There was colour, pomp and glamour in Lilongwe yesterday as Vice-President, Saulos Chilima, joined athletes in Standard Bank Be More Race from City Centre to Kumbali Village.
Chilima competed in a 21 kilometers’ race but stopped after covering half the distance.
But he showed endurance for the better part of the race.
Chilima was also joined by Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila, Speaker of Parliament, Richard Msowoya, Standard Bank Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Mashanda, and Lilongwe City Council Mayor, Desmond Bikoko, among high-profile participants.
The climax of the event was at Kumbali Village as live music performance by Lulu and Sonye entertained the crowd.
In his speech, Chilima described the inaugural race as unique.
“It is a first time a road meets nature in a race. It is a unique opportunity for us to be part of history and as a fitness person, I like to do exercises. Instead of doing exercises at home alone, I thought I should join people and be part of the fun,” Chilima said.
He also urged Malawians to invest in their own health.
“Good health is also one’s wealth. One must invest in their own health and life. It is extremely important that as human beings, we must invest in our bodies because our bodies are best assets and we must look after them so that we live long,” he added.
On his part, Mashanda said the bank plans to make the race an annual event.
“We are extremely happy with the race and it has surpassed our expectations. We want to make the race more exciting and perhaps, attract foreign athletes,” Mashanda said.
In the 21-kilometre race, Ndacha Mchelenje underlined his class when he finished as the winner in one hour, eight minutes and 20 seconds.
Mchelenje is, today, expected to fly out to England for the World Championship scheduled from August 4 to 13 in London.
Another top athlete, Chancy Master came second in one hour, eight minutes and 44 seconds followed by Grevazio Mpani and Mike Tembulo, who finished the journey in one hour, nine minutes and 38 seconds and one hour, 10 minutes and 35 seconds, respectively.
In the ladies’ category, Nalicy Chirwa was the champion in one hour, 26 minutes and 36 seconds whereas Doris Fischer came second after one hour, 29 minutes and 30 seconds.
Ellen Nyoka finished third in one hour, 34 minutes and 38 seconds. Over 500 people took part in the race.
Mchelenje and Chirwa received K1.3 million each, courtesy of Standard Bank.
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