FEMALE athletes have been encouraged to take part in the $10 000 PPC Matopos 33-Miler ultra-marathon which takes place on April 13.
Last year Monica Kativhu from Harare did not receive any competition from the women’s category since Julia Nemhara did not finish the race.
Kativhu finished the race in a time of five hours, four minutes and 51secs while 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.
Speaking at a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday, Bulawayo Athletics Board secretary-general Dailes Bingadadi thanked PPC Zimbabwe for their support while encouraging female athletes to participate.
“As Bulawayo Athletics Board we are proud to be associated with the PPC 33-Miler as we provide technical advice because of the invitation to our athletes.
“We commend PPC for bringing this race again and it is our hope that the partnership continues.
“The race has female and male participants, but my concern is that we would like to see more female athletes participating. Last year we had two female participants. Olivia Chitate went on to win. I am appealing to the women out there to come and take part in this race which is going to be held in Bulawayo,” she said.
Bingadadi urged other companies to come on board and support the race.
She said they were working in conjunction with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe to certify the race and send them a qualified route marker with regards qualification for the Comrades Marathon.
The competition is sponsored to about $10 000 with the winner in the men and women’s categories expected to pocket $750. Other events set to be lined up on the day are a half-marathon (21km), a relay run by five runners on 10km each and a fun run along the route finishing at the Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC).
Last year, the race started at Matopos National Park and finished at the National University of Science and Technology.
Bingadadi said this year’s competition will finish at BAC for it to be closer to the city centre.