Fund-raiser for reconstruction of Paralympic Saukile’s house vying for top honours in July 30’s Blantyre 42.195km Race

Eneless Makumba training hard as Saukile and friends clear rubble for reconstruction

* She first ran the Standard Bank Be More Race for the same cause in which she 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

By Duncan Mlanjira

Buoyed by her excellent performance in the Standard Bank Be More Race on June in which she finished 6th, Eneless Makumba is eyeing for top honours during the Blantyre 42.195km Race set for July 30 — despite it being a fund-raiser towards reconstruction of Paralympic star Mphatso Saukile’s house.


Eneless, who is deputy matron for Zomba Athletics Academy, first ran the Standard Bank Be More Race for the same cause of reconstructing of Saukile’s house along with two of her athletes — whose homes were destroyed due to effects of Cyclone Freddy in March.

Her target is to raise K4.5 million and when Standard Bank 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 has since raised about K250,000.

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.

Those wishing to support the Makumba’s efforts are encouraged to deposit to Zomba Branch of the FDH Bank — Account name: Zomba Athletics Development Center; Account number: 1210000450527.

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.

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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.

That, she said, has spurred her to aim for the lucrative positions of the Blantyre 42.195km marathon whose prizes are K1.5 million for the champion of each category of male and female — the same for runners-up at K1 million and K500,000 for the third place as well as consolation prizes from position 4 to 10.

Eneless said she is training hard for it around Chirunga Stadium at Chancellor College and just last Sunday completed 24km from Jali to Zomba and at same time, Saukile is being helped by fellow Zomba Athletics Academy athletes to clear the rubble in preparation for reconstruction.

Registration for the Blantyre 42.195km is ongoing, whose deadline is at close of business on July 25 but late entries shall be entertained up to 5pm on Friday, July 28 but will be expected to pay more at K30,000.

Meanwhile, the route for this year’s Blantyre 42.195km Race was changed and thus as this is a new route, records are going to be set again — rendering the 20-year-old record of 2:18:40hrs, set by veteran Henry Moyo in 2003, as archived.

This time around athletes will run a 14km stretch three times as a lap loop as opposed to the original of one long stretch up to the finish. The original route was starting from Ginnery Corner opposite NBS Bank  along Masauko Chipembere Highway heading towards Chichiri Round About.

This time, the start is at the main entrance of Kamuzu Stadium turning right along Makata Road to Chichiri Round About — to proceed along Masauko Chipembere Highway up to the Independence Arch where the athletes will turn right for the Kasungu Crescent up to the entrance to Chichiri Shopping Mall to take the Kwacha road all the way to MBC TV.

After MBC Stadium, before reaching St. Columbus CCAP Church, the athletes will turn right along Njamba Road up to Njamba CDSS to connect to Kenyatta Drive all the way to Kamba junction where they will connect to Mahatma Gandhi Road to head for the junction opposite Malawi Red Cross.

They will then held into Mandala Road up to CFAO to turn right to reach Masauko Chipembere Highway up to the Clock Tower.

They will then take the Masauko Chipembere Highway all the way to Chichiri Round About and start another lap on the same route — giving people more chance to watch the progress of the race throughout.

On the third lap, the athletes will take Makata Road and held for Kamuzu Stadium through the main entrance up to the finish at the VIP Stand.


When announced the new route in May, the organising committee — comprising Malawi National Council of Sports’ Board member Helene Tasosa; Chifundo Tenthani (chairperson) and the Race’s technical leader, Mzee Makawa — previous other activities that were held as people waited for the athletes on their long rout to the finish such as relay races, have been scrapped off since people will be expected to line up the streets to watch them pass by their locations on three occasions.

However, aerobics are also on the menu to start from 6am as well as the Fun Run from 7am and explaining the change of the route, Makawa — himself a former marathoner — said this is according to new international standards to have loop laps marathons, saying the previous route had very high gradients of above 1m per kilometre.

He also said as a new route, the race will only be open to residents in Malawi and not international athletes as the route awaits certification by world athletics governing body.

The previous route was from Ginnery Corner Round About where the athletes branch off towards Kwacha Roundabout  from Chichiri Roundabout all the way to MBC TV, past St. Columbus CCAP Church and all the way to Kudya trading centre.

At Kudya, the route headed towards Zingwangwa and all the way to Stella Maris Secondary School where it turns towards Moneymen Club then past Catholic Institute (CI) and reaching Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre Central Business District.

Then it turned to what is popularly known as Kandodo Corner Shop where it branches off to Mbayani heading all the way to Kameza Roundabout before turning towards Machinjiri turn off where there is the Ernegem Filling Station.

The route then headed into Machinjiri, past Luanda Trading Centre; Area 5; Mkolokoti, Makhetha before joining the road from Zomba and going down past Lever Brothers; past Maselema Roundabout and reaching Chichiri Roundabout where it branches off Makata road and enter into Kamuzu Stadium for the finish line in front of the VIP Stand.

Chikondi Mwanyali

For the 2023 edition, all eyes would be on athlete Chikondi Mwanyali, who won the 3rd edition of the Standard Bank Be More Race — thereby breaking the Kenyan domination of the event.

The 20-year-old Mwanyali, a rising star after he also won the Mzuzu City Hall Marathon in March, finished in 1:5:45hrs and was joined by fellow compatriots in the top three positions of the 21km men’s half marathon — Mphatso Nadolo on second position in 1:05:52 while Chancy Master was third in 1:06:06.

Mwanyali attributed his win to hard work and passion, saying he is happy to have ended the Kenyans’ dominance in the half marathon, describing it as a great day for him and Malawi athletes.

“We have done it and I have done it,” he said said after the race. “Competition was tough — For one to succeed in a marathon you need to be disciplined, work hard and also have a good diet. The achievement today will help inspire me to achieve more,” said the Civo Racing Club athlete.