Written by Sylvester Kumwenda & Govati Nyirenda / MANA
Vice president Saulos Chilima on Sunday took part in the 21 kilometer Standard Bank fun run that took place in Lilongwe.
Chilima officially launched the marathon at the Lilongwe City Centre Standard Bank’s head office which went all the way to Kumbali Lodge through the Lilongwe Sanctuary.
The marathon, which is the first of its kind from Standard Bank, registered three categories of 21, 10 and 5 kilometers.
It hugely attracted the participation of non professional runners and hundreds of people of different age ranges including 55 year old Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya.
Professional runner, Happy Chilenje of Moyale Barracks emerged victorious in the 21 kilometer category as it took him 1 hour 46 minutes to complete the race.
He expressed his excitement to the Malawi News Agency (Mana); “I am very happy to have claimed the top spot in this marathon especially that this is the first time for a winner to go away with around K1.3 million kwacha as a top cash price in the history of marathons in the country.
“The money will help me sort out some of the challenges that I face in my family and also in my training because it takes a lot to maintain fitness,” said Chilenje.
The 29 year old Chilenje, a soldier by profession, told Mana that the secret to his victory is hard work and dedication.
“Since I realized that I have this talent, I have been training very hard ever since, and when I heard of this marathon I had to put in an extra gear. Some people believe in Juju but I do not, it only takes hard work,” he said.
Chilenje who is also expected to travel to London to compete in a 44 kilometer marathon encouraged the youth who have this talent to embrace it and avoid engaging in activities that might destroy their talent like substance abuse.
Chancy Master, also a soldier by profession and from Kamuzu barracks was the runner-up in the 21 kilometer event.
Grevazio Mpani from Kamuzu institute for youth claimed third position.