The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
FOR the first time since the event started in 2006, the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon is going virtual on 13 December, with this year’s participants to take part from different locations.
The coordinators of the marathon communicated on Tuesday that this year’s race is a virtual one, with the full marathon, half marathon, relay as well as 7.5km fun run.
“Keep your training going, and keep Sunday 13 Dec available – as we are bringing to you an exciting virtual event – we will be ‘taking you to Vic Falls’ to run the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10.5 km Relay, or 7.5 km fun run. We are working with one of the most sophisticated, inter-active, virtual timing systems in the World which offers ‘real-time’ accurate race results and tracking of your route. Whichever distance you choose, including the Fun Run,’’ read the communication.
As part of the innovation, those putting together this year’s race said there will be interactive ‘live’ tracking, all distances are timed with results provided, some cool prizes and giveaways are being negotiated with the sponsors, one can challenge their friends, family and running clubs, the race can be run any time between 00h00 – 23h59 on the 13 December, from anywhere in the world, one can run for a charity in Zimbabwe and there is an opportunities to sponsor a local Zimbabwean upcoming athlete.
“We have lots of other ideas, which will be shared via social media and emails, to make this event a day to remember.”
Entries for the virtual race will be opening soon, with updates to be sent out in the coming weeks. This year’s Econet Victoria Falls Marathon was originally meant to be held on 7 July but could not take place because of measures in place in the country to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The organisers settled for 13 December but with slim chances of huge crowds being allowed by that time due to Covid-19, going virtual became the option instead of cancelling.
What started off as a small event in 2006 with 425 athletes, mostly locals, has grown to become the biggest marathon in Zimbabwe as witnessed by the huge numbers of participants over the last few years.