Ellina Mhlanga, Sports Reporter
WORLD Championships-bound Munyaradzi Jari emerged winner of the CBZ Peter Gradwell Marathon as he continues with his preparations for the bigger stage.
Jari was the first to cross the finish line in 2 hours 23 minutes 6 seconds at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare yesterday, beating Prosper Mutwira and Lyno Muchena into second and third position respectively.
Mutwira was second in 2 hours 23 minutes 22 seconds and Muchena followed with a time of 2 hours 25 minutes 19 seconds.
Although he had a slow start as he was still to get his race bib when the race started, Jari came from behind to take the lead and managed to maintain his position to be crowned the winner.
“I can say I was a little bit pissed off especially by the time I reached here because I was looking for my bib and I couldn’t find the person who had my bib. So I started the race a little bit late. I had to put in everything that I had to catch-up with the other guys.
“It was my preparation for the Copenhagen Marathon on May 19 in Denmark. I didn’t think I was going to win but it was God’s planning. It was my day,” said Jari after the race.
Olivia Chitate continued with her dominance in the local road running scene to win the women’s race in 2 hours 53 minutes 32 seconds. She won the Old Mutual Harare Marathon last month.
“I can say the race was okay, the weather was alright but there was a bit of competition from the youngsters.
“Surely I wasn’t expecting to win the race but I wanted to run this race as part of my training because today I wanted to cover a 42km run and I had no way to measure a route for myself, so I really wanted to run this race.
“So when I got the bib number I was happy and coming here I wasn’t expecting to win. I was running to finish the race,” said Chitate.
Emmilia Mukungatu was second in 3 hours 22 minutes 29 seconds and Lynnette Tomu came third in 3hours 33minutes 11seconds.
Chitate and Jari got $2 000 each for emerging winners in their respective sections.
Samson Muroyiwa won the men’s 42.2km wheelchair race in 2 hours 34 minutes 56 seconds while Elford Moyo was second in 2 hours 43 minutes 39 seconds.
Moses Tarakinyu came first in the men’s 21.1km in 1hour 7minutes 15seconds and the women’s title went to Rudo Mhonderwa in 1 hour 29 minutes 8 seconds.
Wellington Varevi and Miriam Sibanda were crowned winners in the 10km men’s and women’s races respectively.
The event attracted 1 400 participants for all the races that were on offer from 5km to the main 42.2km.
CBZ Holdings group executive marketing and corporate affairs, Laura Gwatiringa, said they were impressed with the event and are hoping it becomes an annual event.
“As CBZ, the biggest financial services organisation in Zimbabwe, we realised that we were absent in this space, in the area of running, it’s an area that is open to all age-groups and we felt in promoting healthy lifestyles we needed to come up with a marathon.
“This is why we have come up with this marathon race which we are hoping will become an annual event on our calendar.
“We are very humbled, when you are doing something for the first time, your expectation is that perhaps because people will look at you and say these amateurs they have not done it before. But we were overwhelmed by the support that we got,” said Gwatiringa.