Muchena to miss PPC Matopos 33-miler

Americans Meb Keflezighi, second from right, and Ryan Hall, center, lead the New York City Marathon, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2009. Keflezighi won the race and Hall was fourth. Kenya's Robert Cheruiyot, left, was second. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

LAST year’s winner of the PPC Matopos 33-Miler Lyno Muchena will not be available to defend his title in tomorrow’s race as he will be travelling to Cape Town where he is expected to take part in next week’s Two Oceans Marathons.

BY FORTUNE MBELE

The Mutare-based long distance runner picked up a $1 000 prize money in the men’s category for his exploits where he clocked 3:13:28.

He is expected to leave for Cape Town tomorrow to start his training for the 56km marathon which has more financial rewards than the local race.

With the two races only a week apart, participating in the PPC Matopos 33-Miler means athletes wishing to take part in the South Africa race will not have enough time to recover.

“I will not be available for the PPC Matopos race this time around as I am taking part in the Two Oceans Marathon next Saturday. I am ready for the Cape Town race and everything is in place. My last race was the Old Mutual Marathon where I came third last month. I have been training hard and have made touch ups for the Two Oceans. I am leaving on Saturday (tomorrow) and will have my final training in Cape Town,” Muchena said.

He came third in the Old Mutual 42km Marathon at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare last month in 2:22:30 in a race which was won by Mike Fokoroni in 2:21:39.
Fokoroni is also heading to the Two Oceans Marathon.

Muchena (30) won the Zululand Nongoma 56km Ultra-Marathon last year before heading back home to win PPC Matopos 33-Miler.

The Two Oceans Marathon winner will pocket R250 000 while the runner-up will get R125 000, with the third-placed athlete getting R65 000.

The athlete who finishes 10th in the Two Oceans pockets R10 000 which is almost equivalent to the first prize for the PPC Matopos 33-Miler.

Be that as it may, the PPC Matopos 33-Miler has got it huge incentives as well, as it is now a qualifier for the more prestigious 89km Comrades Marathon which draws athletes from all over the world.

This year’s edition of the race in Kwazulu-Natal will be held on June 10.

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