Our History.

Our History.

The Econet Victoria Falls Marathon in Zimbabwe was first proposed by Wild Frontiers in 2005. The buy-in of the local Tourism Board and the Athletics Association was quickly forthcoming and Wild Frontiers drew in local tour operators in Victoria Falls to partner in the event management. This has since become a highlight of the African running calendar and grown year on year since its inception.

The first event, in 2006 was very small (around 300 entrants in total) and consisted of mainly local runners. Sponsorship was also limited – the harsh economic conditions at the time in Zimbabwe made us make use of the ‘barter ‘system, for a lot of sponsorship deals – beer, water, flights etc. were all supplied rather than cash.

In 2010 the improved economic situation allowed for better numbers and now the event is fully on the map, consisting of a full, half, relay race (10.5 x 2) and approximate 7km fun run. It’s an entirely unique event. No other race can boast a route that starts by running over an iron bridge in the spray of Victoria Falls, cutting through a World Heritage Site and having the possibility of seeing big game such as elephant along the beautiful route. For visitors, in the surrounding areas you have all you could ever want: game viewing safaris, boat cruises, walking safaris, canoeing, white water rafting, horse riding and more.

In 2020 during restricted travel because of  Covid-19, we organised the Vic Falls Virtual Marathon – an exciting period in the event’s lifespan.  This event offered a different dynamic to the event – notably the fact that anyone, anywhere in the World could enter and enjoy being ‘part of the Thunder’.

We could not have done this without some great sponsorship support over the years and Zimbabwe’s top companies have all helped us to make this event a success.

As well as being a great breeding ground for the local talent, the event draws quality runners from neighbouring countries, and from around the world – with up to 40 nationalities attending the event. Apart from the sports  element, the event has a big pay off in the region. Sponsors have used it to build their Corporate Social Responsibility around the event and the economic benefits to the country and the region are huge. There is also a change of lifestyle across the country, with many more people taking up running to keep healthy and socialise.

Who would have believed an idea way back in 2005 would lead to such a successful event and lasting heritage in the region. We foresee this event growing more and more each year and becoming one of the world’s foremost destination marathons.