By James Bakama
THOUSANDS of people braved the early morning rain Sunday to participate in the Kabaka Birthday Run.
Flagged off by King Ronald Mutebi at the Lubiri palace, this year’s event registered the biggest entry.
Heavy rains had the start delaying by close to 30 minutes. The delay had runners’ in the 5, 10 and 21 kilometer events flagged off together. (See Live news feeds at bottom of story)
Proceeds of the run marking Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s 59th birthday will be in aid of the fight against Fistula.
“It’s been a big success. On behalf of the King, I thank everyone who got involved in this campaign. The big numbers are testimony to the huge support towards the fight against fistula,” said the Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga.
MP Muhammad Nsereko (center) took part in the race. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Artiste Mesarch Ssemakula (centre) tackles the tough conditions. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Mayiga urged Ugandans to always engage in physical fitness activities like jogging to keep healthy.
Prince David Wasajja was the chief runner. He featured in the 21 km event together with Vision Group managing Director Robert Kabushenga.
Kabushenga, the organizing committee chairman of the race, was a happy man at the end of it all. “I thank all those who came on board. The big numbers were proof of your support.”
Vision Group through its Bukedde newspaper brand has contributed sh110m towards the run. Telecommunication company Airtel offered sh100m.
Mukwano Group of Companies offered 1,440 bars of Meditex and Yeyo soap and boxes of petroleum jelly to Buganda Sports Minister Henry Sekabembe. Rwenzori gave 1000 cartons of mineral water.
Even the kids braved the early morning weather to take part in the race. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Participants of all ages took part in the gruelling race. Photo by Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Kwagalana Group chairman Godfrey Kirumira gave sh1.25m towards the cause. Kwagalana is a social group of businessmen and women. There were numerous other offers.
The Kabaka’s Lake, Queens’s road, Uganda Museum, Mulago Hospital, Makerere University, Kibuli Mosque, Rubaga and Namirembe cathedrals are the landmark sites that runners in the 21km event passed.
Among the participants were members of parliament Latif Ssebagala, Ken Lukyamuzi, Mohammed Nsereko, Gonzaga Ssewungu and Sylvia Namabidde. Police Spokesperson Judith Nabakoba also run the 10km.