SEASONED athlete Moses Tarakinyu believes taking part in the inaugural Mashwede Road Race, which will be held at Mashwede Village in Harare's high-density suburb of Budiriro on Sunday, will help him prepare for upcoming races like the Tanganda Half-Marathon and the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon.
Tarakinyu, who has won several road races and also took part Two Oceans marathons in South Africa, has several 10km races medals in his cabinet.
The Black Rhinos Athletics Club athlete will be one of the high profile athletes who are expected to grace the inaugural race which is organised by Mr Pace Athletics Club and Mashwede Holdings.
"I will be at the race and I am there to support the initiative. The race was made for us athletes so we need to support a new baby for us. "The race will help me prepare and see how far I am prepared for the upcoming races. The terrain will help me as I am used to train within Harare and I look forward to some good challenges."
Tarakinyu, who has been racing for over eight years, said there is a lot of competition in the 10-kilometre races but his main aim will be to maintain his running time.
"Competing in a main race is different from training as you will be pushed by others and this will help me in monitoring my time. "It being a new race, I am looking forward to break my previous times if possible and win the race. If we come in our numbers, I believe the organisers and sponsors will come back next year with more packages.
"The outcome at this race will determine how I will fare in Mutare and Victoria Falls," said Tarakinyu. The race has seen several top athletes registering and they are expected to turn up at Mashwede Village in Budiriro on Sunday morning.
In the women's category Patience Murowe will be favourite in the 10km but will face competition from other athletes who have been taking part in the half-marathon and marathon events.
The Mashwede 5km and 10km road races also had Harare businessman Alex "Dr Mash" Mashamhanda registering for the seniors event but "pulled out at the last minute" because of other pressing commitments. The golfer was confident he was going to finish the race and his bib number was already confirmed.
"It's unfortunate that I am not going to be part of this inaugural race which I had registered for. I had committed to take part and I was certain that I was going to do well in my category which is the seniors.
"I had trained hard but something just came up so I will not manage to make it. This was going to be another milestone achievement for me to complete the race but I know I was going to.
"The race will go a long way in promoting athletics and it will help the youths and professional athletes in a big way," said Mashamhanda.
Event co-ordinator, Martha Mashamhanda, said registration is ongoing and will continue until Sunday morning when the baby dash competitors will be registered.
Meanwhile, "Dr Mash" was nominated for the Father of the Community award where he is expected to battle it out with several high profile influential people for the event to be held at Long Chen Plaza on Sunday.
The Mashwede Holdings proprietor will battle it out with prominent business people like Mike Chimombe, Phillip Mataranyika, Elijah Motowashe and Clayton Choga, among several others.