Chipere won the same race three years ago and remains hopeful for another podium finish this time round, having missed out in previous races due to a number of reasons, including some niggling injuries that he recently overcame.
The runner said he had embarked on an intensive training programme that would hopefully enable him to become a champion again. â€œI am ready to win this race again,â€ said Chipere. â€œItâ€™s been not easy in the last two years for me as injuries affected me a lot. In some instances, I could not complete my races. Sometimes I did not participate at all. It has been some terrible experience for me, but I am ready to reclaim what was once mine. I have been working hard and just pray that I will not suffer any injury during the race.â€
Chipere also urged Zimbabweans to support athletics. â€œWe need fans to come and support us when on track. It always motivates us to win. It is sad that you hardly see any fans waving our Zimbabwean flag along the track while racing. I would appreciate to see me my fellow Zimbabweans wave the flag, urging us to go on. That has a ripple effect.â€
A former Africa University International Peace Marathon champion, the now 43-year-old Chipere made history in 2012 when he won the first Mandela Marathon. He remains the course record holder.Post published in: Athletics