Focus on a race Interview

Interview : Sierra Leone Marathon

20 Apr 2016 05:17
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Credit : Sierra Leone Marathon

Hello, on May 29th 2016, you’ll be organizing the Sierra Leone Marathon. Can you tell us where it is located?

The Sierra Leone Marathon is held in Makeni, which is the third largest city in Sierra Leone.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

The event will be enjoying its fifth year in 2016.

It was created as a fundraising event for the UK-registered charity Street Child who help vulnerable children get off the streets of Sierra Leone and back in to the family home and education.

Runners have the opportunity to visit the Street Child projects and see exactly where their fundraising efforts go to support these children.


What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The Sierra Leone Marathon will be run on both urban and rural roads. The majority of these are hard-packed mud roads, but also some tarmac. The route will take in some of the most beautiful scenery of Northern Sierra Leone.

The course passes through a range of villages, where you will be greeted by cheering children and dancing women.

What are the distances on the agenda?

  • 5km
  • 10km
  • Half Marathon (21km)
  • Full Marathon (42km)
Credit : Sierra Leone Marathon

How many runners do you expect on Sunday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We attract a whole range of runners, from serious athletes to new runners/joggers/walkers – but the main thing that links everyone is their support for Street Child.

We are expecting between 750 – 1,000 runners across all four events.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

SLM16 will be held at the end of May, which is the end of the dry season, so it will be hot and humid but manageable.

Have you planned festivities around the event?

Yes, we always encourage local dancers and performers to showcase their talents both on the course and at the finish line.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Makeni before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Anyone new to Makeni, I would recommend them to get out and about to meet the local people who are so welcoming and friendly.

For good local dishes, try the Clubhouse bar on Magburaka Road or to do some sightseeing, climb up Wusum Hill and get a great view of the landscape.

Credit : Sierra Leone Marathon

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of about Marathons to make them register for the Sierra Leone Marathon?

A marathon is a challenge, but with the right support and training IT IS POSSIBLE and will then be seen as an achievement, so why not take on what has been described as “the most worthwhile marathon in the world.”

Interview with Mark Maughan, Sierra Leone Marathon 2016 Race Director. Mark has been involved in the Sierra Leone Marathon from the start and come back every year because it is an incredible event, which makes such positive change. He also holds the record slowest time for the SLM, completing the course in 8hrs and 37mins. He also has run and worked on numerous other running events around the world.