The fifth Accra International Marathon, (AIM) a mass participation leisure event was launched in Accra on Friday with a call on the people to make regular exercises and training part of their health needs and personal well-being.
Dr Anna Bannerman-Richter, Special Events and Race Organizer of AIM in a keynote address at the launch of the event, said it aimed at encouraging Ghanaians, especially the youth to lead decent lives and support the Longevity Project to compete with their peers internationally.
The marathon which is expected to attract global participants with events to suit every fitness level, comprises a full marathon of 42 kilometres made up of a four- person team relay, a half marathon of 21 kilometre or 10 kilometres run or walk, wheel chair and hand cycle races as well as finish line fun and games for spectators.
The Race Director said that the launch of the AIM Day scheduled for Sunday, September 25, is a process of putting into motion an increase in mass awareness of the event through the mass media to ensure fitness for health, fun and entertainment by participants and the public.
Dr Bannerman-Richter noted that to keep one in good shape the person needs regular training set goals without only relying on resolutions.
She said the event is also to provide more opportunities and avenues for Africans to be able to compete locally and stressed that it is not meant for elite athletes who can afford to participate in international competitions.
Dr Bannerman-Richter said the organizers have put in place programmes for group training for the staff of registered companies adding that prize money would be given to each component of the race while special prize monies would be given to athletes who are supported by their alumni to represent their schools.
Public health screening would be conducted for participants and the general public while all finishers of the marathon would be presented with medals.
Nana Kwame Agyemang, a radio presenter who was unveiled as the Event Ambassador stressed the need for the sports media to devote more time and space to highlighting and propagating lesser known sports in the country instead of always laying emphasis on football.
He condemned certain vices such as smoking and intake of alcohol which he said can be damaging to the human development and suggested that all should endeavour to participate in exercises to stay healthy.
Nana Agyemang said plans are afoot to extend the event to the other regions to encourage the people to participate in such sporting events since the marathon can serve as a form of promoting tourism in the country.
Mr James Sambian, Chief Operations Officer of AIM said the event is open to both the old and young and urged members of Keep Fit Clubs, individual sports men and women and students athletes to join in the event to stay healthy.
He said that so far participants from 25 countries have registered for the event that starts from Prampram through Tema with the finish line at the Exclusive beach annex at La Beach, Accra.