THIS year’s edition of the JM Busha 54 Races Marathon was launched in Harare yesterday, with the organisers announcing they have added two more sporting disciplines to the usual marathon, track and field events.
BY HENRY MHARA
JM Busha 54 Races, whose vision is “to see and have a peaceful, prosperous and united people of Africa and the world” was inaugurated in the country last year, culminating in over 600 athletes participating in the marathon, fun races and track and field events held at the National Sports Stadium on Africa Day.
Isaac Mpofu and Chiedza Chokore won the main 42km races last year in the men and female categories, walking away with prize monies of $3 000 each.
But the organisers have promised an expanded and more exciting event this year, also to be held on Africa Day, across Harare.
Speaking at a Press conference yesterday, JM Busha 54 Races chairperson, Misheck Gondo, said they have decided to add golf and cycling to the event with winners in the two disciplines also set to pocket $3 000 each.
To celebrate and ensure an exciting event this year, Gondo said they have also some adjustments to the length of the races, with long distance runners set to compete in a 54km (main race), 10,54km and 5,4km fun run.
“We are challenging Africa to lead the way in peace and unity with sporting activities that will transform lives, initiatives that seeks to unify disintegrated voices, full of love and passion. Transformation comes with responsibility and we are starting and mirroring the future as we launch the second phase in Zimbabwe with an extraordinary vision of 54 countries, 54 races, all on Africa Day, all for peace and unity,” Gondo said.
He said they expect at least 1 200 participants in the marathon race, 100 cyclists and over 150 golfers to take part. Former Comrades marathon winner Stephen Muzhingi, who attended the launch, confirmed that he will be part of the high profile athletes expected to race.
Muzhingi said he will be using the race to prepare for this year’s Comrades.
Sponsored by South Africa-based Zimbabwean business mogul Joseph Busha, through his JM Busha Investment Group, the JM Busha 54 Races is a non-profit organisation involved in social investment programmes aimed at promoting sport, education, peace, stability, harmony and unity among people and nations.