By James Bakama
A challenging course awaits athletes at the Africa Cross-country Championship at the National Ceremonial Ground at Kololo on Sunday.
The local organising committee has curved out a course of raising terrain, slopes, barriers, stretches of flat ground and turns.
“Compared to some of the courses I have seen elsewhere, ours is going to be fantastic,” said the technical head of the organizing committee Faustino Kiwa.
One of the areas where the organisers have altered the natural set up, is a 185 metre strip of tarmac that will be covered with tartan.
In line with IAAF rules, the course is set up in two kilometre laps with a finishing point just in front of a 2000 seater pavillion.
The course fulfills IAAF’s requirement of having those in the pavilion follow at least ¾ of each lap. To ensure that the entire race is followed, there will be four giant screens. Kiwa, an IAAF certified route measurer, explained that by tomorrow the tartan will be fully placed on the tarmac.
Africa Athletics Confederation vice president David Okeyo will inspect the course today.
Within the pavilion will be a hospitality room for VIPs and an office for the CAA General Secretary.
Meanwhile, IAAF has sent one of its technical personnel Gunter Lange to conduct the cross-country seminar on Saturday.
It will be like a homecoming for the German. Lange left Uganda last year after serving as a Ministry of Education and Sports Technical Director for four years.
UAF has meanwhile appealed to Ugandans to turn up in big numbers for the event. Standing will be at sh10,000 and seating sh30,000.
Tickets are already on sale at the UAF offices on Entebbe Road and at the National Council of Sports headquarters at Lugogo.
Kenya has previously won all gold medals of the championship. They hosted the inaugural event in 1985 while the subsequent competitions in 2011 and 2012 were staged at Koerboom Park in Cape Town, South Africa.
Tricky cross-country course awaits runners