Population Commends 5th Edition of Vasingi Women Community Mini Marathon Organisation
By Moki S.Mokondo for Fako UK/Fako News Centre
A mini marathon organised by women of a popular community group in Vasingi-Buea known as Blow Di Blow has grown into a crowd pulling public event. This year’s mini marathon that was in its 5th edition on March 7, 2020, with 350 registered athletes in five categories finallywitnessed the participation of271 runners. While the categories increased from three last edition to five in this edition, there was also a community Tug O’War that witnessed eight participating teams of 10 women each from the surrounding villages in Buea instead of two as was the case last year.
Pulling over a thousand spectators, the event that started on the eve of March 6, 2020, with traditional dances and other cultural animations ended on March 7, 2020 with attractive prizes to all participants. While the first five winners in each category went home with FCFA 50,000, FCFA 35,000, FCFA 25,000, FCFA 20,000 and FCFA 15,000 respectively, the first three groups for the Tug O’War also received FCFA 50,000, FCFA 40,000 and FCFA 30,000 respectively.
All participants in the two competitions were presented gifts and some special cash prizes awarded to the oldest participants during this eventthat was christened, Community at Heart.
Category Position Name Number of athletes participated
(20-29 years old) 1st NzalihahuGhanayui
3rd Betty Ikome
4th Emma Mojoko
5th Liengu Sarah
(30-39 years old) 1st Clarisse LikowoEkombi
2nd Nji Prudencia
3rd Chiogi Patience
4th Sarah Kanu
5th Nameh Pauline
(40-49 years) 1st Geraldine Iya
2nd Johan Elinge
3rd Martha Nolea
4th Emilia Muambo
2nd Enanga Frida
3rd Ebonge Frida
5th Susan Ndive
(60 and above) 1st Mojoko Susan
2nd Susan Namondo
3rd Johan Liengu
4th Hannah Mbonde
5th Sarah Namondo
It was 85 years old Ida Nekoli of Vasingi-Buea who finished the race as oldest participant. She also finished the race as oldest participant during the last edition. This year was special as in addition to a cash prize, she also went home with a trophy and other dash she received from the public. Another lady, Isuki Sophie, aged 78, was awarded a prize for being the second oldest participant.
Many who witnessed the event live or on TV or social media have hailed the organisers for the excellent organisation and resources put in place at all levels of the event. One of such, former Guinness Mount Cameroon Race champion, Reginald Esuka, while addressing the population stated that the organisation was one of the best he has witnessed even after taking part in international organised racing events. He pointed out that athletes in each category of the race and the Tug O’War teams could be distinctly identified from the colours of their T-shirts that also matched the colours of the rollers that carried their names. He added that the planning was well done and enough water and officials identified throughout the event to assist participants.
Mola Esuka recalled how he observed this mini marathon start five years ago with just about 50 athletes from around Vasingi-Buea, running, collapsing and abandoning the race along the way. According to him, the last three editions has witnessed a great transformation of the race into a major crowd pulling event. He praised the organisers for ensuring that there was a team of medical officials from the Buea Regional Hospital, other medical facilities and the Red Cross for any health emergencies. He noted that with all 271 participants completing the race is an indication that the women are now aware of this yearly challenge and therefore train and prepare which makes them fit for the competition.
In addition to the regular Fako Based Community sponsors of the event, Kareen and Friends Foundation, Fako News Centre and Sustainable Transenvironment International, this year’s edition also witnessed the support of Groupe SABC, made up of Les Brasseries Du Cameroun, Socaver and Semc.
The president of Blow Di Blow, Bridget Namondo, expressed gratitude to those supporting their group and call on other communities to immolate and organised similar events in the communities for recreation, relaxation and entertainment of the women. The event is usually organised as part of activities to commemorate the celebration of the International Day of the Woman.