BLESSING Waison and veteran women marathon athlete Rutendo Nyahora were this year's main winners of the Old Mutual Harare marathon at Old Georgians in Harare yesterday morning.
Waison beat a strong field of seasoned athletes to win the men’s main marathon in an impressive time of 1:04:15 seconds, beating second placed and previous winner Kelvin Pangiso who came second.
Godwin Katakura took the bronze medal after finishing third.
Jonathan Chinyoka finished fourth, missing the podium by seconds.
“I had a good start and after 26 kilometres, I managed to break from the pack and maintained my speed until I crossed the finishing line,” said Waison who used yesterday’s event to prepare for a race in Botswana in two weeks’ time.
It was not so tight in the women’s main race as Nyahora cruised to the finishing line in 2:50:08 seconds.
The veteran runner came off the blocks flying and maintained her pole position from start to finish.
Chiedza Chikore came second, just under nine minutes later, while Anna Chirisa came third.
“The competition was not that tough this year as I managed to keep first position from the start to the end,” said Nyahora, who is gunning for the Olympics qualification times.
She will have to reduce her time by five minutes to qualify for this year’s Paris Olympics.
Waison and Nyahora each received US$1 000 for their troubles yesterday.
In the half marathon race, Moses Tarakinyu got his revenge on Wellington Varevi to win the 21km race.
Varevi won the Harare Athletic Board season opening cross country race last month in an event in which Tarakinyu finished third.
Wayne Kabonde who took silver last month, took bronze yesterday.
In the women’s half marathon race, Ethel Pangiso continued with her dominance on the local scene.
She won the Harare Athletic Board race last month and once again claimed gold yesterday, beating Melody Chikonzi who came second. Ossly Murambidzi came third. Tarakinyu and Pangiso got US$500 each.
The 10km race was won by Abel Chibanda in the men’s category, while Patience Garawaza scooped gold in the women’s section.