ORGANISERS of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon expect an improved 2015 edition of the event, with a number of foreign athletes expected to compete.
by SUKOLUHLE MTHETHWA
Preparations for the annual event, which will be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls on June 28, have already begun.
The event has over the years attracted athletes from Kenya, Zambia, Scotland, Australia, Japan, Brazil, South Africa, Germany, France, Britain, the United States, Ukraine, Switzerland, Trinidad, Swaziland, Canada, Holland and Ireland, but the organisers expect an even bigger foreign contigent this time around.
The race continue to get international recognition as it is a qualifying event for the region’s top ultra-marathons, the Comrades and Two Oceans which are both held in South Africa.
“The annual race, which is fast-reaching iconic status, has seen a tremendous increase in numbers and organisers and sponsors plan for an even stronger demand in 2015. The buzz around the marathon has been felt on the international scale with runners in 2014 coming from as far afield as Australia, USA, Canada and neighbouring South Africa,” a statement on the race’s official website reads.
“Registrations for the 2015 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, Half Marathon and 7km Fun Run are now underway, giving a chance for runners a chance to secure their spot on the starting line for the June 28, 2015 race.”
Nkosiyazi Sibanda won the competition a record fourth time last year after he crossed the line in a time of 2hrs 21mins 40secs in the 42km race.
In the women’s race, Monica Kativhu improved on her fourth place 2013 finish to win the title in 3hr 8mins 21secs last year.
The winner of last year’s men and women’s marathon each pocketed $800, $675 for the second-placed athletes, $500 for third spot, $400 went to the fourth-placed athletes, $300 for position five, the sixth-placed athlete was awarded $200, while $150 went to the seventh placed athlete.
The eighth-placed athletes each pocketed $100, ninth-placed $75, while the tenth-placed athlete walked away with $50.
Men and women athletes who crossed the line first in the half-marathon each got $450, runners-up $325, third-placed $250, $200 for the fourth-placed athlete, the fifth-placed athlete was awarded $150, sixth-placed $125, $100 for position seven, $75 for position eight, $50 for position nine and $25 for position 10.