The 20th Anniversary of Mount Mulanje Porters Race took place today at Likhubula Valley in the district of Mulanje.
Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust (MMCT) in partnership with Save the Children and Malawi Gaming Board hosted the event which saw 419 runners (both local and international) track to Chambe Plateau about 2,500m above seal level then proceeded to Lichenya Plateau before returning back to Likhubula.
The event, which is associated with Tourism Sector, saw last year’s third placed athlete Leo Chakhaza claiming the top position by beating last year’s winner Charles Musowa.
Musowa, who raced 2 hours, 5 minutes last year, was overpowered by Chakhaza who won the top prize but failed to beat the record as he raced 2 hours, 8 minutes.
In females category, Doreece Fisher became the first woman to retain a 22 KM race when she finished on first position for the second time in a row.
Fisher had to race 2 hours, 40 minutes, beating Dorothy Gawani who finished on second position last year.
However, Fisher was unable to break her last year’s record of 2 hours, 38 minutes, 34 seconds.
Speaking after the event, guest of honor from Tourism department, Elsie Tembo said Porters Race raises awareness in the tourism industry.
“It was a very organized event and the turn out was very encouraging. This event is very important to tourism industry because it raises awareness by attracting people from all over the World,” she said.
And on behalf of Save the Children, Senior Manager Advocacy and Communications Elvis Sukali hailed the event saying it gives his organization an opportunity to serve every last child of Malawi by using the race.
“This is second time to have partnered MMCT in order to make sure that all the stakeholders and everybody should provide services to less privileged children who are lagging behind in terms of health, school and protection.”
“Just like how tough the Porters Race is, these less privileged children are meeting with lot’s of challenges when growing up so we are trying to send a message that our children should not meet these challenges when growing up and we must assure Malawians that we will be back next year to partner MMCT again,” he said.
Kondwani Chamwala, who is a Public Relations Officer (PRO) at MMCT and the organizing committee chairman for the event said they are satisfied with how Porters Race has been organised for the past years.
“We feel there is a great change because previously, winners were not given anything but these years, winners are walking away with different prizes.”
“We are also happy to have used themes that are basically sampling out something to do with human life standards and we are optimistic of hosting another successful event next year,” said Chamwala.
Winners walked away with certificates and cash amounting to K150 000, with the second placed athletes walking away with K100 000 each.
Third, fourth and fifth placed athletes were given K75 000, K50 000 and K40 000 each.