BULAWAYO – The PPC Matopo 33 Miler has new winners this year after Lyno Muchena and Lizzy Chokore romped to victory in the men and women’s categories respectively yesterday.
Muchena won the race with a time of 3.13.28 while Chokore arrived home after 4.00.16 to win the female category to walk away with $1 000 each.
“The race was so difficult especially after participating in the Zululand Nongoma Marathon in South Africa two weeks back and I did well to win the race,” Muchena said.
“My biggest strength is endurance and I have worked hard on speed. When we had 15km left I just felt I had won the race. Those who were behind me could not keep up with my speed.”
Chokore said: “It’s all about working hard. The race was so difficult. Thirty-three miles is no joke and it needs real endurance to win. I have been working hard and my hard work and commitment have paid dividends.”
There was, however, confusion during the men’s race after the lead car took a wrong route resulting in at least 22 leading runners going in the wrong direction for about 16km.
After realising the mistake, the lead vehicle was able to carry the runners back to the right course.
However, not all the runners could fit in the vehicle leaving behind nine athletes namely Bonce Mathe, Allen Magwere, Rorisang Nyathi, Fixon Rukanda, Blessing Silent, Farai Mukuwa, Tawanda Gweshe, Yangu Chiungaudza and Emmanuel Toperesu.
Despite the hiccup, PPC managing director Kelibone Masiyane was happy with the attendance of the race as at least 1 200 runners took part.
“It is a great crowd and this year is better than last year. We are still proud and happy to sponsor the marathon. We are trying to make it a family fun day; we want it to be the whole day,” Masiyane said.
“To us it is giving back to the community. Without the community there is no PPC. We are, however, still learning and we are set to improve each year.
“When organising such a big event there are chances that we have challenges and mistakes here and there. They are minor and we will always work on them to make this event great every year.”