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
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
The events to be run are open men and women, veterans, fun runners
The event has gained popular among locals and expatriate community in
Sri Lanka, in fact last the American Ambassador too were seen on the
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
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.