Newfeature To Beitbridge National Marathon

BY REX MPHISA

THE Beitbridge Municipality has added a new feature to its Mayor’s Half Marathon annual event to be preceeded by a 10 men cycling event this year.

As at yesterday 274 participants from different clubs had registered to run at the event.

Slotted for this Saturday this year’s event is themed “Beitbridge,My Home, My Smart City, Running Against Litter”.

“This is a new feature which we want to debut this year alongside the Mayor’s Marathon.  We have 10 cyclists who have confirmed participation,”  said Ramagkapola.

The marathon Flier.

“Our plan is to make it stand alone and bigger next year if we get sponsorship.”

Beitbridge lawyer Patrick Tererai who is one of the cyclists said they decided to do cycling after realising everyone was into running.

“It is also a new dimension we are introducing and people are very free to join us. There are 10 of us and as our inaugural event we will cycle ahead of the marathon this Saturday,” said Tererai.

The brainchild of Town Clerk Loud Ramagkapola,  the 21 kilometre marathon  with diverse sub events was created against a background to keep Beitbridge clean, with little success though.

It has the 5km Power Walk for the mature, 15km marathon for all ages and the 21 km marathon for all ages as well.

Ramagkapola’s idea to launch cycling as a separate even ignites Beitbridge residents memories of the tri-nation Tour De Tuli which seems to have been taken away from Zimbabwe amid allegations of corruption.

While it is not clear it is understood an official in Harare demanded a bribe to facilitate the event which attracted cyclists from world over.

The Nedbank funded Tour de Tuli has been running since 2005 and is a renowned, premier mountain bike adventure, traversing some of Africa’s most pristine wilderness areas in Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

It is a major fundraiser for Children in the Wilderness, where all funds raised are channelled directly into programmes to uplift lives of children in the three countries.

Participants enjoy riding and exploring unmarked routes and ancient game trails for four days and five nights.

 Over the last 14 years, the Tour has hosted approximately 3 500 participants and raised R19 million.

This allowed the hosting over 5 600 child beneficiaries in camp programmes since 2001 and over 11 000 children are on Tour De Tuli Eco-Club programmes since 2012.

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