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PPC Matopos 33-miler marathon grows

BULAWAYO-(NEWSDAY)-THE sponsors of the PPC Matopos 33-miler
ultra-marathon, PPC Zimbabwe, have increased funding for this year’s
edition of the competition to $16 000 with winners set to get $1 000
each in both the men and women’s categories.

This year’s marathon, slated for April 1, will be held from the usual
starting point at Matopos National Park and end at Bulawayo Athletic
Club.

Last year the race was sponsored to the tune of $13 000 with the
winners in the open category, Airforce of Zimbabwe runner Peter
Tumbare (men) and Monica Kativhu (women), pocketing $850 each.

This year’s package was announced by PPC area manager (sales and
marketing) Nkosana Mapuma yesterday.

“We have increased our pledge by 17% this year to$16 000 from last
year’s $13 000 and that is good news for the runners. Winners will
each receive $1 000 for the 33-miler, which is a good incentive and
motivation for the runners,” Mapuma said.

Runners-up will each get $750 for the open category, while the
veterans, masters and grandmasters winners will receive $400 each for
the full marathon.

For the half marathon, winners in the men and women’s sections will
receive $500 each with the wheelchair category prizes pegged at $400
for the winners in each section.

Mapuma said instead of the relay races, this year the organisers would
introduce a 10km race, which will start at Tshabalala Game Sanctuary
with the 5km Fun Run continuing from the previous races.

Bulawayo Athletic Board chairman Manuel Mpofu said they were expecting
more than 700 athletes this year compared last year’s 600 with runners
from outside the country also expected to participate in the marathon.

The PPC 33-miler (56km) is an International Association of Athletics
Federations-certified race which is a qualifying event for
international races including South Africa’s Comrades Marathon.

Registration began yesterday with athletes paying $10 for the
ultra-marathon and half-marathon and $5 for the 10km race and 5km Fun
Run.

PPC managing director Kelibone Masiyane yesterday said the giant
cement producing firm would be identifying a school or a clinic to
develop in Matobo district as part of their efforts in giving back to
the community.

“As the ultra-marathon approaches, PPC Zimbabwe will identify a school
or clinic in Matobo district to develop. In this way, we are going
beyond sport to leave a lasting legacy to Matobo, developing and
uplifting the area. PPC will also partner Hamilton High School on
certain developmental projects in recognition of the school’s sterling
efforts in the smooth operation of the marathon each year,” Masiyane
said.

Tumbare won the race in 3:12:10 while Kativhu clocked 4:02:45.

The half marathon was won by Wirimai Juwawo in 1:07:23 in the men’s
section with Chiedza Chokore coming first in the women’s category in
1:21:14.

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