Swaziland
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E530 000 FOR IMBUBE MARATHON

EZULWINI - The Imbube Marathon is back with a bigger purse!

The Eswatini National Provident Fund (ENPF) will once again host the Imbube Marathon, which will also mark the fifth edition of the race. It had been put on hold back in 2020 following the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. It returns this year with an increased sponsorship package of E530 000 after various companies sponsored the event. It was previously sponsored to a tune of E500 000.

Attract

It is expected to attract close to 5 000 athletes and road runners from clubs and individuals. It will be staged on  Sunday, October 1, this year. The last time it was staged, in 2019, it saw about 5 000 athletes participating. The race was re-launched yesterday at the Happy Valley Hotel in Ezulwini by ENPF acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Futhi Tembe, who was standing in for Prince Lonkhokhela. Tembe said they were happy to have the much anticipated marathon back after three years. “We are excited to  have the marathon back after the long pause, which was caused by COVID-19.This year, we are coming back and it marks the fifth edition of this prestigious event .We are thrilled to continue our tradition of serving the nation while promoting health, fitness and tourism .The race is an opportunity for us as a nation to come together to celebrate the spirit of athleticism and to showcase the beauty of our kingdom,” she said.

Backed

Imbube Marathon is the biggest marathon event which attracts runners from across the globe and is financially backed by ENPF. The pioneer of the race is His Majesty King Mswati III and proceeds derived from the marathon are donated to different needy schools across the country. She went on to say that as a company they were committed to making this year’s marathon better than before. “We want to provide a world class experience for all participants. We invite the nation to come grace the event to promote health, fitness and community spirit. “We also plead with other companies and individuals to come through and help make the event more memorable,” she added.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s runner Bonginkhosi Mavuso and Kenyan Jennifer Koech were the last  winners of  the Imbube Marathon, which was  held at Somhlolo National Stadium.

Crossing

Mavuso claimed his first 42km marathon, crossing the finish line after 2:28:58 hours, while his runner-up Wesley Mutai from Sun Bird Striders clocked 2:30:39 hours. Third place finisher Collin Kanyimo from Phobians clocked 2:33:04 hours. Umbutfo Eswatini Defence Force’s (UEDF) Amos Tfwala was the first liSwati to cross the line with a time of 2:35:16 hours finishing fifth overall. In the woman’s 42km category, Jennifer Koech from Nedbank crossed first after 2:59:54 hours. This was her first time in the country. Loveness Madziva was the runner-up with a time of 3:09:01 hours, while Musawenkhosi Nsibanda finished third.

In other categories, Sibusiso Nzima won the males 21km race after 1:09:04 hours, while Rudo Mhonderwa claimed the female’s 21km title with a time of 1:25:38. Both 42km winners walked away with a hefty E30 000, while the runners up got E15 000 and third placed finishers took home E10 000.The 21km winners got E7 500 for first prize and E3 750 for second.