THE 2013 edition of the Bvumba Mountain Run has received a major boost from the postponement of the Gutu Marathon as the two would have coincided on October 26.
The Gutu marathon will now take place next month paving way for the Bvumba run, set to take place on Saturday next week, to attract all the top athletes, especially with improved incentives.
The winner of this year’s 21-km race will pocketUS$1 000 in both the male and female categories, while winners of the 10-km race designed for school-going athletes will get US$500 each.
The top five athletes in each category will get cash prizes.
Registration for the events is already in progress with top marathon athletes Cuthbert Nyasango and Wirimai Zhuwawo in the male category and Olivia Chitate in the female category expected to converge in Manicaland.
Manicaland Athletics Board of Control chairperson Joshua Mutume said they expect a huge turnout for the event.
“We are glad that the other event which would have clashed with the Bvumba half-marathon has been postponed,” said Mutume. “We expect to attract the best athletes in the country and since all focus is now on this event we anticipate a huge turn out this year. Registration has commenced and will go on until race day.”
Chief organiser Byran Rocher, who is also the resident golf professional at Leopard Rock, said this would be the third running of the event, hosted by Leopard Rock Hotel and sponsored by Old Mutual.
A schools section has been introduced this year, with the winning school team set to pocket US$750, while a corporate section has also been introduced, mainly to encourage companies within the Mutare and Bvumba community to participate.
“All entry fees for the fun run will be donated to Bvumba’s Wildlife and Environment Protection Unit, a locally-run organisation working to preserve the environment of the area,” said Rocher.
As part of Old Mutual’s sponsorship, four children from Mutore School in the Bvumba Area are being sponsored to take part and have beensupplied with the necessary kit.
“Interest in the event is high among professional and casual runners, not only in the Mutare area but also in other parts of Zimbabwe. Runners choose between the main race of over 21km, or alternatives at 10km and 5km. All races end at the Leopard Rock Hotel, where prize giving and post-event celebrations will be held until late in the night, with the course encompassing some of the area’s most spectacular scenery.
“We look forward to a successful event that will be good for the area, helping to draw attention to the Bvumba as one of Zimbabwe’s finest tourist destinations,” said Rocher. Staff Writer.