The local runners faired miserably in the main event, the women's full 42.2 kilometres race, with Kenyans taking top three positions in all categories. Not even the introduction of a separate 6m/- prize purse could inspire Tanzanian athletes during the prestigious event that is held annually in Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region.
The event's main sponsors, Kilimanjaro Premium Lager, had introduced a separate 6m/- prize purse for Tanzanian athletes who would finish first for both men and women categories in the 42km event. Each winner would get 3m/-.
Tanzania's only top prize came courtesy of Sarah Ramadhani, who spared the country from shame when she won the half marathon race. She clocked 1 hour, 13 minutes and five seconds to win the 21.1 kilometres race dubbed Wild Frontiers Marathon.
Sarah came ahead of Kenyan Vicoty Chepkemoi and this was a rare achievement for local runners against their Kenyan counterparts. It is sad that Tanzania, which has been hosting the event for more than a decade now, has always had her athletes outshone by runners from the neighbouring country.
Much as the people would point fingers at sports associations for failing to groom athletes who could replicate the success of former athletic legends like Filbert Bayo, Selemani Nyambui and Juma Ikhangaa, the athletes themselves are also to blame.
The problem with most local athletes is laziness, lack of focus, low-key determination and they like giving excuses whenever they fail. There is a need for Tanzanian athletes to change their mindsets, get organized, be focused and train hard. All what they need is passion to develop and strive for excellence.