THE Bulawayo Athletics Board (BAB) was by yesterday afternoon still expecting more athletes to register for the Old Mutual 10km fun run which starts and ends at Nkulumane shopping complex this morning.
Old Mutual Life Assurance Company is sponsoring the competition to the tune of $11 000.
BAB chairman Manuel Mpofu said all was set for today’s race.
“We are still expecting more athletes to register today (yesterday). We expect more athletes to register because registration is free. We believe that will contribute to a high number of athletes participating. By end of today (yesterday) we expect most of the top athletes to have registered,” he said.
Athletes who will romp home first in the men and women’s categories will each pocket $1 000.
Top Zimbabwe athlete Wirimai Juwawo won the 2013 edition of the race successfully defending his title. In 2012 he finished the race in 29mins 50,3secs, but was slower last year as he set a time of 30mins 14,89secs.
Olivia Chitate won the women’s category beating favourite and defending champion Rutendo Nyahora.
Chitate clocked 35mins 32,71 secs pocketing $1 000 in the process.
Mpofu urged athletes to capitalise on such competitions so that sponsors remain on board.
“We are very much grateful to Old Mutual for the sponsorship. We hope that they will continue working with us. The athletes need to safeguard such sponsorship by coming in their numbers to get good times when there is such a competition. This will encourage the sponsors to continue supporting us,” he said.
By yesterday afternoon athletes who include Trust Chidomaya, Isaac Mpofu, Ngonidzashe Ncube (all from ZRP Fairbridge) and Wellington Varevi (Blanket Mine) had registered for today’s race together with Emmaculate Matibiri and Felluna Vumba from Harare.
The runners-up in the main race will each pocket $750 with third-placed athletes expected to receive $500 each. The winners of the 5km fun run, wheelchair race category, veterans, masters, grandmasters and grand mistresses, and the juniors (men and women) will receive prizes as well.