JM Busha Peace Race Preps Gathers Momentum
Organisers of the annual JM Busha 54 Races Marathon have expressed satisfaction on the preparations of the event which starts today with a golf tournament teeing off in Harare with the main event, the 21 km marathon race slated for Saturday.
Already in its third edition, the JM Busha marathon continues to grow in leaps and bound and this year will focus primarily on preparing for the World Half Marathon Championships pencilled for Gdynia, Poland on March 29, 2020.
National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) president Tendai Tagara said the race has been reduced from the traditional
“The race will take place in Harare on May 25 and the preparations are at an advanced stage. We look forward to an improved number of athletes this time around than last year, this is our target. We are happy with the response from schools and clubs and all athletes are geared for the event,” he said.
“This year’s target is a 21km race, which we are using as a qualifying event for the World half marathon, so we are expecting a lot of athletes. The event will be use to select athletes that would then represent Zimbabwe at World Half Marathon Championships. We have invited a lot of schools to the event,” Tagara said.
He added that there are no changes to the prize money despite the shortened distance.
“We have made sure that the first prize remains at $3 000 although it’s now a 21km race so that we motivate our athletes to come in their numbers. We are saying Zimbabwe come and let’s run for peace,” he added
According to the sponsor of the ever-growing event, Joseph Busha, the annual race is meant to celebrate unity through diversity for Africa and next year it will grow bigger.
“People come together when there is peace, you have seen that you break the barriers of racism if there is clear coordination in sports.
“So that is what we try to bring through this event, it is very crucial in bringing people together,” said Busha.
He noted that through collaborations with NAAZ, they have tried to identify and nurture talent.
Similar races have been held in South Africa, Swaziland now eSwathini and the Central African Republic.
JM Busha board member, Tichawana Nyahuma said their organisation was committed to promoting peace and development in Africa through sporting activities.
“We encourage individuals, young and old, corporates and institutions to step up to peace building, unity and co-existence.
“Sport, without doubt, is a tool that can be used to promote and strengthen social ties, tolerance, peace and development.
“We strive to make meaningful contributions to the development of the sport that is why we have invested significantly in these games,” he said,