Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King Oyo (left) aloft the Margherita park

2022 Rwenzori Theluji Festival:

3rd September: Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon                      

  • 5KM, 21KM & 42KM

Other activities:

  • 1st – 4th September: Tourism Expo
  • 1st – 4th September: Greening Kasese
  • 2nd – 3rd September: Kasese Carnival
  • 3rd September: Miss Tourism Rwenzori (Grand Finale)
  • 2nd – 4th September: Rwenzori Trade Investment Convention & Expo
  • 4th September: Round Table (KTIF Grounds)

The vibe for the 2022 Rwenzori Theluji (Ice) festival and inaugural Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon is very ripe.

Following a successful launch in June 2022 at the Hotel Margherita in Kasese tourism city, the build up to the marathon and generally the festival is steadily garnering momentum.

A fortnight ago, the King of Tooro Kingdom Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, accompanied by other climbers reached the highest summit of the Rwenzori ranges.

For starters, Margherita stands at an elevation of 5,109 metres (16,762 feet), the highest in Uganda and third in the pyramid on the entire African continent after Mount Kenya (5199m) and Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania.

From the latest update at the Square (Kampala Industrial Area), all signs are eminent and evident that preparations will progress according to plan.

Theluji Festival and marathon launch at The Square in Industrial Area

First things first; prize monies for the outstanding runners in the 42KM and 21KM categories were officially announced.

More partners have joined Uganda Breweries Limited (under the Tusker Lite brand) who have contributed Shs. 800,000,000.

These sponsors include a health partner Rocket Health, Rwenzori pure Natural mineral water, Jumia, Standard Chartered Bank and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which many more coming up.

Amos Wekesa, director Equator Heights, the main organizers of this event believes that Theluji festival and marathon is unique in a way.

“The Rwenzori is a ranges of peaks and this makes it unique from many mountain ranges in Africa. We are looking forward increasing the number of climbers to the Rwenzori mountains. For the next five years, the dream is to have 20,000 climbers. The preparations are progressing very well” Wekesa noted.

Amos Wekesa (left) UBL’s Emmy Hashakimana

Emmy Hashakimana, the Marketing and Innovation Director at Uganda Breweries Limited officially announced the 800,000,000 financial package to the festival and marathon.

“UBL has contributed Shs. 800,000,000. Our five-year vision will transform the economy in Kasese and Uganda at large. Tusker Lite is about lighting the way. Tourism and sports is the best intersection at the bottom of the Rwenzori ranges during the marathon. The routes for the marathon are very scenic.” Hashakimana revealed.

Emmy Hashakimana, Marketing and Innovation Director at Uganda Breweries Limited

Shakidu Nsubuga, Head of Expansion at Jumia Uganda expressed delight upon being a partner for the Theluji festival as he elucidated how the running kits can be procured online and delivered instantly.

“As Jumia Uganda, we are glad to be part of the Rwenzori Theluji Festival and Tusker Lite Rwenzori marathon. We are establishing well managed pick up stations as a logistics partner. The kits can be ordered online and delivered instantly” Nsubuga remarked.

Mountain climbers and Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV

Johnson Mboga, the Rwenzori Theluji representative from the Kasese Tourism Forum confirmed that there will be a community run in Kasese as a precursor to the main marathon.

“As the Kasese Tourism Forum, we are excited to have the all partners on board. This festival has been blessed by the Ministry of Tourism and it will be an annual event. We intend to plant 6,000,000 trees by five year’s period. Before the TuskerLite Rwenzori marathon, we intend to have a community run as a precursor to the main marathon” Mboga noted.

Rocket Health’s marketing director Sandra Arinaitwe confirmed they are ready to provide all the first aid in partnership with the Uganda Red Cross.

“Rocket Health is excited to take part in the TuskerLite Rwenzori Marathon. We are the health service provider and shall have a medical call center to support on medical consultations and medical personnel. We are partnering with Uganda Red Cross to better the services” Arinaitwe stated.

The Rwenzori Theluji festival returns after the first season held in 2021.

This year’s festival has been well packaged with a series of activities, including a marathon that will have 5KM, 21KM and 42 KM.

The outstanding performer in the 42 KM race will pocket Shs 5,000,000/=. There will also be cash rewards to the other top four runners in the same category.

In the 21KM, the best runner will take home Shs. 3,000,000/=. The first and second runners up will also get Shs. 2,000,000/= and Shs. 1,000,000/= respectively.

King of Tooro Kingdom Rukirabasaija Omukama Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV
Lorna and Lily Ajarova in the mountain ranges

The full roster of activities commence on 1st September with the tourism expo and re-greening Kasese drives that both will climax on 4th September 2022.

The Kasese Carnival will run from 2nd and climax on 3rd September.

On the same day (3rd September), the Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon will be held in the various categories of 5KM, 21KM and 42KM categories as well as the grand finale of the 2022 Miss Tourism Rwenzori.

Rwenzori Trade Investment Convention & Expo will end on 4th September as well as the round table discussions.

For the record, Mountain Rwenzori is also part of the Rwenzori Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

For the 3rd September 2022, all the eyes and energies are focused towards a vibrant Tusker Lite Rwenzori Marathon.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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