Zimbabwe’s only Ultra-Marathon, the just ended PPC Matopos 33-Miler, has been hailed as a huge success by its organisers, PPC Zimbabwe Ltd. This year being its 7th edition, the cement manufacturers received much more in return for their investment that saw the total prize money being boosted by 300% to nearly $50 000.
PPC Zimbabwe Managing Director, Kelibone Masiyane expressed satisfaction with the 2019 edition of the marathon that attracted a record field of 3,752 runners in all categories.
“We are thrilled with the way the PPC Matopos 33-Miler Ultra Marathon turned out this year. The overall attendance was amazing, though we actually did anticipate a huge crowd. The level of organisation was near impeccable and we hand it to our partners, sponsors and everyone who worked so hard to make it such an overwhelming success. It was well worth the huge investment in time and money that we all made,’ Masiyane said.
Andrew Chimbidzikai of BLACK Rhinos Athletics Club won the Men’s 33-Miler (53km) Ultra Marathon for the second time, same as Chiedza Chokore of Mr Pace took the Women’s version, which she clinched for the second time running.
The winner of the women’s category of the 21.1 km Half Marathon was Caroline Mhandu of ZPCS while another Black Rhinos Athletics Club runner, Moses Tarakinyu, won the Men’s race.
Mr Masiyane added that everything worked like clockwork on the day and there were no complaints. For this he paid tribute to the sterling efforts of a well organised marketing team, and congratulated them for a job well done. He also reserved special praise for the runners who he hailed as the stars of the event.
“The runners really lived up to expectations, contributing to a really entertaining and exciting race. That alone contributed to making the marathon one that will be remembered for years to come. Every individual athlete and participant makes the PPC Matopos Ultra Marathon what it has become,” he said
The success of the Ultra Marathon has been made possible by the strong partnerships that the organisers have forged with companies, individuals and the community of Bulawayo. These include the Bulawayo Athletics Club, Bulawayo Athletics Board, Champion and ZOL, among many others.
The organisers have promised that next year’s edition of the PPC Matopos 33-Miler Ultra Marathon will be even bigger and better.
“There is no turning back for us as the official sponsors of the event,” said Masiyane. “Given the rising popularity of the race, we anticipate an attendance closer to 5 000 runners in all categories combined in 2020.”
PPC Zimbabwe is donating the proceeds from this this year’s event to Childline Zimbabwe, whose work it regarded as irreplaceable in the lives of countless children across the country.