Victoria Falls Marathon Attracts Thousands

by The Zimbabwean.co.uk

VICTORIA FALLS - The Victoria Falls Marathon, which combines athletics with tourism, entertainment, and charitable causes, has continued to gain popularity worldwide according to a tour operator and organiser of the race.

The organiser, Wild Frontiers, this week told The Zimbabwean that it expected thousands of entrants and spectators to partake in this year’s cross-border race on August 29.

It blends the contest with a range of activities that include sunset cruises on the famous Zambezi River, a white water rafting challenge, a cycling event and helicopter flights over the water falls, to cater for athletes and non-runners

“This race is a must! We had about 500 people participating in the 2009 event from all over the world, and we hope to receive more people this year,” said Linda Willemse, a spokesperson for Wild Frontiers.

Now into its fourth year, and directed by a team of experienced logistics personnel, its promoters say they are upbeat the race across Zimbabwe and Zambia would in no time rival major international and South African events such as the Comrades and Two Oceans Marathons.

Willemse said one could either run the 42.2km Full Marathon, 21.1km Half Marathon or the 5km Fun Run.

Persons older than 21 years may participate in the 42.2km and those older than 18 years may participate in the 21.1km race. The 5km fun run is open to all ages.

The race starts at the Kingdom Hotel and heads across the Victoria Falls Bridge. It continues along parts of the Zambezi River and the edge of the Zimbabwean mainland, and into the Zambezi National Park. The route passes the border into parts of Zambia, and then takes runners back into Zimbabwe, to the finishing point at Victoria Falls Primary School along the Kazungula Road .

Willemse said the annual race was an International Associations of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-registered event, with official marshalling, refreshment points and standard time-keeping.

In the past it has attracted runners from over 24 countries and will be televised on the Supersport channels Africa-wide and in the USA.

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