EY Hac 20 Miler beckons

HARARE - The  Ernst & Young (EY) Harare Athletics Club (Hac) 20 Miler, one of Zimbabwe’s oldest and most prestigious road races will be run on December 3.

This year the race will be supported by EY and other corporate sponsors to enable the race organisers to pay cash prizes of $300 each to the first man and first woman in the Open category while the first Veteran (over 40 years old), Master (over 50 years old) and Grand Master (over 60 years old) of either gender will earn $150 each.

The race starts at the 11km peg along the Harare — Shamva Road (Chabwino Farm School) and end at Old Georgian’s Sports Club in Groombridge 32km later.

The EY Hac 20 Miler has been run every year on the first Sunday of December since 1971, making this year’s run the 47th edition.

Testament to the race’s prestige is found in its list of past winners who have included the likes of Tendai Chimusasa, Abel Chimukoko, and Samukelisiwe Moyo among others.

The men’s record has been held since 1991 by Paul Moqhali of Swaziland with a time of 1.42.30 and the ladies’ record since 1998 by Zimbabwean Debbie Lambourn in 2.07.19.

While the race has traditionally pulled the big names of road running in Zimbabwe, it is the amateur runners who create the carnival atmosphere at this race.

With 600 runners expected at this year’s run, the elite runners will complete the run in time ranging between 1 hour 40 minutes and 2 hours but amateur runners will be allowed a maximum of 5 hours to complete the run with most coming in during the last hour of the race.

During those four or five hours most runners will have their endurance and mental strength tested by the Chishawasha hills as they pass Umwinsidale and Glen Lorne along Enterprise Road before they overcome a long climb along Churchill Road in Gunhill.

Hac chairperson Gavin Clare said: “There is however, a relay option which allows runners to form relay teams of between two and eight runners to tackle the distance as a team provided that the baton is exchanged at 4km intervals.”

First runners and second runners up in all the categories will also earn cash prizes.

Non-cash prizes will be given to winning relay teams of either gender in accordance with their configurations.

An additional cash prize will be given to the first runner of either gender to reach the Fuch's Hotspot (21km mark) who goes on to complete the race, according to Clare, it is hoped that this will encourage a fast paced race.

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