Charles Musowa on Saturday, withstood pressure from more than 200 athletes to defend the Mulanje Mountain Porters Race.
But the 35-year-old athlete failed to beat his own record of 2:07 hours and ended up finishing the race in 2:09 hours.
Musowa was closely followed by Evance Nyanzule who clocked 2:10 hours while Leo Chikhweza (2:11 hours) was on third position.
The Mulanje mountain porter attributed his impressive performance to thorough preparations.
“There is no magic about this,” he said. “It’s just practice. I prepared well for the competition.”
In ladies category, the return of former champion Tereza Master, could not stop defending champions Doris Fisher to keep the title.
Fisher finished the race in 2:37 hours to defend the title with Dorothy Gawani on second position in 2:54 hours.
Rosemary Petro scooped the third position after clocking 23:54 hours.
The champion in both men’s and ladies category got K150,000 with the runners-up pocketing K100,000 while the third placed athletes getting K75,000.
Fourth placed athletes in both categories got K50,000 while the fifth placed got K40,000.
There were also consolation prizes for athletes from position six to 20 from Arkay Plastics.
This year’s main event was sponsored by NBS while Save the Children sponsored a children’s race.
Minister of Information and Tourism, Kondwani Nankhumwa, who was guest of honour, said the Porters Race was a unique example of communities participating in tourism.
“We need to take tourism down to grassroots. That’s why we are talking of community tourism,’ he said.
NBS Head of Personal and Business Banking Marcus Chigoga, said the bank was satisfied with the way the competition was organised.
“It is actually interesting that every year there is an increase in a number of participation and the excitement.
“For the bank we think this is very important as you know we have a slogan which says we are a caring bank.
“One of our pillars is to look after the environment and this activity is actually part of our goals,” Chigoga said.
Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust programme officer, Kondwani Chamwala, thanked the sponsors for their support.
Lake of Stars and Mibawa also supported the event with a number of performances before and after the race.
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