BULAWAYO Athletics Board secretary Dailes Bingadadi says they expect athletes to start trickling in next week to register for the PPC Matopos 33-Miler ultra-marathon which takes place on April 13.
By yesterday, Bingadadi said no athletes had registered with the association to participate in the race saying most normally prefer to register just before the competition.
“We do not have any names of athletes who have registered for the competition so far. You can check with PPC Zimbabwe. However, we are expecting most athletes to start registering next week while most athletes prefer registering a day before the competition.
“We are getting ready for the competition. We will have a meeting on Tuesday next week to finalise on preparations. We expect a better turnout than last year’s 300 athletes,” she said.
Bingadadi said they were expecting the country’s top long and middle-distance runners to take part in the competition.
“We are expecting athletes like last year’s winners Monica Kativhu and Michael Ngaseke to participate. Luwis Masunda, Jonathan Chinyoka, Wirimai Juwawo, Thabitha Tsatsa, Kelvin Pangiso, Samukeliso Moyo, Constance and Faith Nyasango are some of the athletes likely to register for the competition,” she said.
Kativhu from Harare did not receive any competition from the women’s category as Julia Nemhara did not finish the race. Kativhu finished the race in a time of five hours four minutes and 51secs.
Veteran long-distance runner Michael Ngaaseke clinched the men’s category after romping home in three hours 16mins and 42secs to collect the $600 prize money in the ultra-marathon men’s section.
The association has previously called on female athletes to take part as only a few women have taken part in the competition. The competition will be sponsored to about $10 000 with the winner in the men and women’s categories expected to pocket $750 each.
Other athletes will compete in the half-marathon (21km), a relay run by five runners over 10km each and a fun run will be run along the route finishing at the Bulawayo Athletics Club.
The registration fee is pegged at $10 per runner in 33-Miler and half marathon; $5 per runner 5km Fun Run and $60 per relay team (five runners).
Charlie Chase (Germiston, South Africa) won the original Matopos 33-Miler organised by the Raylton Rovers Running Club in a time of 3hrs, 44mins and 56secs.