SEASONED marathon runners Moses Tarakinyu and Olivia Chitate were the toast of the town at Mutare Sports Club yesterday after they both retained their Tanganda Half Marathon crowns.
Tarakinyu raced one hour two minutes and 21 seconds and, in doing so, he qualified to represent Zimbabwe at the World Half Marathon in Latvia later this year.
In the women’s race, Chitate continued her dominance and made it a hattrick of victories after finishing her race in one hour and 15 minutes.
Chitate won the race in 2019 and again in 2022, at its resumption after a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking shortly after his crowning, Tarakinyu said his journey to the Eastern Highlands for the Tanganda Half Marathon was not an easy one, as he felt ill for some time, which affected his preparations and his participation in some previous races.
“My preparations were not that smooth as I was sick, having developed some malaria symptoms which affected my performance at the South Africa Championships.
“But I am happy that I have won this race and I salute my coaches for doing a good job in preparing me to come and win this race again,” he said.
Tarakinyu will now shift his focus to the preparations for the upcoming World Half Marathon to be staged in Latvia in September.
“My focus now is to start my preparations for the world half marathon to be staged in Latvia.
“I will sit down with the NAAZ president Mr Tendai Tagara and hear what they have planned for me to get in camp so that I can start the preparations,” he said.
In other races, Wellington Varevi managed to retain his title in the 10km race while Samson Muroyiwa won the 21km wheelchair race.