HARARE - Econet Wireless Zimbabwe will this year host its annual Victoria Falls Marathon on December 13, as a virtual event, due to movement restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The popular event, which draws thousands of local and international participants, traditionally takes place during the first week of July but was postponed to December 13 following national lockdowns across the world as governments battled to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Econet said despite travel restrictions and social distancing measures now observed globally, this year athletes will still be able to participate in the marathon virtually, by simply registering and running the marathon from any country in the world.
"Although we couldn't hold the event physically in July, we have decided to hold it virtually - through a world-renowned App called SportSplits - so that participants can run from anywhere across the world," the company said.
Now considered among Africa's top marathons, the event comprises a Full Marathon of 42 kilometres (km), a 21km Half Marathon and the popular 7.5km Fun Run. Last year the event attracted over 3 500 participants from 60 countries across the world.
"We are encouraging participants to register, practice and track their activities with the SportSplits App so that they are ready for the competition in three months' time," organisers of the event said, adding that 10 per cent of the proceeds from the marathon would be once again be donated towards wildlife conservation.
In a virtual marathon, athletes register and pay the requisite fee for their preferred distance and run the marathon on the set date (December 13) along their own chosen route within a specified time. The athletes record the finishing time and upload it on the race website and get certificates of participation which they can print out.
Participants at this year's Econet Victoria Falls Marathon should register on www.vicfallsmarathon.com, download the SportSplits App and claim their racing profiles on the Econet Vic Falls Marathon Banner within the App.
Once one registers for the race, they will access an interactive real-time tracking software available to runners. Those that register for the competition can start using the tracking system during their preparations for the event.