PREPARATIONS for the prestigious Old Mutual Vumba 21km Mountain Run race set for October this year have already started as organisers of the event are keen not to repeat the technical shortcomings that marred the prestigious race last year.
There was confusion in the 21km men’s race after Harare-based athlete Conisious Nyamutsita hit the ribbon first in 57 minutes.
For a moment there was shock as his time was faster than the official International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) world half marathon record of 58 minutes 23 seconds set by Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea on March 21 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal.
But it was later realised that he had cut about four kilometres of the race because of lack of officials who gave directions to athletes and lack of clear markings.
Manicaland Athletics Board chairman Joshua Matume told NewsDay Sport yesterday preparations for this year’s race were already underway.
“We have started our preparations for the race which is on 18 October at Leopard Rock Hotel. We are spearheading on the technical side, updating our officials on their duties so that they can officiate perfectly and also the controlling of the athletes. We always thrive to make an impact on the technical side,” he said.
“We have already started talking to the sponsors on what they are expecting on their tournament and if there are areas that they need to improved from the previous tournament. Last year over 400 athletes took part and we would like to exceed that number,” he added.
Last year’s tournament was eventually won by battle-hardened athlete Rutendo Nyahora in the female category with a time of 1hr 20 min 18sec while in the male category the unheralded Collin Kanyimo won the title after registering 1hr 09mim 53sec on the clock. For their efforts they received $1 000 each.