Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
EXPERIENCED female long distance runners Monica Kativhu and Samkeliso Moyo will use this weekend’s PPC Matopos 33-Miler Ultra-Marathon to prepare for top South African ultra-marathons.
The two runners returned from South Africa last week to prepare for the event.
Kativhu, the PPC Matopos 33-Miler Ultra-Marathon defending champion, who is fresh from the KwaNongoma Ultra-Marathon held last week in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province, said she is using the race to prepare for the June Comrades Marathon.
“I’m not thinking of defending the PPC 33-Miler because I’m still recovering from a straining 56km race that I participated in at KwaNongoma last week. I came third in that race and will use this PPC event as part of my preparations for the Comrades Marathon,” said Kativhu.
The $1 000 prize money for the athlete who crosses the finish line first could be enough to change Kativhu’s mind and go for the title. Last year’s prize money was $850.
Runners-up will each get $750 for the open category, while the veterans, masters and grandmasters winners will receive $400 each for the full marathon.
For the half marathon, winners in the men and women’s sections will receive $500 each, with the wheelchair category prizes pegged at $400 for the winners in each section.
Moyo, who competed in the Harry Gwala Marathon a fortnight ago, is nursing a foot injury.
“I got injured on March 5 while running at the Harry Gwala Marathon. I’m looking forward to the Matopos race, but I’m not sure if I will enter the main race or the half-marathon. What I know is that I will race and use the event to prepare for the Two Oceans Marathon that will be held in Cape Town next month,” said Moyo.
Chiedza Chokore is the women’s Half-Marathon defending champion.
Air Force of Zimbabwe road runner Peter Tumbare is the defending champion of the 33-Miler, having won the men’s main event in three hours 12 minutes and 10 seconds.
Olympian Wirimai Juwawo won the men’s half-marathon in one hour seven minutes and 23 seconds.