Joshua Cheptegei: Racing towards a marathon debut and a greener future for Uganda

Joshua Cheptegei poses with his medal after he ran the race of his life to win the 10000m race at the 2023 World Athletics Championship in Budapest Hungary | Imago Image

ATHELETICS Joshua Cheptegei: Racing towards a marathon debut and a greener future for Uganda

Clive Kyazze 09:23 - 16.10.2023

World record-holder in the 5,000m and 10,000m, Joshua Cheptegei, is set to make his marathon debut at the Valencia Marathon Trinidad Alfonso, a World Athletics Platinum Label road race, on 3 December.

Before this significant debut, Cheptegei is also aligning himself with noble causes in his home country.

Recently, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined hands with the Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation (JOCDEF) to launch the UNDP Elgon Half Marathon.

This initiative is a sporting event and a medium to promote Uganda’s Elgon region as a premier tourism destination. 

Beyond boosting tourism, the event aims to emphasize the urgency of climate action and biodiversity conservation in the region.

Set against the scenic backdrop of Mount Elgon National Park, the marathon will unfold in Mbale City on 28 October 2023, offering 5km, 10km, and 21km races.

Those interested can register for a 30,000 UGX fee, which includes an official running kit, medals, and potential prizes.

Joshua Cheptegei, who boasts titles such as the reigning Olympic Champion, three-time 10,000m World Champion, and the current World Record-holder for the 5,000m and 10,000m distances, has played a crucial role in forming this partnership with UNDP.

He seeks to promote climate action and biodiversity conservation, while also ensuring that tourism contributes to sustainable development in the Elgon region.

The marathon promises participation from elite athletes, including Cheptegei’s teammates and training partners like Victor Kiplangat, Stephen Kissa, and more.

Additionally, several governmental entities and private sector companies, including the Ministry of Tourism, Uganda Tourism Board, and others, have shown their support for this initiative.