"It was challenging but I just kept telling myself 'you're almost there just keep the leg moving'. It was really amazing at the end when I felt my medal around my neck.”
(Morrisline, finisher of the Liberia Marathon 10k race)
On November 28, Liberia's capital Monrovia celebrated the country's first official road-race after six years. Organised by the the local NPO Liberia Marathon Trust, the event turned the city into a vibrant running hub and brought back the excitement and joy of long-distance road racing.
The skies were clear and the sun only started to rise when the runners met the at the premises of the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital where wide green yards provided the perfect spot for the participants to wait for their time to start their race.
In line with national COVID-regulations, the temperature of all runners was taken, while facial masks were distributed. Water kept everyone hydrated until the participants on crutches and in wheelchairs were called to the starting line.
A quick gathering before the start, final fixing of the race numbers and off they were into the sunrise in a blistering pace. A few minutes laters, government officials and other dignitaries gathered to start the VIP race, whereafter the main race kicked off at 7:30am and relieved the runners from their nervous excitement.
Eventually, more than 1,000 runners crossed the finish line inside the Samuel K. Doe sports complex, Liberia's national stadium.The group of proud finishers included the Minister of Youth and Sports and the City Mayor of Monrovia, members of the Armed Forces of Liberia, Liberia’s leading runners, guests from Sierra Leone and Liberia’s only female participant at the Paralympics, just to name a few.
Young and old, women and men, students, office workers, businessmen and technicians, people from all backgrounds and ages crossed the finish line, where a medal was waiting for them. The electronic chiptiming system assured that all runners received an accurate time and allowed the elite runners to prepare for the international arena. Performances by the Army Marching band, local artist O-Nes and a Latin Dance group set the perfect stage for a celebratory ending of the day, applauding all participants in the finish area.
Altogether, it was a day like no other which demonstrated what the Liberia Marathon is all about: An affordable, inclusive race with international standards, where elite athletes, amateurs and fun runners jointly push their individual limits in mutual respect and full appreciation of each other.
The next edition of the Liberia Marathon is planned for May 2022, this time including the full marathon distance (42.2k/ 26.2. miles) as well as the regular 10k races. Please follow the Liberia Marathon on liberiamarathon.org and our social media channels to stay tuned!
Experience the Liberia Marathon vibes yourself through the video (by vlogger Philmena) below and make sure you don't miss out on the next race: