IT’S now official.The Dr Simon Vengesai Muzenda Memorial Gutu Half Marathon has been penciled for November 3.
Report By Brian Nkiwane
Chairman of the organising committee, Titus Madzingo said preparations were at an advanced stage.
“Preparations have been going on well. I can assure you that the race is there on November 3 here in Masvingo. We have been running around to finalise sponsorship deals and I can confirm prize money for the winners is already available,” Madzingo said.
Madzingo added that prizes for the winners were still pegged at last year’s rates, which will see winners from [both men and women] pocketing US$2 500 while the second placed will get US$1 500 and US$1 000 respectively.
The 17th edition of the race will see athletes including children competing in 13 different categories with the half marathon being the main event.
As usual, there will be prizes for local athletes who will get home first.
Madzingo said most renowned athletes in the country had confirmed participation in the race which was won by Jonathan Chinyoka last year.
The Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) runner came home in a time of 66 minutes 47 seconds, winning the race for the first time since his debut as a junior in 2004.
In second place was Nkosiyazi Sibanda of Banket Mine, who clocked 66mins 52secs. Another ZPS athlete, Kelvin Pangiso, finished third in 67mins 26secs.
In the women’s section of the 21km race, Constance Nyasango, who had just won the Kujatana Nkubotu Peace Half-Marathon in Binga the week before, came home first in a time of 1 hour 21 minutes 31 seconds.
Muchaneta Gwata settled for second position for the second year running in 1hr 21mins 36secs.
Rutendo Nyahora was third with a time of 1hr 22mins 46secs.
The race will not include wheelchair athletes due to financial constraints.