Yangon preps for biggest marathon to date

More than 3,500 runners have already signed up for what promises to be Yangon’s largest marathon to date, scheduled for January 17, organisers said Monday.

The Yoma Yangon International Marathon expects to attract 5,000 runners by its registration deadline on December 18, with 3,500 paying participants already signed up, said U Nyan Min Soe, marathon project manager.

“Each passing year we strive to create a bigger and better event,” he said of the now annual event, organised by Yoma Strategic (YOMA), First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Yangon City Development Committee.

The Yoma Yangon International Marathon 2016 will be the fourth such event for the city, which has seen a dramatic take off in road traffic over the past four years of political and economic reforms after the government relaxed rules on car imports.

On the day of the marathon, January 16, road traffic will be closed on the 42 kilometre running route, which starts at the Thuwanna Indoor Stadium and passes well-known city sites such as the Botahtaung Pagoda, Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake, organisers said.

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Revenue from the run will go to two children’s charities — the Su Taung Puae Youth Development Center and the Aung Za Bu Youth Development Center.

Funds raised from the YYIM 2015 event were used to improve the livelihoods of the children at the Su Taung Pyae Youth Development Centre in Thanlyn Township, Yangon, by providing access to clean water through a state-of-the-art purification system, valued at 11 million kyat, organisers said.

YCDC Non-Profit Child Day Care Centre for Low Income Citizens was granted 20 million kyat and a further nine million kyat was donated to the Aung Za Bu Youth Development Centre in Sin Chan Village, Koh Mhuu Township, which provides education for 1,044 students, many of whom are orphans from conflict affected areas, Yoma sources said. 

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