Zimbabwe: Everything ready for the Tanganda Tea Half Marathon
MORE than 1,000 mid- and long-distance runners will race across the hilly terrain of the eastern border town of Mutare when the thrilling Tanganda Tea Company half-marathon rebounds on Sunday after a two-year hiatus.
The beginnings of the prestigious Tanganda Tea Company’s annual half-marathon date back to the late 1980s.
The half marathon was held every year until 2002 when it then took a sabbatical and returned in 2012.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the half marathon did not take place in 2020 and 2021.
In an interview, Manicaland Athletics Club President Joshua “Zesa” Matume confirmed that they are expecting over 1,000 athletes for this year’s edition.
Matume said foreign athletes, including highly rated Kenyans, have inquired about the event.
“The starting point for all race categories is at Mutare Sports Club. It is along Park Road. All race categories will finish at Mutare Sports Club. Athletes are strongly advised to visit the website of Tanganda Tea Company to get a view of the new course before the race day.
“We expect to have over 1,000 athletes for this year’s edition of the Tandanda Tea Half Marathon. We are delighted that the race has generated a lot of interest from overseas athletes who are also inquiring, including some Kenyans,” Marymount Teachers’ said. Lecturer in physical education studies in college said.
In a statement responding to questions sent by this newspaper, Tanganda Tea Company outlined the objectives of the half marathon.
“Tanganda Tea is a cultural brand and this half marathon gives the brand an opportunity to interact with the community, bring them together while enjoying the support the brand (Tanganda Tea) receives from the same community by promoting talent.
“By awarding prizes, we will appreciate consumers of our brand and at the same time we will promote talent,” the statement read.
“The Tanganda Tea Half Marathon is intended to promote sports, fitness and fun at the same time. The race itself is a test of endurance, it promotes physical fitness. The weather conditions and hilly mountain terrain of Mutare are the perfect place for such a half marathon The half marathon actually complements the endurance of the Tanganda Tea brand in the Zimbabwean market and beyond.
“Some of the Tanganda tea bushes were planted as early as 1924 and through care and maintenance they still look young and vibrant. Tanganda tea is a natural and strong tea. We have many teas introduced on the marketed long after Tanganda tea. but they gradually died out. They couldn’t resist the endurance,” reads the statement from the Tanganda Tea Company.
The diversified food company noted that the fun shopping category will also encourage exercise in an enjoyable way.
“Participants will find this race very rewarding or comforting. They will find it very uplifting, just like the Tanganda Tea brand that gives that elevated inner self.
“It is also part of our aim to show our respect to the Ministry of Sports (Government) and the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ). Apart from creating jobs for the locals, the business through this marathon also compliments the government’s efforts in promoting the sport.
“The government realizes the importance of sport, hence the creation of a full-fledged Ministry of Sports. Through this half-marathon, we are showing our respect to national, regional and international athletics bodies. We we all know that the Manicaland Athletics Board (MAB) and NAAZ use this half marathon for the selection of athletics to represent the country at different levels – both local and international.
“Therefore, this half marathon is our way of showing respect to these bodies,” the statement continued.