Econet Group keyboard_arrow_down


Econet Victoria Falls Marathon 2023 ends on high note

07 July 2023

THE 15th edition of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon ended on a high note on Sunday, with world-class athletes and over 4 500 running enthusiasts from all walks of life giving it their best shot in various racing categories, in a carnival atmosphere in the scenic western resort town.

With a total of US$20 000 prize money to be won, seasoned athlete Moses Tarakinyu won the 21-kilometer half marathon – for the third time in a row – in 1 hour, 4 minutes and 15 seconds ahead of Wayne Kabondo who finished the race at 1 hour, four minutes and 39 seconds, and Tendai Zimuto who cloaked 1 hour, five minutes and 19 seconds.

“I am very excited to win again this year. I am always looking forward to the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon as it is a big event, which attracts quality runners from all over the world,” said the 28-year-old athlete from Black Rhinos Club.

“I want to thank Econet for the prize money, which will go a long way in helping with my upkeep as well as to buy quality running gear,” added Tarakinyu, who will later this year compete at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in the northeastern European country of Latvia.

In the women’s half marathon category, Patience Garauzive clinched the first prize after finishing the race under 1:19:16 ahead of Bertha Sitariko and Rudo Mhonderwa, who completed the half marathon at 1:20:59 and 1:23:39 respectively.

Garauzive, who won last year’s full marathon, said she was happy to win the coveted prize under a challenging environment.

“I want to thank Econet for sponsoring this prestigious event and affording us the opportunity to participate on a global platform,” said Garauzive, who represents Nedbank Running Club.

In the 42-km full marathon men’s category, Blessing Waison was the winner, finishing the race at 2:15:11. He beat Elijah Mabhunu and Lionel Muchena to second and third, who completed the race at 2:17:21 and 2:17:30 respectively.

Ethel Pangiso, who won the female’s full marathon category under 2:41:51, said she trained hard to clinch top place.

“I was number three last year, and I had to undergo various training sessions to improve my time. I was almost taken aback by the quality of athletes this year, but I persevered and won against all odds,” she said.

Pangiso won ahead of Nobukosi Tshuma, who came second at 2:48:22, while veteran runner Olivia Chitate came third in a time of 2:49:22 hrs.

The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon is renowned for its breathtaking routes, which wind through the heart of the African wilderness.

Runners are treated to the stunning panoramic views of the Zambezi National Park with its diverse wildlife and captivating landscapes. They also get to experience and take in the sights and sounds of the mighty Victoria Falls, all in the course of the race – which is a big tourist drawcard.  

In his remarks during the closing ceremony, Econet’s Chief Operating Officer, Mr Kezito Makuni, who himself participated in the marathon, said Econet was proud to be associated with the marathon, which he described as “one of the most popular sporting events in the world”.

“The event has been growing exponentially every year, from just about 600 participants 15 years ago, to now over 4 500 this year, from 42 countries,” he said, adding that this year’s attendance was an 11% increase from last year.

Makuni said the marathon has a positive economic impact on the Victoria Falls community as well as the entire tourism industry in Zimbabwe.

“As Econet, we are committed to supporting the Victoria Falls Marathon in the years to come as we play our part in the national vision of creating a US$5 billion tourism economy by 2025,” he added.

Makuni expressed Econet’s heartfelt gratitude to all stakeholders who contributed to making this year’s marathon a huge success, including race organisers Wild Frontiers, the Victoria Falls Municipality, Baobab Primary School, the police, emergency medical firms and several volunteers.