly begun training is the Team Japan. According to Team Japan, their participation was to serve as a springboard to create awareness of their country’s intention to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games. “Japan wants to bid for the 2020 Olympic Games and with so many people from different backgrounds participating in the Millennium Marathon, it will prove a good platform to start creating the awareness of Olympics 2020,” the team leader for Japan told the Daily Graphic. Team Japan is made up of the staff of the Embassy in Ghana, and their families, the Japan Iinternational co-operation Agency (JICA) and other non-governmental organisations in the country. Also, as part of the build up for the event, a week's Health and Fitness Expo is underway at the Aviation Social Centre to create more awareness of the need and benefits of staying fit. The Expo, which started last Saturday, ends on Friday. A spokesperson of the event told the Daily Graphic that the response to the registration had been impressive but expected more groups such as the various keep fit clubs within the region to also pick up their forms. The Millennium Marathon, which has attracted race legend, Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia, has Airtel Ghana and the National Investment Bank as its main sponsors.