Econet launches new virtual marathon
22 November 2021
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HARARE – Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe’s largest digital and telecommunications company, has launched a new, virtual marathon, which is set to kick off on December 12, 2021.

The race – called the Buddie Beatz ‘Run The beat Virtual Marathon’ – is set to be an annual event and is part of company’s drive to support and promote local music talent.

Proceeds from the race will go to supporting and promoting local musicians. An Econet spokesperson said the event is expected to attract thousands of professional athletes and new runners from across the world and will see the most active participants, on social media and on the track, win hundreds of prizes, including smart phones, headphones, airtime and various other accessories. Econet Wireless, which is the main sponsor of iconic Vic Falls Marathon, a popular physical marathon that has been running for over 13 years and has attracted top athletes and runners from around the world, said the Run The beat Virtual Marathon was in line with its ethos of promoting a healthy lifestyle among its customers and the general public.

“We are excited to introduce the new virtual marathon, which underlines our quest to promote healthy lifestyles through exercise and sports, especially through running. Together with our fitness partners, we look forward to helping expand fitness opportunities to hundreds of thousands of people,” the Spokesman said, calling upon amateur and professional athletes to join the virtual marathon, which has races categories to suit different people, including 5 and 7.5 kilometres (km) fun runs, a 21km half marathon and a 42km full marathon.

The event will see Zimbabwean participants running along set routes in Econet’s eight commercial regions, including Harare, Ruwa, Chitungwiza, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo and Kariba. “We have established water points, clearly marked directional signs, assisting marshals and standby ambulances along the routes.

“Since this is a virtual run, participants can also run from anywhere across the world, as long as they track their race on the Race Joy app, which can be downloaded on the Apple Store and on Google Play store via the link: Participants to the inaugural virtual marathon will be expected to pay a token ZW$100 registration fee which can be paid via EcoCash using the Paynow payment portal.

Runners can also pay US$1 via their MasterCard or Visa cards, on the Econet PayPal registration platform. To register, a runner simply needs to visit and follow the simple instructions.

“The race start time is open, as it is a virtual race, but people are encouraged to start in the morning at 5 or 6 am on December 12, to avoid the high afternoon temperatures,” the company said. The virtual marathon is supported by Econet’s Buddie Beatz Music App, a music streaming pioneer service in Zimbabwe, with over 45 000 songs and more than 4 000 artists signed up to the platform.

The platform, which is accessible to anyone from any mobile network locally and across the world, has brought the best exciting Afro and International music to Buddie Beatz customers globally.

The Buddie Beatz music content appeals to various age groups and demographics, giving choice and variety to music lovers. The most popular genres include Zimdancehall, Urban Grooves, House, Afro-fusion, Sungura and traditional, Chimurenga and Jazz music.

Buddie Beatz also sustains the livelihoods of the Zimbabwean artists, with over 3 500 artists that have received royalty pay-outs for their music being streamed on the platform.