Victoria Falls Marathon goes virtual due to Covid-19

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By Sports Reporter

The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon will move its 2020 event to a virtual format due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, race organisers announced in a statement on Tuesday.

This year’s edition of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon, which draws international and local participants, was initially scheduled to take place on July 5 in the popular tourist resort.

However, due to the coronavirus pandemic which has led to cancellations and postponements of major sporting events both locally and around the world, the organisers were forced to reschedule this year’s event to December.

Races around the world have been suspended or cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the running industry has scrambled to stay afloat.

Due to the travel restrictions still in place around the world because of the novel coronavirus, this year’s Econet Victoria Falls Marathon which is scheduled for December 13 will be departing from its traditional road race format for a virtual one.

In a statement Tuesday, the organisers said they would be bringing an exciting but different event this year.

“Keep your training going, and keep Sunday 13 December available as we are bringing to you an exciting virtual event. We will be ‘taking you to Vic Falls’ to run the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10.5 km Relay, or 7.5 km fun run.

“We are working with one of the most sophisticated, inter-active, virtual timing systems in the world which offers ‘real-time’ accurate race results and tracking of your route, whichever distance you choose, including the Fun Run,” read the organisers’ statement.

The event will have an interactive ‘live’ tracking and distances will be timed with results provided. Prizes and giveaways are still being negotiated with the sponsors.

“You can challenge your friends, family and running clubs. The race can be run any time between 00h00 – 23h59 on the 13th of December, from anywhere in the world.”

The marathon is now in its 14th year and continues to grow, having attracted about 3 500 entries last year, with nearly half of the athletes coming from out of Zimbabwe, and some travelling from as far afield as Australia.

Besides the 42.2km full marathon, other events on offer include the 21.1km half marathon and 7.5km fun run.