All is set for the annual Dr Simon Muzenda half marathon set for Mupandawana Growth Point in Gutu on Saturday.
The annual 21km marathon is held in honour of the late vice-president.
Speaking to NewsDay on Tuesday, Titus Madzingo, who is the spokesperson and publicity officer for the event said preparations for the marathon are on course.
“All the modalities are in place, we are just waiting for the big day,” said Madzingo.
Madzingo also revealed a record 2 500 athletes; including household names are expected to grace the event.
“This is the biggest marathon in the country and this year’s event will be bigger than the previous ones.
We are expecting more than 2 500 participants.”
Unlike in the previous years, the top 20 participants will get prizes, with the winner in both male and female categories going home $800 richer.
“Twenty athletes to reach the finishing line first will get different prizes.
In addition to the cash prizes, there are also other prizes on offer like scotch carts, wheelbarrows and ploughs which will be given to the locals.”
Household names that are expected to grace the event include the defending champion Kudakwashe Shoko, who also won the Binga half marathon recently, Stephen Muzhingi, the Comrades Marathon winner, Wirimai Zhuwawo, runner–up to Shoko in the Binga race and Jonathan Chinyoka who came home second in last year’s edition.
Chinyoka also won the University of Zimbabwe race on Sunday.
In the women’s category, defending champion Olivia Chitate, who came a disappointing fifth in the Binga race will need to improve her time if she has any dream of clinching gold this time around.
She will face stiff competition from Tabitha Tsatsa, Chiedza Chikore and Rutendo Nyawora, who was a runner-up in Binga.
Besides the main 21km, there will be also a 10km race for kids, and for women and men over the age of 40. There will be also a 5km fun race for the old aged.