3x World Champion Joshua Cheptegei Signs Commemorative Canvass Ahead of the UNDP Elgon Half Marathon

3x World Champion Joshua Cheptegei Signs Commemorative Canvass Ahead of the UNDP Elgon Half Marathon
Joshua Cheptegei signs on canvass ahead of the Elgon Half Marathon

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Joshua Cheptegei Development Foundation have unveiled the UNDP Elgon Half Marathon, a sports tourism product set to elevate the profile of Uganda’s Elgon region as a world-class tourism destination.

The marathon is designed to amplify the need for climate action and biodiversity conservation in the Elgon region, broaden inclusive and meaningful community participation within the tourism value chain, and diversity Uganda’s tourism offering.

The marathon will take place in Mbale on Saturday 28th October 2023 and feature 5km, 10km and 21km running events traversing the foothills of the breathtaking Mount Elgon National Park.

After he was unveilled, Cheptegei went ahead to sign on a canvass to show commitment to UNDP's fight to end injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change.

The marathon will feature 3x world champion Joshua Cheptegei as well as team mates and training partners including Victor Kiplangat, Stephen Kiisa, Peruth Chemutai, Halima Nakaayi, Winnie Nanyondo and several other elite athletes.

While addressing the press at Uganda Forestry Authority offices, Elssie Attafuah, the UN Resident Representative noted that there is need to Diversify Uganda’s tourism experience offering.

“The multiple crises and shocks have revealed the need to rethink the competitiveness and resilience models of the tourism industry. The Elgon marathon is a nature-based solution that will expand Uganda’s tourism offering in the Elgon region beyond mountain climbing, birdwatching and nature walks. The marathon will also draw attention to the immense tourism investment opportunities in the mountain destination.”

“Through this marathon, UNDP is ensuring that tourism’s potential to advance prosperity and drive inclusive, sustainable development is fully realized. Through this marathon, UNDP will create awareness on the urgent need for decisive global scale climate action and conservation of Rwenzori Mountain ranges’ unique biodiversity.” She added.

Joshua Cheptegei also noted that the Elgon half marathon will not be just a mere race rather address the different challenges and showcase opportunities in the region.

“This marathon is not a mere race, it will help to showcase the challenges in the region and the opportunities the region possess. It will also promote the huge sports tourism potential in the region among other tourism sites.”

The National Forestry Authority Executive Director Tom Okello Obong noted that during the half marathon, rare tree species will be planted in region like the Elgon tick to conserve nature.