VUMBA – South African-based Nedbank Running Club teammates Collin Kanyimo and Rutendo Nyahora won the Old Mutual Vumba 21km Mountain Run male and female category respectively at Leopard Rock Hotel on Saturday.
Kanyimo stormed home in 1hr 9min 53sec in a race he trailed one Canisious Nyamutsita, who hit the ribbon first but was disqualified for nipping almost 3km of the race while veteran campaigner Nyahora clocked 1hr 20min 18sec to win the female category.
The Harare-based Blue Stars Club athlete Nyamutsita’s time had shocked everyone as he had reached the finishing line in a time faster than the current world record of 58:23, set by Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea on 21 March 2010 in Lisbon, Portugal.
The two winners walked away with US$1 000 each for winning the half-marathon.
Reigning Manicaland Diamond race champion Lyno Muchena was the first runner-up in male category with 1hr 10min 43 sec while talented athlete Constance Nyasango came second in the female category clocking 1hr 21min 04sec.
Kudakwashe Kanduna a Mutare-based athlete came in third in 1hr 11min 43sec ensuring Mutare breed athletes cleaned the top three positions in the tough mountainous race as Kanyimo only left the city to join his South African Club recently.
Faith Nyasango a sister-in-law to the first runner up came in third in the female category in 1hr 24min 38sec.
Nyahora was elated by winning the race and says she has her sight on the upcoming Westgate Old Mutual to be held in Harare on November 10.
“Since l started running the Vumba Half Marathon is one of the toughest race in the country. For me it was a cross-country, the last six kilometres was tough me and l would like to thank God for finishing the race,” she said.
Kanyimo, who came fourth in the Pretoria to Johannesburg 50 km Marathon three weeks ago, said he was lucky to have won with the little rest he had in the punishing Vumba terrain.
“I’m coming out a 50km marathon and l was really lucky to win this race as l needed at least a month of rest to compete at my best,” he said.
The attendance to the race has been ballooning as it started with just a handful growing to 153 last year and jumping to almost 400 this year.
The race is organised to fund local environmental efforts and about US$4 500 raised in entrance fees were all donated to Wildlife Environmental Protection Unit in Vumba an association of environmental organisations operating in the scenic area which Old Mutual doubled to US$9 000 with another pledge.