Veterans win Old Mutual Marathon

HARARE - Two Oceans Marathon-bound athletes Mike Fokoroni and Samukeliso Moyo gave the young athletes some torrid moments on the road to claim their respective men and women titles in Sunday’s Old Mutual 42km Marathon at Old Georgians Sports Club in Harare.

The veterans both running under Nedbank proved beyond doubt that experience is the best teacher following their dominance.
Fokoroni was the fastest athlete on the day.

He crossed the line in 02: 21: 39 ahead of open Jonathan Chinyoka in 02: 21: 53 and third-placed Lyno Muchena in 02: 22: 30.

Despite taking some time off on the sidelines after sustaining a deep cut on the head after he slipped on the slippery surface owing to the morning showers,
Fokoroni still managed to get back on track and claim the title.

“It’s a great feeling only that my head is aching a bit following my fall in the first lap, I had a terrible shock on my neck and head but just kept on running. I got some tablets to get me going and I’m feeling much better,” Fokoroni told the Daily News.

“I was thinking of pulling out of the race but my friend Mako Mambo encouraged me to keep going. He said ‘you are strong, forget about the pain and keep going’ so I did just like he told me and it was only after I finished the race that I discovered I had sustained a big cut.

“I was using this race as part of my preparations for the Two Oceans Marathon so I’m happy that I ran a good time, it counts a lot in terms of my training and very happy with my preparations. From here I’m going to the hospital, I don’t know what the doctors will say about my condition but I will start my training programme once I get the greenlight from the doctors.”

Moyo who ruled the roost in the women’s category in 03: 01: 14 despite being 45 years of age and running against some 20-year-olds said the youngsters were lacking grooming in their stables.

She beat Chiedza Chokore (03: 03: 47) into second place while last month’s Nyaradzo Hac 32km Memorial Run winner Rutendo Mapindu was in third place in a time of 03: 04: 33.

“I’m very happy that I won but I’m an old lady now, the youngsters were supposed to win because I’m a slow runner. They are practicing speed but they don’t have endurance, when we took off they were running like they are in a short sprint distance race and being a slow runner as I am now, I maintained my pace,” Moyo said.

“When we were going back for the second lap that’s when I discovered that these youngsters are wasted now and they can’t increase their speed  more and with my same pace I ended up being the only one running on the course because they had since reduced their pace.

“Maintaining pace is always good because at the end of the day if you run very fast you will not be able to maintain your pace but if you keep the pace for the first lap then you increase in the second lap the better.”

CABS managing director Simon Hammond said the prize money was upped to $1 500 this year as they try to make the event more attractive.

“We have been supporting running now for several years, we have some really big races which we support in South Africa the Two Oceans Marathon, the Comrades and we thought we need to do the same in Zimbabwe and it’s not just in Harare, this is the big one but we have half marathon in Vumba, at Westgate, Dangamvura, Chitungwiza and down in Nkulumane as well so we trying to spread around the country as much as we can,” Hammond said.

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