Having finished 6th at the Standard Bank Be More Race last month, Eneless Makumba — who is raising funds together with partners to reconstruct houses for three of her Zomba Athletics Academy athletes which were demolished due to Cyclone Freddy-induced rains in March, finished 5th in today’s Blantyre 42.195km Race.
She finished in a time of 3:45;39hrs while champion Nalicy Chirwa from Mzuzu clocked 3:00:07 while Mount Mulanje athletes Teleza Master as runner-up in 3:09;26; Zinenani Stefano in 3rd in 3:24;12 and Mphatso Khembo on 4th in 3:34:19.
Men’s champion is Grevasio Mpani from Civo Athletics Club in Lilongwe in 2:19;01; runner-up Harry Ndacha Njerenje of Moyale Barracks of Mzuzu and Mphatso Nadolo from Zomba in 3rd in 2:26;58.
Eneless, who used the two races as a charity towards reconstruction of the three athletes, who include Mphatso Saukile — the country’s Paralympic star — and her target was to raise K4.5 million.
When Standard Bank took note of the noble cause, it supported her initiative with a surprise package of K1 million while Zomba Athletics Academy UK-based partner, Margaret McMullan — who is also appealed for her assistance through justgiving.com.
Mphatso Saukile’s family’s home collapsed and despite the disaster that befell his family, the paralympic — who participated at the African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region 5 Youth Games in December 22 in 400m and 800m Regional 5 Games in Lilongwe where he won two gold medal in 800m and 400m — also represented the country in Italy Jesolo Grand Prix in Venice from May 12-15 where he was second in 1500m and 5th in 400m in Open-aged competition.
Enelles, who is wife to wife to Zomba Athletics Academy’s founder and coach, Benedicto Makumba took exceptional pride of her athlete’s achievement and decided to honour it by raising towards his and the other two athletes’ welfare.
While Eneless considered the Standard Bank Be More Race for the cause, she still competed favourably by finishing 6th in a time 1:41:55hrs — just 24 minutes away from the 2023 edition’s champion, Kenyan Monica Ghihruto, who clocked 1:16:18.
Another Kenyan, Naomi Jepkrir was the runner-up in a time of 1:17:39 with Malawian Nalicy Chirwa claiming the third spot a time of Nalicy Tembo (1:20:30); followed by Mulanje-based Tereza Master on 4th (1:23:45).
The 5th position — that was the cut off point for prizes — was taken by Chloe Powell in a time of 1:24:37.
Eneless, who is also Zomba Athletics Academy’s deputy matron, said she was vey happy that she has attained a personal record in the race, whose route was changed and thus all past races records have been archived.
“It’s a good route but the sun was just too hot and affected my performance,” she said. “If we had started off a bit earlier than 8am, I could have pushed myself but the heat was just intense.
“But I am not complaining much, I have set myself a personal record and come next year, I shall aim to break it and even for the gold medal.”
This year’s Blantyre 42.195km Race was held under the theme, ‘Changing Lives’, whose proceeds will be channeled to Cyclone Freddy-induced floods survivors.
Malawi National Council of Sports also assisted towards Saukile house reconstruction by investing K1 million through intervention from Board chairperson, Sunduzwayo Madise, who learnt of Eneless’ charity and the plight of the Paralympic during the Standard Bank Be More Race when Eneless was being handed the donation.