The Gaborone City Marathon, which is listed as the only event on the 2011 IAAF list for Southern African marathon runners to qualify for the World Championships in South Korea, has been cancelled. The event, which was scheduled for 10 April, was called off on Thursday 10 March due to the imposition of last minute budget constraints, which the organization stated were beyond their control.
In the inaugural 2010 the event combined 42 km, 10 km and a 4 km distances and raised P150,000 for charities in Botswana. Over 50% of last years marathoners came from South Africa with Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga the leading provinces, although the interest had stretched down to Durban and East London. Indications were that this was increasing to around 80% for the 2011 race.
The high technical and organizational standard was recognized by the Association of Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS), and had attracted elite athletes from Kenya, Ethiopia, Lesotho and leading South Africans, with a view to earning a portion of the R175000 in prize money and qualification for the world championships, and London 2012 Olympics. The event was one of the richest and fastest marathons to be offered in the Southern Region this year. Entries had already been received from a diversity of countries including Canada, USA, Germany and Singapore.
With the changes in budget conditions being imposed only five weeks prior to the race, the organizers decided the cancellation was the best of the options available to them, but are confident that the 2012 edition will take place in the same time period next year.