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By Muziwethu Hadebe

NKOSIYAZI SIBANDA confirmed his love and dominance of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon by winning his third in the last five years and his seventh overall in a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 08 seconds at the resort town on Sunday.

Sibanda won the 42 km race, 43 seconds ahead of last year’s winner, Zambian Mathews Mutanya.

Mutanya had won it in a time of 2; 21; 32 last year. Nkosiyazi also won this race in 2015 and 2014 while finishing second in 2016 in the last five years.

Lyno Muchena repeated what he did last year finishing third in a time of 2; 22; 28 returning from the comrades marathon where he picked an injury half way through the race.

Lyno Muchena finished third as he did last year.

Mike Fokoroni who was second last year was a distant sixth.

In the women’s race Tabitha Tsatsa who had won the previous three races lost out to Olivia Chitate who clocked 2; 58; 35, Tsatsa managed 3; 01; 48. Rutendo Mapindu was third in a time of 3; 04; 27.

In the half marathon Tatenda Hove won it in the men’s in a time of 1 hour, 06 minutes and 42 seconds.  Trust Chidomaya was second, nine seconds away and Misheck Sithole was third in a time of 1; 06; 59.

Betha Chikanga won the women’s half marathon in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 06 seconds. Rudo Mhonderwa was second coming 11 seconds behind and Nyasha Mutsvanga was third clocking 1; 16; 36.

Over 3000 athletes comprising professionals and those running on the social front took part at the race.

On the social front the 7 ladies from the BIG AND BOLD Boot camp who were running the races for an injured colleague (Lily Masuku) and had promised to finish the race, all did so and were led by Tabith Woodend who clocked 2; 24; 11 for the half marathon.

The ECONET VICTORIA FALLS MARATHON is proving to be the biggest race in the country as it continues to attract runners from outside the country with some even travelling for 7.5 km fun run.

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By Muziwethu Hadebe

While top runners always fight for the top finish and to improve their times at any marathon event throughout the world, a strong number of social runners is on the increase as many people try to keep fit and monitor their health condition through the boot camps.

One such Boot camp is the BIG AND BOLD which is based in the Belmont Industrial area of Bulawayo and also uses the Hillside dams in Bulawayo.

A group of 7 ladies from the boot camp is off to the ECONET VICTORIA FALLS MARATHON which is on Sunday and this time it’s not just about their fitness levels but for a cause.

They are running the half marathon which is 21.1 km for a colleague, Lily Masuku who suffered a Disc pro lapse at the finish line of this year’s PPC MATOPS MARATHON. Alongside Masuku, the ladies managed to finish the half marathon (21 km), with a fellow female runner helping the injured Masuku to cross the finish line.

Lily Masuku is helped to the finish line at the PPC Marathon

Due to the injury Masuku can’t join her colleagues at the ever growing ECONET VICTORIA FALLS MARATHON and her friends Zolisa Dube, Zanele Chimhanda, Tabitha Woodend, Lucinda Hughes Afzal, Rejoice Madonko, Nyarai Chabikwa and Ntombizami Mabuya made a surprise visit to her before departing for the falls to say they will run the race with her in spirit.

While the 7 ladies will be doing the Victoria Falls Marathon for the first time, Masuku who inspired them into marathon races will miss out on her third.

Her first was in 2016 finishing in 2 hours 20 min, in the same year she also did the Tour De Falcon 21km and the PPC 5km.

In 2017 she did her second Victoria Falls half marathon finishing in a time of 02:14:07, the PPC, the Tour De Falcon in 2hrs 15 min two weeks after the Victoria Falls marathon. The Tour De Falcon is a difficult course with 11 km off-road, but she added a new cap by completing the Soweto marathon in South Africa in that year.

Besides this year’s PPC Marathon which she completed in a time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 1 second, she also completed the Maritzburg City Marathon in South Africa in a time of 02:24:29.

The Surprise Visit just before the Vic Falls Marathon

Masuku was excited by the visit from her colleagues. “They surprised me wearing  T shirts labelled WE DID IT FOR YOU, they know what running means to me and I know they will finish the race not just for me but for themselves as well and all the other runners who are injured and can’t be at the Victoria Falls Marathon, she said.

“I know I will recover, I was in the process of upgrading to full marathon and my first full marathon was going to be the Victoria Falls until that injury, I hope to make it to the Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town as I have always wanted to run the most beautiful marathon in the world, if I don’t make it into the selection list I will run for a charity organization it’s on my bucket list for 2019”, she explained further.

Their coach at the boot camp Brian Keti says the ladies have surprised him as they joined about 3 years ago.

“This group of women averaging the age of 40 has surprised me a lot coming from a sedentary lifestyle. They are definitely better prepared for this run as our preparations included gym functional training twice a week for robust power output. Hill sprints and runs and our traditional unconventional boot camp style. They love the bush so now thy will wine and dine at the falls. Wishing the BIG and BOLD boot camp brand all the best”, he said.

After the PPC Marathon

On how starters can be part of this daily training routine Keti says it’s not impossible at all.

“Building up of cardio endurance is a process. A paced program from walking to brisk walk to jogging and interval training for heart rate adaptation is important .There are many other activities such as social sports  that greatly improve one’s performance without measure such as social soccer, basketball just to mention a few”.

“This year marks on average 3 to 4 years that most of these ladies have been with the boot camp and setting of reasonable achievable goals is also very important. Rome was not built in a day. The whole group started on a boot camp trail run that they used to complete in an hour and it was only 5km and in 2018 midway through the year they are off to complete their second 21km run”, said the National University of Science and Technology Sports Science graduate.

Besides running the Bootcamp with Wisdom Likitsho, Keti does consultancy work with CIMAS medical aid. He has previously worked as a fitness trainer with Pro Active gym in 2012 and has also played the same role with Tuskers Cricket team and Highlanders Football Club.

Away from a host of social runners, the big one will be the full Marathon 42, 2 km which was won by Mathews Mutawa last year in a time of 2:21:32 ahead of veteran runner Mike Fokoroni who clocked 2:22:24. Two Oceans Marathon top ten finisher Lyno Muchena is set to compete as well and finished third last year in 2:22:24. Muchena has recoverd from his injury that saw him do half of the comrades marathon in South Africa.

Tabitha Tsatsa won the women’s full marathon in 2:57:06 ahead of Lizh Chikore who was almost 5 minutes behind, while veteran Samukeliso Moyo finished third in 3:03:57.

The half marathon was won by Robson Chigara in the men’s and Patience Garauziye in the women’s in a time of 1:21:03.

This Writer(Muziwethu Hadebe) who struggles to complete 2km will try his own 5km somewhere in Cowdray Park at the same time with the Victoria Falls Marathon as he surpports the ladies initiative.





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On Mysports show this week FC Platinum beat Ngezi, we spoke to the two coaches. Bulawayo Chiefs edged a ten men Bosso we spoke to Chiefs analyst. The warriors won the cosafa in South Africa and Tinotenda Kadewere reacts to his man of the match award. Marko Mambo finishes 5th at the comrades plus we have the Netball results.

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By Muziwethu Hadebe

ZIMBABWE’S MARKO MAMBO has finished fifth at the 90 km Comrades Marathon in Kwazulu Natal, Durban in South Africa.

Mambo who finished in 11th position last year at the same race, was 12 minutes behind the winner Bongimusa Mthembu of South Africa who clocked 5 hrs 26 min.

Mthembu also won this race last year and this was his third title after he won it again in 2014. He becomes the first athlete to retain the title since 2011 when Zimbabwe’s Stephen Muzhingi achieved that fate.

Mambo led the race after 3 hrs 43 minutes until 2016 winner David Gatebe broke away to lead briefly, until Mthembu broke away from the leading pack after 4 hrs 16 minutes and never looked back.

For his pain Mthembu will collect R440 000, a further R200 000 as the first South African and a further R45 000 as the first Kwazulu Natal athlete. Mambo will be R68 000 richer for finishing in fifth position.

Over 20 000 runners took part in the race and close to 200 Zimbabweans were also part of the 20 000. The race was traditionally 89km, but a kilometre was added to ensure a finish at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.

It was one and two for South Africa in the women’s race. Ann Ashworth a lawyer by profession finished first in 6 hrs, 10, 04 and Two Oceans Marathon winner Gerda Stayne missed out on a double finishing five minutes behind.









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By Muziwethu Hadebe

LYNO MUCHENA played football as a central defender at Rujeko and Chiriwakamwe Primary Schools in Mutare and occasionally was involved in athletics within the schools sporting structures.

Lyno Muchena

He still follows football where he plays social soccer at church occasionally, he is also a keen follower of Dynamos Football club locally, Kaizer Chiefs in South Africa and Barcelona abroad.

The tables have turned now as he is one of the top long distance runners in the country and he gives credit to a Dutch coach who pushed him to take athletics seriously when he was in form one at Haarlem Athletics Club while attending Nyamauru High School at Dangamvura, in Mutare. The Dutch coach was to look after his training for four years.

The 30 year old opted not to defend his 53 km PPC Zimbabwe title this year as it came a week before the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, a 56 km race he was entering for the first time after three previous attempts failed.

“I thank god for giving me the opportunity to participate in this big race, I have been trying to be part of this event for the past three years but never got an opportunity, I am happy for making it into the top ten as this was by first Two Oceans marathon and I did not know the route”, he said.

Lyno Muchena and colleagues

Muchena was with the leading pack and was on 11th position for most of the race until he broke away to finish on 8th position and record his best time of 3 hours 14:14 in the 56 km ultra-Marathon.

Last year he ran the Nongoma Race in Durban in which he came first and won a Toyota Etios. Also last year besides the PPC Marathon he won the legends 68 km race in East London. He came second in the J Mbusha in Harare and was also second in the Mandela Marathon in Durban while finishing third in the Lesotho Summer Marathon.

Lyno who is married with a three year old son is looking forward to taking part in his second Comrades marathon. He also has the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, the Lesotho Marathon and the Mandela marathon later in the year.

“I did the comrades for fun and experience two years ago, but I now know the route and the Two Oceans was part of my training for the comrades, so I should be able to fight for a gold medal on the 10th of June at the comrades”, he said.

From humble beginnings Muchena is now contracted to Mr Price Running Club (South Africa) for a year and they look after his athletics life.

The corporate world in South Africa scrambles to sign top marathon runners and one can only hope that Zimbabwe companies will not only sponsor the various races but have a number of talented athletes contracted to the companies through the formation of running clubs as was the case in the past.

Besides Muchena, veteran Mike Fokoroni finished in 10th position while Collen Makaza was 12th. In the women’s 56 km race Loveness Madziva finished 7th to also pick a gold medal.

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By Muziwethu Hadebe

PPC MATOPS 33 MILER 2017 Champion Lyno Muchena finished in 8th position in his first Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon race in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.

Muchena who did not take part in last week’s PPC Matopos 53 km race, reserving his energy for the two oceans marathon clocked 3 hours;14;14 and was five minutes behind the eventually winner Justin Kemboi Chesire of Kenya who clocked 3;09;21 in the 56 km race, Chesire became only the second kenyan to achieve this fate.

Muchena was the best placed Zimbabwean in the men’s in which veteran and 2016 champion Mike Fokoroni finished 10th in a time of 3; 16; 57, the forty year old was the first veteran to cross the finish line.

Collen Makaza who led the field for the opening hour of the race missed out on the gold medal as he finished 12th to pick silver as the Gold is reserved for the top 10 finishers.2016 comrades champion and 2013 winner of this race David Gatebe of South Africa finished in third position.

It was a beautiful day for Zimbabwe ladies led by Loveness Madziva who finished 7th in the women’s 56 km with a time of 3; 56; 17 to be the only Zimbabwe women to pick gold in this section. The winner of the race was South Africa’s Gerda Steyn in a time of 3; 39; 31. Although the South African finished comfortable with lots of smiles and waving to the crowds, it was not the same for the brave Madziva who struggled to be on her feet soon after crossing the finishing line.

In the half marathon just a week after winning the PPC Matops 21 km race Bertha Chikanga did well to finish second in a time of 1; 16; 42. She was a fraction of a second behind the winner Noline Conrad of South Africa who timed 1; 16; 17. Chikanga beat Susy Chemaimak of Kenya who was in third position. At the PPC marathon she had clocked 1; 18; 53.

Patience Murowe who finished second at the Zimbabwe Cross Country Championship recently held at the Hillside dams in Bulawayo finished fourth in a time of 1;17;32. Rudo Mhonderwa was 7th in 1; 20; 11 while Caroline Mhandu was 10th in a time of 1; 21; 33 as four Zimbabwe ladies made it into the top ten of the 21 km race.

There were no Zimbabweans in the top ten for the men’s 21km which was won by David Manja of South Africa in a time of 1; 04; 07. The race had six South Africans finishing in the top ten.

The 49th edition of the Two Oceans Marathon attracted close to 16000 participates and hopes are high to increase the field by 8000 in the 50th edition.

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By Muziwethu Hadebe

PPC ZIMBABWE LTD Managing Director Kelibone Masiyane has said that his cement manufacturing company will continue to support Sports Associations that are well managed as they continue with the sponsorship of the PPC MATOPOS 33 MILER MARATHON, which they want to see grow into a world class event.

Masiyane was speaking at the launch of this year’s marathon which will be run under the theme “Run your Race”. “ As PPC Zimbabwe we fully acknowledge the various reasons you embark on this race and cater for “ your race” by providing various categories which are 5km, 10km, 21km and 53km”, he said.

For the first time the race has partnered with timing giants CHAMPIONSHIP AFRICA which is the largest marathon  electronic timing company in Africa, running the electronic timing for both the Comrades and 2 Oceans marathons. “With this development, the PPC Matopos 33 Miler automatically becomes a preferred pre- qualifier to the regional marathons such as the Comrades”, he added.

Every year PPC Zimbabwe partners with various organizations within the communities during this race.


“PPC Zimbabwe is committed to uplifting the societies we operate in. Over the years as an entity we have engaged the health sector, education and sporting sectors in various projects that we have partnered, this year we are partnering with childline, an organization synonymous with championing and protecting children and their rights and PPC Zimbabwe will be providing exercise books, pens and rulers to various beneficiaries across the country through ChildLine’s various networks”, Masiyane said.

He said their shoe campaign will continue this year and urged all the runners and well-wishers to feel free to drop a pair in their shoe bins on registration days as well as during the race.

Asked if his company will look beyond athletics in terms of sponsorship, Masiyane who is in his second year as the MD of PPC Zimbabwe said, “I am sure you are aware that in the last few weeks we sponsored a playing kit for the Zimbabwe Cricket team, besides supporting the local communities and show casing the region we are putting Matopos and Bulawayo on the world map, so we are involved even in rugby,tennis as well as soccer to some extent, what restricts us to reach high levels of sponsorship with the other sports it’s the way they are managed, professionalism in the other sporting categories plays a big part and we would like to be involved in other sports but it will all depend on how those sports are run.

Last year’s winners were Lyno Muchena in the men’s race and Lizzie Chikore in the women’s race, with times of 3 hrs 13.2 and 4 hours 0.16 seconds respectively. The record for the race is held by Charles Soza who ran it in a time of 3 hours 11.2 seconds.

Registration for the race is currently on and registration forms are available from NAAZ offices countrywide, as well as PPC Zimbabwe offices. The registration can also be done online through the PPC Marathon site at The registration will cost $10 for the 21 km and 53 km while it will cost $5 for the 5km and 10 km races.

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