JONATHAN Chinyoka asserted his status as one of the top long-distance runners in the country when he romped home first in the Peter Gradwell Marathon at Old Georgians on Sunday. Chinyoka stopped the clocks in 2 hours 21 minutes 31seconds as he began his 2013 season on a winning note.
For his effort, Chinyoka walked home US$700 richer from the main event. The Peter Gradwell marathon was the first full marathon of the year and was supported by more than 250 runners, according to one of the co-ordinators, Aaron White.
Veteran Edwin Chimhomho came second in 2: 21.37 to pocket US$500 while South African-based Munyaradzi Jari was third in 2: 24.54 in the senior men's open category as he collected US$300. Lizzie Chokore emerged the winner in the senior's women's open when she recorded 2 hours 56 minutes while her sister Chiedza Chokore settled for second place, just two minutes behind.
Veteran Samukeliso Moyo showed that she is not finished yet when she got a bronze medal after clocking 3 hours 04 minutes.
The event also encompassed a half marathon which was won by Gilbert Mutandiro in the senior men with a time of 68 minutes as Moses Njodzi was a distant second on 74 minutes. Olivia Chitate ruled the roost in the women's 21km race when she managed 1 hour 27 minutes to take the US$300 first prize as Muchaneta Gwata was a minute behind in second place while Danielle Cox was third. Sunday's event also included a 10km and a 5km fun runs.
The Peter Gradwelll Marathon is organised annually by the Harare Athletics Club, in memory of Peter Gradwelll, who established the road running section at the club in the early '70s. Back then, HAC was a track and field club based at the University of Zimbabwe where Gradwell was a lecturer, athletics administrator and coach.
He then established road races at HAC and also took part in several Comrades marathons where he won silver medals before his death in 1982.
The next event lined up on the HAC calendar would be the Roger Brackely Marathon on March 10 at Old Georgians.