BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
FINANCIAL services group, Old Mutual, has committed to host its six marathons across the country set to attract a combined total of more than 8 000 athletes and fitness enthusiasts annually.
Old Mutual Zimbabwe Group marketing and innovation executive Lillian Mbayiwa said Old Mutual marathons to promote a culture of regular exercise, and promote health and wellness in Zimbabwe.
“Each year, Old Mutual facilitates marathons around Zimbabwe. The Old Mutual Zimbabwe Foundation continues to implement various programmes that uplift communities across the nation,” she said.
“Old Mutual is the only corporate that hosts six marathons across the country, with more than 7 500 athletes and fitness enthusiasts taking part every year.”
Mbayiwa said over the years, there has been steady growth in the number of participants, improvement in execution, increased partnerships and the more general excitement around the race.
“The Old Mutual Marathons’ focus is in line with the brand promise to unify the community and create a more sustainable and better future for all. When it comes to health and wellness, people have become more proactive than they used to be,” she said.
“In that regard, Old Mutual has established itself as the leading corporate citizen in promoting a healthy lifestyle in communities across the nation. The organisation continues to uphold its mandate to promote a healthy lifestyle and be trendsetters within the athletics space.”
Since 2013, Old Mutual has successfully staged half and full marathons for participants in various communities.
“The events are innovative and keep up with current athletics trends. Old Mutual marathon registration is electronic and aligns with international standards set by bodies such as the IAAF,” she said.
“Notably, the Old Mutual Marathons portfolio comprises big races such as the Old Mutual Harare Marathon. This race is held in partnership with the Harare Athletics Club, who are invested in creating a healthy and thriving athletic community. All proceeds from the race go to rehabilitating the club’s operations.”
She added: “The Old Mutual Vumba Mountain Run is another noteworthy race, held annually at Leopard Rock Hotel. Old Mutual is the lead sponsor to the Friends of Vumba, to raise funds for the Wildlife Environment Protection Unit and preserve Vumba’s flora and fauna through proceeds from this run.”
Mbayiwa said the marathons are not limited to selected cities, but also take place in Dangamvura (Mutare), Khulumane (Bulawayo) and Westgate (Harare) to promote and revamp shopping malls.
“The recently-held Old Mutual Harare Marathon offered runners an opportunity to run together virtually. This format kept runners motivated to run despite current circumstances, and to enjoy the feeling of being part of the running community whilst still maintaining social distancing,” she said.
“If you are thinking about taking part in Old Mutual marathons, you are taking the initiative to improve your health and well-being and the races assist athletes with opportunities to acquire the times required for participation at international races.”
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