Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Organisers of the third edition of the Beitbridge Mayor’s half marathon are working on hosting 500 athletes this year.
A total of 130 people registered to participate last year’s race. The race is sponsored by Sanctuary Insurance Company.
The event is held annually between Lutumba Business Centre and the border town (along the Beitbridge Masvingo road) to raise awareness and reduce rampant littering along major highways and the abuse of drugs in Beitbridge.
Beitbridge Municipality spokesperson, Mr Raniel Ndou said last week that preparations started early this year to enable more athletes to register.
“This year we started our preparations early, and we look forward to a bigger and better event. Our target is 500 athletes,” he said.
“The event will be held on June 8, a day after the National Clean Up day as you are aware that the main objective of the marathon is to raise awareness on litter. “Our sponsor remains Sanctuary Insurance Company. We haven’t finalised the theme yet. Our preparations are progressing well. We have activated the organising committee. Registration is now open.”
Mr Ndou said the 21-km race will start at Lutumba Business Centre along the Masvingo road and finish at Border Services station in the CBD.
He said there will also be 12km and 5km races starting at Chicago Business centre and Masvingo turn off respectively, all ending in the CBD.
“We are inviting all those interested in participating to register at Beitbridge Municipality main building and at our housing offices in Dulivhadzimo suburbs and are looking forward to opening more registration points,” he said.
“In addition, we encourage people living with disabilities to take part in this event. They should register in their numbers. Last year we only had five participants.”
Mr Ndou said entry fees had been pegged at R20 for adults and free for all school children.
In addition to the money, he said adults should produce national identification documents while school children need to bring birth certificates.
Mr Ndou said the race will have the following categories; 16-20 years for juniors, 20-39 years for senior/open group, 40-49 years for veterans and the 50 years plus+ for masters.
Littering and drugs have become a perennial headache for the local authority with the town producing a total of 700 tonnes of solid waste per month.
The most commonly abused drugs include; crystal math, droshky, chimusoja, cocaine, glue, bron-cleer and embalming powder.