Econet Victoria Falls Marathon: A Catalyst for Talent, Tourism, and Community Growth

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Marathon Impact: Tourism boost and talent development catalyst.
Global Attraction: Growing international appeal, diverse participation opportunities.
Scenic Route: Stunning landscapes, unique race experience.
Champion Defends: Moses Tarakinyu aims for fourth consecutive victory.

As the 16th edition of the Econet Victoria Falls Marathon approaches, organizers are celebrating the event’s dual impact on talent development and tourism promotion. Scheduled for July 7 in the picturesque resort city of Victoria Falls, this year’s marathon is expected to attract over 5,500 participants, reinforcing its status as a premier African running event.

Boosting Tourism and Local Economy

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Group Chief Executive, Douglas Mboweni, highlighted the marathon’s significant contributions to the nation’s tourism sector. “There is no doubt the event has become a catalyst for tourism in our nation and a tool for positive change in our local communities,” Mboweni stated. The influx of international visitors not only boosts tourism but also stimulates the local economy, benefiting businesses, hotels, lodges, and the broader travel industry.

A Global Attraction

Mboweni expressed his excitement for this year’s event, noting its growing appeal both locally and internationally. “We are looking forward to the Marathon and are thrilled by the ever-growing local and international appeal of the event, an indicator that more and more people are adopting wellness and a healthy lifestyle,” he said. This international interest underscores the marathon’s prominence on the global running calendar, drawing athletes from around the world to Victoria Falls.

Diverse Participation Opportunities

The theme for this year’s marathon, “Road to Victory,” emphasizes both the competitive spirit and the inclusive nature of the event. Participants have various race options, including the full 42km marathon, the 21km half marathon, a team relay with two runners covering 10.5km each, and the popular 7.5km Family Fun Run. These options cater to runners of all levels, from elite athletes to families looking for a fun, active day out.

Scenic Route and Unique Experience

One of the marathon’s major attractions is its scenic route, which offers participants a unique opportunity to run through the stunning landscapes surrounding Victoria Falls. The course provides an up-close view of the falls, allowing runners to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of the area. This breathtaking backdrop not only enhances the race experience but also highlights the unique appeal of Victoria Falls as a destination.

Defending Champions and Rising Stars

Last year’s half marathon winner, Moses Tarakinyu, is set to defend his title, aiming for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory. Tarakinyu’s performance last year saw him outpace competitors Wayne Kabondo and Somveli Dhlamini in the men’s category. His return adds an element of excitement and anticipation, as spectators and fellow runners watch to see if he can maintain his winning streak.

Community Impact and Future Prospects

The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon is more than just a race; it’s a community event that fosters local engagement and development. The marathon’s success has positively impacted local communities by providing economic opportunities and promoting a healthy lifestyle. Mboweni noted, “As visitors flock to Victoria Falls from around the world, tourism flourishes, benefiting local businesses, hotels, and lodges, and the entire travel and tourism industry.”

Looking ahead, the marathon is poised to continue its growth and impact. Its increasing popularity suggests a bright future, with potential for even greater international participation and community benefits. As the event continues to attract a diverse group of runners, it will further solidify its role as a key player in promoting wellness, tourism, and economic development in Zimbabwe.

Also look out for;

Spectacular Scenery: Runners will be treated to stunning landscapes and wildlife views, enhancing the race experience.

Athletic Excellence: Expect fierce competition among elite athletes, with potential for new records and standout performances.

Community Engagement: Explore the marathon’s role in boosting local businesses and fostering a culture of wellness and tourism.

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