The fourth edition of the Kujatana Nkubotu 21,1km Peace Half Marathon set for October 22 in Binga has attracted 650 athletes from all over the country.
Registration for the race was closed on September 30 with 450 local athletes expected to take part in the competition while 200 will be coming from elsewhere.
The race coordinator Pottar Muzamba on Tuesday said preparations for the tournament are in progress.
“We closed registration on September 30 and we have 650 athletes that have registered with 450 locals and 200 from the rest of the country.
“Preparations are in progress on the ground, which includes informing the public on pick-up points and also on national level. We want the race to be a success and hopefully all athletes who registered will find their way to Binga,” Muzamba said.
Last year’s winner of the Men’s Open catego
ry Kudakwashe Shoko did not enter this year’s event while the ladies winner Sharon Tavengwa will be out to defend her title on the day.
Other athletes taking part in the annual event, which commemorates the September 21 International Day of Peace, are Virimai Zhuwawo and Mike Fokoroni, who will be eyeing the honours in the Men’s Open section while sisters Chiedza and Lizzy Chokore and Faith and Constance Nyasango would seek to wrest the title from Tavengwa in the women’s category.
Olivia Chitate would also be seeking her fortunes in the women’s category while Cephas Pasipamire seeks to retain the uniformed forces’ title.
In the men’s wheelchair section, there is Elford Moyo, Edmund Makutya and Tawanda Maburutse while Magdalene Madzivire, Margaret Bangajena and Dorcas Hwatura will be vying for top spot in the women’s category.
This year’s race has a total package of $250 000, sponsored by Twalumba Foundation. Muzamba said the main event will be preceded by two, a media tour and a mini-cultural festival to showcase dances from the Tonga community of Binga.
The race had been pencilled for September 24, but had to be moved to accommodate professional athletes taking part in international competitions with some athletes in Mozambique for the All-Africa Games while others were due to travel to South Africa for the City-to-City and Cape Town Marathons held on September 18 and 25 respectively.
The Kujatana-Nkubotu race is now recognised by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Prizes for the athletes range from $100 to $2 000.