Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau

The stage has been set for the fifth edition of the Beitbridge Mayor’s anti-litter half marathon that will be held on Saturday morning on a new route along the Beitbridge Bulawayo road.

The race which is being organised by Beitbridge Municipality and sponsored by Sanctuary Insurance seeks to bring awareness to littering and pollution issues in the border town.

Since its inception, the half marathon was being held along the Beitbridge-Masvingo road and this time around the race was moved to the Beitbridge- Bulawayo road.

Under the new set up there will be a 25 km race starting from Mtetengwe and ending in Beitbridge CBD.

In previous years the 21km half marathon started at Lutumba business centre and ending in the CBD.

Further, the 12km race (which usually starts at Chamnanga Business centre) has been reviewed to 15km and will start at Malala Business Centre and finish in the town centre.

Initially, the half marathon was scheduled for 6 June but was postponed by the organisers to observe the obtaining Covid-19 lockdown

protocols.

Beitbridge Municipality spokesperson, Raniel Ndou said yesterday that so far 86 people have registered for the event against a target of 1000 athletes.

He said though preparations started early, the number of participants had been adversely affected by the Covid19 pandemic.

“This is our 5th anniversary year and we want to celebrate it in style. The race will be held under the theme ‘Beitbridge My Home, My Smart City, Running towards zero tolerance to litter’.

We have managed to retain Sanctuary Insurance as our main sponsor,” said Ndou.

He said those interested in the marathon should register at Beitbridge Municipality’s main offices or at the housing offices in Dulivhadzimu suburbs or Tshitaudze Clinic.

The official encouraged people living with disabilities to take part

in this race.

Entry fees, he said, were pegged at R20 (or equivalent in local currency) for adults and free for all school-going children and that they had put together medals, t-shirts, and a lot of prizes for the

athletes.

“Our reasons for using a new route are that it has a wider road and it has less traffic compared to the Beitbridge-Harare highway,” he said.

Littering has become a perennial headache for the local authority especially in the high and medium density suburbs and along the major highways leading to Harare ad Bulawayo.

The Herald is reliably informed that the town produces over 1000 tonnes of solid waste monthly with a further 100 tonnes going to land

pollution.

The municipality is reportedly collecting only 700 tonnes.