BY FORTUNE MBELE
BLACK Rhinos Athletics Club long distance runner Andrew Chimbidzikai once again romped to victory in the PPC Matopos 33-Miler (53km) Ultra Marathon at Bulawayo Athletic Club yesterday to maintain his dominance of the country’s premier race.
Chimbidzikai, who faced a serious challenge from Blanket Mine’s Nkosiyazi Sibanda and Airforce of Zimbabwe’s Peter Tumbare, needed the last 100m to dart away from the chasing duo and cross the line in 3:12:37 and collect the first prize of ZWR$3 000.
It was the same order like last year as Sibanda came second and Tumbare finished third.
Chimbidzikai, however, narrowly failed to beat his record of 3:12:23 set last year but was delighted to win the race for the second time in a row.
“If you are the holder of the title, you have to work extra hard because all eyes will be on you. I knew that with my training and experience of knowing my challengers, I was going to tackle them. It was, however, tough in the last 5km because Tumbare showed some resilience,” Chimbidzikai said.
Sibanda also accounted for Tumbare on the home stretch to finish the race in 3:12:23 and walked away ZWR2 250 richer with the latter crossing the line in 3:12:24 to get ZWR$1 500.
Chiedza Chokore of Mr Pace won the women’s 33-Miler again in 3:57:17 beating her record of 4:09:10 set last year and was also rewarded with ZWR$3 000.
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Just like what happened last year, Muchaneta Gwata was second in 4:22:53 while Monica Kativhu was third in 4:24:06.
Moses Taranyika of Black Rhinos won the 21.1 Half Marathon in the men’s section in a time of 1:04:37 and picked up ZWR$1 500 with Lobels’ Misheck Sibanda coming second in 1:04:59 to collect ZWR$975 while Tendai Zimuto also from Black Rhinos was in the third spot in 1:05:37 and pocketed ZWR$650.
The women’s category of that race went to Caroline Mhandu in 1:14:32 with Bertha Chikanga in second position in 1:14:34 and Rudo Monderwa third in 1:17:50.
The PPC Matopos 33-Miler (53km) Ultra Marathon keeps growing with over 3 000 athletes registering for the event this year.