A FIELD of 400 runners is expected to battle it out in the revamped Old Mutual RB Marathon Relay Challenge that is scheduled for Harare on Sunday.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
The marathon will this year incorporate a relay challenge to accommodate corporates and other groups that may want to field teams, ranging between two and eight people over the 42,2km course.
The race starts and finishes at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare.
Besides the main race, there will also be 5km, 10km and 21km races for individual runners.
Captain of Harare Athletic Club (HAC), who is also one of the event organisers, Martin Webster, said entry will be by registration, which will take place at Old Georgians tomorrow evening and Saturday.
Registration fees has been set at $10 for the 5km and 10km fun run, $20 for 21km and 42,2km race and $30 for relay teams of up to eight people.
With a total of $10 000 in prize money, the Old Mutual RB Marathon Relay Challenge is expected to attract top athletes, including Monica Kativu, a runner that Old Mutual is sponsoring to the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon that is scheduled for Cape Town, South Africa, on April 4.
“We opened registration last Friday and we will resume this Friday from 5:30 to 7:30pm and then Saturday from 10am to 4pm. There will be no registration on the day as the race starts at 6am,” said Webster, adding that T-shirts would be provided to all participants.
“We are looking forward to an exciting event, particularly with the introduction of the relay challenge.
“We believe it has huge potential as it gives the runner a chance to compete individually, as well as being part of a team to achieve that unthinkable distance of 42.2km! We are aware of at least 12 teams which will register this weekend and believe we could get more than 50.
“We heard about it (relay challenge) being used in races in Europe, and the freedom to ‘choose your distance’ appealed to us. It caters for all runners whether novices or elite,” said Webster.
He said HAC was receiving enquiries from companies, churches, the civil service and even a rugby team.
“We are hoping that with so much activity happening at the main relay change points on the Old Georgians field and the fact that the route will involve laps, that there will be a ‘party atmosphere’ at the club as people come and cheer their family and friends on,” Webster said.