Blessing Waison wins the Exide marathon 42 km race

By Lawrence Trusida

BLESSING Waison of Candence Athletics Club is walking with a spring in his step after winning the third edition of the Exide Marathon 42-kilometer race in Harare this Sunday.

With a stellar cast of athletes lining up for one of the premier marathon races on the local calendar, Blessing Waison reminded everyone that his second placed finish in the same race last year was no fluke after he romped to victory in two hours 18 minutes.

Waison was a minute ahead of his Candence training partner Witness Patrick, while veteran Calvin Pangiso was a distant third.

Waison stuck with the group for much of the race before breaking out as a bunch of four in the Greystone Park Hills and they would go for much of race in that fashion.

However, after the 30 km mark, Waison started to make his move as Pangiso and Wilson Patrick desperately tried to stay within touching distance but it was to no avail as he was sliding away with each stride.

“Ndiri kufara because I have improved from last year where I finished second, izvezvi ndakwanisa kukunda saka am hoping to go ku Vic Falls and compete nema foreigners in an international race,” said Waison.

In the women’s marathon, Olivia Chitate asserted her dominance as the woman to beat after she completely obliterated the field to claim victory.

Chitate romped to victory six minutes ahead of her ZRP club team mate Tryfino Pircado after crossing the line in two hours, 51 minutes and 25 seconds.

And, it was sweet victory for the champion in her first 42 km race of the year.

“I am shocked because I have been training for 21 km and now i have made it makes me want to work hard and try to get better for international competitions,” she said.

In the 21 km half marathon, Caroline Mhandu made it three wins in a row after romping to victory ahead of Fortunate Chidzivo and Ethel Pangiso.

In the men’s category, Munyaradzi Jari won the race ahead of Moses Takarinyo and Abel Chibanda.

Patience Murove and Wellington Warevi were the top two athletes in the 10 km race.

The event, which continues to grow in leaps and bounds after more than 1300 athletes registered to compete, also had a fun run which saw the “who is who” of the business community participating before the winners were honoured for their sweat.