BY OWN CORRESPONDENT
With two weeks before the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon (EVFM), seasoned athletes say they are ready for the popular race which will be held in the iconic resort town on July 3.
World-class veteran athlete Moses Tarakinyu, who won the 21 kilometres half marathon the last time the marathon was held 2019 said he was ready to defend his title this year.
“I have been training hard in the past few months, and everything is going well so far,” Tarakinyu said.
“I am confident of winning the half marathon again at the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon in two week’s time.”
Tarakinyu – member of the Black Rhinos Athletics Club – is clearly brimming with confidence, after winning the 21km Two Oceans Marathon in South Africa in April this year, in a time of 01:03:31.
Another veteran of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, Christopher Gondwe, who won the 42km marathon title in 2019, said he was keen to win the event again this year and even break his own record.
“I am training hard and hopeful come July 3, I will be fit and ready. I am hoping to defend my title even improve on my performance this year.
“So whoever tries to beat me will have to work very hard for it,” said the 35 year old athlete from Blanket Mine Athletics Club, who crossed the finish line in a time of 02:25:36 in 2019.
Africa’s premier marathon was last held three years ago, while the last two editions were put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic that saw countries closing their borders to curb the spread of the respiratory disease.
Since its establishment in 2006, the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon has grown bigger and now attracts veteran and burgeoning athletes, running and fitness enthusiasts, tourists and families from across the world.
In 2019, the celebrated marathon hosted over 3 500 runners from 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and South Africa, among others.
Strides Athletics Club captain, Taonga Mukonoweshuro, said members of his association were geared for the upcoming marathon.
Stride Athletics Club is mostly made up of professionals, such as medical doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants, who run to stay fit.
“I can safely say we are ready for the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon as we have been practising regularly, in groups and as individuals.
“The marathon has come at an opportune time since we will use it to prepare for the Comrades Marathon in August,” said Mukonoweshuro, who will be celebrating his birthday on the marathon day.
Besides the 2022 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon being an official Comrades Marathon qualifier race, participants also have a chance to win up to US$25 000 in prizes.