Leonard Ncube in Victoria Falls
PREPARATIONS for the 2017 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon have started with organisers indicating that there had been a 30 percent increase in online registration to date.
According to the event’s sponsorship manager Debbie Harrison, close to 500 runners have already registered for the 11th edition of the annual event that will be held on June 18 and draws participants from across the globe.
“The 2017 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon will be in its 11th year on the 18th of June. So far this year, we have had a 30 percent increase in online entries with a total of 485 paid up,” said Harrison.
So far 38 have registered for the 7.5km fun run, 137 for the 42km and 310 for the half marathon.
Harrison said interested runners can register online at www.vicfallsmarathon.com before May 31.
Race numbers will be collected at the pre-registration desk before the day of the race upon production of proof of residence or citizenship and proof of payment.
“No late collections will be done on race morning,” said Harrison.
While Econet and its various brands remain the major sponsors, the event has maintained traditional partners.
Wild Frontiers, with interests in tourism locally and in Botswana and Zambia, are the organisers.
Those who might fail to register in advance can do so at The Kingdom Hotel on June 16 between 10am and 5pm and on the eve of the event between 9am and 4pm at the same venue.
Athletes from Zambia are required to travel the night before as the border will be closed on June 18 to allow free passage of runners, Harrison said.
The marathon route starts at the Zimpost car park then crosses over the Victoria Falls Bridge, briefly into Zambia and back into the Zambezi National Park and ends at Victoria Falls Primary School.
There are plenty of water points along the way to keep runners refreshed, while a glimpse of wildlife will be possible.
The marathon was devised in conjunction with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) and is an Association of International Marathon and Distance Races registered event.
It is also one of the major marketing events for the country’s tourism sector as runners sample rafting, canoeing, boat cruising, game viewing, elephant back safari or even a bungee jumping activities while in the resort town.