VETERAN long-distance runner Michael Ngaaseke celebrated his 37th birthday in style by winning the Matopos 33 Miler while Monica Kativhu clinched the honours in the women’s category yesterday.
Report by Sukoluhle Mthethwa
Ngaaseke, who competed as an independent, romped home in three hours 16 minutes and 42 seconds to collect the $600 prize money in the competition sponsored by PPC Zimbabwe to the tune of $10 000.
The competition started from Matopo National Park and ended at the National University of Science and Technology.
Ngaaseke was ecstatic after the victory.
“The competition was very tough, but I broke away from the other athletes after one hour 35 minutes. It was tough because most of Zimbabwe’s top athletes were there. I am happy because I am celebrating my 37th birthday today (yesterday) and I have won this race,” he said.
Andrew Chimbidzika (Black Rhinos) was the runner up in the men’s category after clocking three hours 21 minutes and 34 seconds, while Chasara Masiyatsva (independent) followed in three hours 22 minutes and 24 seconds.
Chimbidzika received $420 while Masiyatsva got $350.
Monica Kativhu from Harare did not receive any competition from her field as Julia Nemhara did not finish the race.
The winner recorded a time of five hours four minutes and 51 seconds.
Olivia Chitate (ZRP) won the women’s 21km race in one hour 19 minutes 33 seconds followed by Faith Nyasango (Kuwadzana) in one hour 21 minutes six seconds, while Constance Nyasango was third in one hour 21 minutes 24 seconds getting $300, $210 and $175 respectively.
Gilbert Mutandiro from Harare scooped the first prize of $300 in one hour eight minutes 58 seconds in the men’s 21km race.
First runner-up Jacob Mugomeri (Kadoma) received $210 in one hour nine minutes eight seconds, while second runner-up Phathisa Ngwabi (independent) completed the half marathon in one hour nine minutes 10 seconds.
In the 21km wheelchair category, Elford Moyo (Danhiko) was first in one hour five minutes before Samson Muroyiwa (Bulawayo) in one hour 12 minutes 46 seconds.
Edmund Makutya was third in two hours five minutes.
Magdalene Madzivire won the women’s 21km wheelchair category in two hours 18 minutes, while Margaret Bangajena was second in two hours 20 minutes 14 seconds with Moleen Majoni third in three hours five minutes 10 seconds.
The winners in the wheelchair men and women’s category won $250 each for the first prize, $200 for the first runner up while the third-placed received $150 each.
Black Rhinos received $300 for winning the senior men’s relay which was completed by six runners over a distance of 9,33km each in three hours one minute 50 seconds with ZRP scooping $150 in three hours 02 minutes 26 seconds.