Edson Kamwamba the Malawi’s International Mountain long distance (Ultra Marathon specialist formed an athletics club in mulanje, which is now preparing to take part in the forthcoming Blantyre City Marathon next month.
For now Mulanje Athletes Club has 20 athletes both male and female and Kamwamba says they are still receiving more interest.
Amongst them are this year’s Mulanje Mountain Porters Race men’s winner Evance Nyazule as well as Theresa Master and Dorothy Gawani, who came second and third respectively.
According to the training program we are following and based on their performance, I intend to field 15 runners of all the ‘men and six girls’ for the Blantyre Marathon.
The plan is to hit the Blantyre Marathon by storm. Two Mulanje athletes, Theresa Master and Doris Fisher came first and second last year and the rest of my squad are yearning to do well and monopolies the top 10 in both categories.
Master championed in a 3:19:49 while Fisher, who has since relocated to South Africa where she joined an athletic club, was runner-up in 3:20:37.
Fisher beat Master just last month during the Mulanje Porter race and this rivalry will definitely manifest itself again during the Blantyre Marathon.
Kamwamba, who rose to prominence in Ultra races whilst in South Africa, relocated back to his home in Mulanje last year in time for the Blantyre Marathon, in which he came 11th in his first-ever long road race, in which he clocked 2:50:53 hrs, some 23:43 behind the champion, Happy Nchelenje who finished in a time of 2:27:10.
He had said he was satisfied with his performance as he gained so much experience to be used for the next marathon that might come his way and it was part of his training for the Al Marmoom Ultra marathon in Dubai which participated in December.
“being my first long road race and that I didn’t know the route very well, I took it easy at the beginning until I reached the halfway mark from where I started pushing but I realise this was too late.
“In front of me there were several runners and I over took them and at the last checking point, I was told that I was 15th and I went on to overtake four more before entering into the Kamuzu Stadium.
“I have learnt quite a lot and I am happy that I am in the record book of the athletic association. I wished though I could have been inside the cut off time [which was set at 2:45hrs] but this was part of my training for Dubai race.
He just returned from a race in South Africa, the 100km Ultra trail Cape Town and also after racing the 44kms Table Mountain Challenge in which he came second.
The Al Marmoom Ultra marathon is dubbed the longest desert marathon in the world at 270kms.
Last month, he was in France for his second 90km Marathon du Mont Blanc finishing 14th position in Open male section and 18th on the Globe 2 (world class) in 12:57:25 a huge improvement from last year in which he came 20th in Open male and 32 on the Globe 2 in 14:5:25.
Some of the races he has been on the podium for include: Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km,Jongershoek Mountain Challenge 28km,Puffer 80km,Mont Blanc (France),Mulanje Porters 24km,Marloth Mountain Challenge 55km,Bartrun 30km,Table Mountain Challenge 44km,Dryland Traverse 110km and Salomon Bastillie Day 35km.
Born in Nchathu Village, Traditional Authority Nkahta in Mulanje District, Kumwamba became interested to become an athlete when he was just nine years old when his mother used to take him to watch the Mulanje Porters Race.
After doing his studies at DAPP vocational school in welding and fabrication, he left Malawi in 2002 for greener pasture in South Africa and since he still had the passion for running, he joined the trail racing club there where he rose to prominence.