The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda in Victoria Falls
THE number of athletes taking part in this year’s Econet Victoria Falls Marathon has increased from last year with over 3 500 runners expected to take to the road in the resort town this morning.
By close of registration last night, figures released by the race organisers showed that 3 518 athletes had registered to take part in the various races on offer at the 14th edition of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon.
In terms of the breakdown, 475 are taking part in the Econet Vic Falls Marathon, 1 850 in the Vaya Vic Falls Half-Marathon, 172 people (86 teams) in the Steward Bank Team Relay and 1 021 in the EcoSure Fun Run.
Last year, 3 489 took part in the marathon.
The Half-Marathon and Fun Run were sold out by Friday with those that had registered online having until last night to collect their running numbers. For the full marathon, it attracted just over 50 percent of the 800 slots that had been reserved.
Veteran athlete, Nkosiyazi Sibanda returned to winning ways when he won the 42,2 kilometres last year, the seventh time that he has won Zimbabwe’s biggest race while Olivier Chitate took the women’s title.
Sibanda, champion in 2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 crossed the finish line in two hours 21:08 seconds ahead of the 2017 winner,
Matthew Mutanya of Zambia who finished in two hours, 20:51 seconds.
In the women’s category, Chitate of Harare was the winner in two hours, 58:35 seconds, with the seasoned and 2017 champion Tabitha Tsatsa second in three hours, 01:48 seconds.
In the 21,1km half marathon, Tatenda Hove won a tightly contested race in one hour, 06:42 seconds, closely followed by veteran Trust Chidomaya who crossed the finish line in one hour, 06:51 seconds while Misheck Sithole was third in one hour, 06:59 seconds which shows just how much the top three were closely following each other.
Betha Chikanga took the women’s half -marathon in one hour, 16:06 seconds, veteran Rudo Mhonderwa was second in one hour, 01:17 seconds with Nyasha Mutsvanga third on one hour, 16:36 seconds in yet another close finish for the half-marathon.