VETERAN marathoners Nkosiyazi Sibanda and Elmore Sibanda are set to defend their titles in the annual Econet Victoria Falls Marathon in the resort town this morning.
By OUR STAFF
Nkosiyazi won the 42,2 kilometre marathon race last year in time of 2hr 23 min 25 seconds while Elmore was the first to cross the line in the half marathon in time of 1hr 5mins 36 seconds.
Athletes from around the country will be joined by other foreign athletes as the race is also used as a qualifying event for the Two Oceans and Comrades Marathons to be held in South Africa later this year.
Swaziland’s Winile Mnisi was the first female athlete to complete the full marathon in a time of 3 hours 10 minutes and 43 seconds followed by Zimbabwe’s Tapawo Bhiri who crossed the finishing line in a time of 3 hours 15 minutes and 7 seconds.
Eleven countries were represented in last year’s marathon with athletes from South Africa, Ireland, Canada, France, Swaziland, Holland, Denmark, United Kingdom, Australia and Germany joining a fleet of local athletes in the prestigious event.
Speaking to Standardsport, Econet spokesperson Rangarirai Mberi said, as the sponsors they have done everything that they were expected to do for the success of the event.
“Everything is in place now. The marathon race route itself is unique in so many ways. You cannot find many races in the world where runners run past one of the natural wonders of the world, cross national borders, and run through a game park,” Mberi said.
The race will start with runners crossing over the Victoria Falls Bridge, then into Zambia offering the runner spectacular scenes along the way.
They will then go through the National Park and on to the finishing line at Victoria Falls Primary School.