Econet Victoria Falls Marathon - A Test of Grit and Endurance

Words & Photos: Linda Willemse

Trail Running

When considering a marathon on the African continent, the Victoria Falls Marathon should definitely be on your to-do list. This unique event takes place in the small tourist town of Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, home to one of the world’s natural wonders - the Victoria Falls, and takes runners to the famous bridge from where they can view the spectacular falls. It's also one of only a handful of races that goes through a national park and it is a qualifying race for the Two Oceans and Comrades.

Econet Victoria Falls Marathon - A Test of Grit and Endurance

The race was launched after the success of the annual Kilimanjaro Marathon and also met a need for another African marathon in southern Africa. And where better than the Victoria Falls. Now into its seventh year, this race is not just for the competitors, it's also for the non-athletes supporting the runners, because they can enjoy some of the great action activities available at Vic Falls.


The 2013 Econet Victoria Falls Marathon will take place on Sunday, 14 July 2013. A 42.2 km full marathon, 21.1km half marathon and 5 km run are available. Developed in conjunction with the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls Marathon is an AIMS (Association of International Marathon and Distance Races) registered event. The Marathon and Half Marathon races are run under the auspices of the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe, and is governed by IAAF rules.


Last year's event saw more than 600 athletes taking part in the three races - an all time high - and for the 2013 edition we expect to top this number. The marathon race provides a wonderful platform for both local and international runners to pit themselves against the best! Over the years, the event has attracted some fantastic Kenyan and Tanzanian athletes, as well as competitors from China, America, Holland, Germany, Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Britain, Canada, South America and the list goes on. Many disabled athletes have also made their mark here, and a number of athletes have run to raise money for charity. So it really is a race for everyone.


The route


The race route is fast and relatively flat, and well supported by regular water points and cooling down sections, all ably managed by the sponsors. It starts opposite the Kingdom Hotel, at the Post Office parking lot, in the town of Victoria Falls, then crosses over the Vic Falls Bridge and goes briefly into Zambia, thus offering the social runner some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa, to end at the Victoria Falls Primary School.


Race options


• Full Marathon (42.2 km) - This race starts at 06h45 and finishes at The Victoria Falls Primary Schools field and stadium. The final cut-off time is 12h30. The entry fee to Zimbabwe citizens is US$10, and for all others it is US$35. The minimum entry age is 21 years and all finishers under five-and -a-half hours will be awarded medals.


• Half Marathon (21.2 km) This run starts at 07h00 and finishes at The Victoria Falls Primary Schools field and stadium. The final cut-off time is 12h30. The entry fee to Zimbabwe citizens is US$10, and for all others it is US$35. The minimum entry age is 18 years and all finishers under three-and-a-half hours will be awarded medals.


• Disabled Half Marathon (21.2 km) - This race starts at 06h45.


• 5 km Fun Run - The race starts at 07h15, runs through Chinotimba and finishes at the school. The entry fee for all runners is $3. The minimum entry age is 10 years.


To enter

If you would like to take part in this amazing race, you can enter in Victoria Falls on Friday, 12 July and Saturday, 13 July 2013 at the Kingdom Hotel,
or online. Online entries close Friday, 28 June 2013.


Race Rules and Information


Race rules

• The race is being run under the rules of IAAF and NAAZ.
• All traffic officials must be obeyed.
• The organiser reserves the right to accept or reject any entry.
• The entry fee is non refundable.
• No advertising or branding on athletes will be allowed, other than the official race bib. Athletes may run in their official club colours.
• Race numbers are not transferable.
• Obey the race marshals at all times.
• Race officials are the final arbiters of any dispute.
• No mobile seconding or driving alongside runners will be allowed.
• Water points providing water will be available at regular intervals on the route.
• Run on the right-hand side of the road or on the cycle track, unless directed otherwise by race marshals.
• Complete the bottom section of the tear-off on your race number in full before starting the race. This must be handed it in at the finish. If you do not have a bag and label at the finish you will be disqualified.
• Display your race number on the front of your vest throughout the race.
• Please put all litter in the bins provided at water points.
• Category prize winners will be required to show proof of date of birth.


Race information

• All runners competing in the Full and Half Marathons must wear their running bib, clearly, on the front (not back).
• Do not fold your race number, as we will provide pins for your race number. There is a perforated section on your number for verification at the finish, which we will take from you as you cross the finish line.
• A tog bag area will be provided, and if you plan to use this facility then allow ample time to warm up and get ready. Tog bags will be transported to the finish at the stadium by 09h00.
• There are cash prizes to be won and medals and t-shirts for those that finish the race.


To find out more information and enter this amazing event, visit Alternatively, visit .


Go wild

Besides the breathtaking landscapes you will encounter on the marathon race, there is plenty more to do and see. Known as the adventure centre of Africa, for good reason, the Victoria Falls has a wealth of activities available! Choose one of the standard travel packages or tailor-make your own by combining the marathon race with some rafting, canoeing, boat cruising, game viewing, an elephant back safari or even a bungee jump! Safaris in neighbouring Botswana and Zambia are also available through Wild Frontiers, the official organiser of the Victoria Falls Marathon. In addition, there are daily flights from Johannesburg to Vic Falls, which makes linking from international flights to the region easy and convenient.


Travel tips


Safari bookings & travel packages:
Contact Wild Frontiers on


Travel insurance:
Please ensure you have sufficient medical cover for the duration of your trip.


It is strongly recommended that malaria prophylactics be taken just before, during and after your visit to Zimbabwe. Precautions against other tropical diseases should be taken - please consult a travel medical specialist -, or your local specialist in your region/country.
Tetanus is recommended.


These are issued free of charge to South African passport holders at the border/airport on arrival. Other nationalities - please check.


It is imperative that you reconfirm your onward/return flights.


There is a cell phone network in Zimbabwe, but remember to organise an international roaming facility.


Complaints which are not brought to the attention of the hotel management during your stay cannot be dealt with after your return to South Africa, unless the hotel management has been fully briefed about the circumstances in respect of which a formal written complaint is to be lodged, upon your return. Payments for drinks and extras by credit cards attracts a surcharge. Preferably pay in cash - USD, small denomination notes are recommended (1s, 5s, 10s etc. for the smaller bills). Telephone calls are extremely expensive from the hotel for various reasons; ask first before you make that call!


Issue 23 Mar '13