Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THE Bulawayo Athletics Board (Bab) has stepped up preparations for the Old Mutual Nkulumane Half Marathon set for June 3.
The race was previously a fun run incorporating only the 10km and 5km events. The inclusion of the 21km race this year is likely to see more professional athletes taking part in the event.
Registration for the race will open on Monday at a fee of $5.
Bab chairman Manuel Mpofu said: “The race this year will be big, as we expect top athletes from across the city to come and participate. This race remained a favourite for athletes due to the hilly nature of the route that has several steep rises, making it good terrain for them.”
Independent runner Canicious Nyamutsa won the men’s 10km run last year, beating a host of experienced runners that included Kadoma-based Jacob Mugomeri of Zimpost, who came second, and Misheck Sithole.
In the women’s category, Bertha Chikanga romped to victory, with Rudo Mhondero finishing second and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) runner Patience Garauzive beating defending champion Olivia Chitate of ZRP for third place.
The winners of the 21km race for both men and women will walk away $700 richer, while the runners-up and third-placed athletes will get $500 and $300 respectively.
The winner in the wheelchair category will get $500, while second and third-placed athletes will get $300 and 200.
In the 10km race, the winners will get $200 for the seniors and $100 for juniors.
Old Mutual, who support big races in South Africa such as the Two Oceans Marathon and the Comrades, also bankroll the Vumba Half Marathon, Harare Marathon, Chitungwiza 10km Fun Run and the Westgate Half Marathon in Zimbabwe.