Victoria Falls marathon attracts 1 000 runners
Close to 1 000 runners from about 40 countries have registered for the 2017 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon in the resort town on Sunday. The event’s sponsorship manager Debbie Harrison said 692 entries were made online while 208 were done via fax.
At this stage last year, 898 entries had been made for the 42.2km race and 251 for the half marathon. Twenty-seven Zimbabweans have registered for the full marathon, while 172 entered the half marathon and 127 the 7km fun run, according to Harrison.
“We have a total of 900 paid entries so far and all preparations are going on well,” said Harrison. Entry fees are pegged at $10 for locals and $20 for foreigners. The fun run registration is $3 and minimum age for the event is 10 years.
Only those above the age of 21 are eligible for the full marathon, while the minimum age for the half marathon is 18 years. All races will start at the car park opposite the Post Office then cross over the Victoria Falls Bridge briefly into Zambia and back into the Zambezi National Park and end at Victoria Falls Primary School.
This is the 11th edition of the competition, which draws participants from around the globe. Harrison said race numbers should be collected at the pre-registration desk on Saturday upon production of proof of residence or citizenship and proof of payment. “No late collections will be done on race morning,” said Harrison. Econet and its various brands remain the major sponsors and Wild Frontiers, which has interests in tourism locally and in Botswana and Zambia, are the event organisers.
The marathon was devised in conjunction with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) and is an Association of International Marathon and Distance Races registered event. It is also one of the major marketing events for the country’s tourism sector as runners sample rafting, canoeing, boat cruising, game viewing, elephant back safari and bungee jumping activities while in the resort town.