By Edward Makuzva
IN a bid to curb drug and substance abuse through sport, Saturday, where a record number of athletes took to the starting lineup for the second of the Mr Pace Post Insurance Half Marathon at the National Sports Stadium.
This year’s competition was held under the theme: Fighting drug abuse through sport and the event attracted scores of players.
Elijah Mabhunu and Olivia Chitate scooped the 2023 edition of the Mr Pace Post Insurance Half Marathon.
This year ‘s event grew bigger with a massive turnout after main sponsors Nicoz Diamond and Global Risk Underwriting Managers (Gruma) poured in US$10 000 into the competition.
The Post Insurance brand was launched about five years ago. So we are trying to nurture talent and ploughing back the premiums that we collect from the community.
Mabhunu won the men’s category, finishing the race in 1 hour four minutes in what was largely a flat 21 km distance and relegating Ebel Chibanda and Misheck Sithole into second and third place.
In the women’s category, seasoned half marathon runner Chitate scooped her fourth accolade of the year with another dominant display in a strong line-up that also included Patience Murove and Rudo Mhonderwa, who were second and third respectively.
” I’m so happy that I have won this competition and it was a tough race with a lot of seasoned runners there.
“Races are going tougher every time so I want to thank the almighty God who gave me this strength and confidence that I’m training very hard and it shows that there is a lot at our trainings .
” I sat down with my coach to discuss what I am targeting and so far I am targeting the Tanganda and Vic Falls Marathon, so most of the races in between help me to test myself,” Chitate explained.
Chitate was over the moon after win another competition to add to the CBZ Marathon, Musabvunda and the National Cross Country Championships.
Chitate highlighted that her secret to win these competitions is to work hard and and gave everything to God and he will reward you.
Mabhunu added that my focus now is to prepare for the Vic Falls Marathon so that I can achieve more big things and run good times which can see me do well for Zimbabwe outside the country.
“I want to thank God for giving me a second chance. I used to be a champion, but I began to struggle due to injuries. I feel really good and right now”, Mabhunu added .
Speaking at the same occasion, NICOZ Diamond ,head of business development Munyaradzi Kativhu said as the organization we want many more people to participate in future as we try to move our youths away from drugs and substance abuse affecting our country.
Kativhu added that we want to foster the sprit of competition where we bring youths and old to a event like this where they can run and win some prizes.
“We as NICOZ Diamond as the sponsor behind the event we are happy with the turnout that have been witnessed today and we have the event is growing interms of participation.
“We take pride havingly financially sponsored this event and see it through to the end and we commit “, Kativhu.