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Colombo Marathon on October 5

The ninth annual Colombo Marathon organised by Lanka Sports Reisen in association with Ministry of Sports and Public Recreation, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth Affairs, Western Provincial Council, Athletic Association of Sri Lanka, Negombo Municipal Council and Negombo Hoteliers Association will take place on October 5, said Tilak Weerasinghe the chairman of the Lanka Sports Reisen at a press briefing held at the Sri Lanka Hotel School Auditorium on Thursday.

The Minister Gamini Lokuge speaking on the occasion said that the marathon which was solely organised by Lanka Sports Reisen nine years ago has grown in strength during the past eight years. Adding further he said that his Ministry thought it fitting to join hands with the organisers last year.

The theme being to show the world that Sri Lanka is a safe place for sporting events, which could bring in more participation from around the world, and also sports is the only thing that can bring people together forgetting all races.

But the organisers failed to reach the target what they were looking for due to lack of funds needed for winners. We need to have big money to attract international runners, as well as local competitors. Last year we thought that Sports Ministry and Ministry of Tourism should give helping hand to the organisers to increase the prize money.

We have succeeded in the same and the winners of both events men and women full marathon will be awarded 5000 dollars each. This will be in line with other marathons ran in other parts of the world.

He said that the event which started as LSR International Marathon with the support coming from many other organisations have brought in good results. The organisers have been able to get this event included into the world calendar of marathons and the name too has to be changed to Colombo Marathon.

This is a great achievement he said. He also paid a tribute to media for giving much needed exposure which too was vital point to attract many for the event. The media plays a vital role in the promotion of events of this nature. While thanking the media he also stated that the mediamen too will be rewarded by way of making arrangements to witness a world famous marathon next year.

Faizer Mustafa Deputy Minister for Tourism said that sports is the only event that never separates people. Any one who enter the field of sports never see to the differences each other. As such this sort of international events will do lot of good towards our country. Different visions are shown to outer world about our country. People come to know about Sri Lanka through these reports.

But once we conduct these kinds of sports they will not believe what they read about our country but will see through their own eyes.

This will promote country’s image to the world when they come here, it is important to make event a success. He said that more and more international participation could be of great important to our motherland.Thilak Weerasinghe the founder of the Colombo Marathon was a happy man who said that the coperation extended by the Ministries and other organisations have been a tower of strength. The event which had few runners has increased immensely and this year they expect over 1000 runners.

The events to be run are open men and women, veterans, fun runners and schoolchildren.

The event has gained popular among locals and expatriate community in Sri Lanka, in fact last the American Ambassador too were seen on the circuit.

With the event getting more and more popular we were able to win the recognition from the world body for marathons, Association of the International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS). The body has given the right to use their logo too.

The full marathon will cover a distance of 42.195 km while the other two categories will be 5 km and 10 km.

The runners who commence their run from Sports Ministry Independence Square will end the event at Negombo. Thilak also said this year the route had to change as the route that was not suitable for a race of this nature which under construction.

DIG Eric Perera representing the Police Department said that all measures will be taken to give the maximum security needed for the event.

Renton de Alwis Chairman of the Hotel Corporation said that he too participated last year. It is the will that is need to compete, it does not the age or the physic of a person. He noted the hardships he had to undergo last year and requested the police officials to give a helping hand in possible manner to reduce the hardships the competitors face.

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