By Tambaoga Gora
A half marathon to promote heritage-based tourism and honour the 1966 Chinhoyi Battle Heroes was held in Chinhoyi at the weekend.
Mutare based athlete Misheck Sithole was the overall winner of the inaugural Chinhoyi Seven Heroes valour run, which attracted 125 athletes from across the country on Sunday.
The seasoned runner completed the 21km race in 1 hour 37 minutes although he ran an extra kilometre due to glitches in directions.
“I took advantage of the marathon to assess my progress as I am preparing for a bigger race but I think I still need to work hard,” said Sithole.
Harare based Rutendo Mapindu was the overall female winner in the 21 km race.
“The secret is in training I encourage women to train and participate in these competitions,” said Mapinda.
The half marathon also attracted recreational athletes who participated in the 14 km and 7 km races including senior citizens and 11-year-old Chinhoyi Primary School Student Kupakwashe Mhandu.
“I was encouraged by my grandmother to participate, I ran 7 km and it was interesting to beat other participants older than me,” said Mhandu.
“I am 57- years-old and I used to run 20 km races before I quit15 years ago, but had to come out of retirement to honour the seven heroes,” said senior citizen Mr First Nyamuswa.
Organisers of the marathon, the Chinhoyi University of Technology School of hospitality and tourism described the event as a learning curve.
“Our students undertaking BSC in Events Management are at the forefront of these events so they have real skills, initially we wanted to have this event on the first of April so we changed but it’s a learning curve for us. We also feel that we did not publicise the event enough,” said Dean School of Hospitality and Tourism – Chinhoyi University of Technology, Dr Nelson Zengeni.
The marathon was held in honour of the seven Chinhoyi battle heroes, who fired the first shots that signalled the beginning of the Second Chimurenga.
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