By John Tuerijama
NAMIBIA’S annual flagship road race, the Dr Sam Nujoma Marathon is scheduled for 27 August in the capital, and is anticipated to attract a huge interest, as local distance runners are expected to make use of the platform to prepare for major international events.
Earlier this year, Athletics Namibia (AN) failed to send a single marathon runner to major accredited International Associations of Athletics Federation (IAAF) events, such as the IAAF World Cross Country held on 26 March in Kampala, Uganda. Namibia also failed to feature any athletes at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, held in Valencia, Spain in March of this year.
Six Namibian marathon runners are currently at the IAAF World Championships which is underway in London.
Although the Dr Sam Nujoma Marathon is not a qualifying event for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, scheduled from 4 to 15 April in Queensland, Australia, AN President, Erwin Naimwaka, told Confidente that the event is also aimed at providing an opportunity to promote healthy lifestyle among Namibians.
“We believe that healthy lifestyles are strategic for our development, and for that reason the event is open to all, and we encourage all, including our parliamentarians to take part in the event,” he said. “We encourage corporates to take this opportunity and take part, as I also urge all the media houses to field their respective teams.”
Naimwaka said that the Dr Sam Nujoma Marathon is one of the country’s top events with good prizes, and that the athletes are looking forward to the race. At the launch of the marathon, Naimwaka encouraged athletes to make use of the platform and ensure that they give their best, as the prizes, courtesy of MTC, are quite decent.
He said the marathon is not only for competitive athletes, but it is an opportunity for recreational runners to participate and enjoy their running. Competitors are expected to compete in the 21km race, which will be contested by senior, veterans and masters of all genders.
The 10km race will also feature similar categories, while the 5km race is open to all, and there will also be prizes for the school with the most finishers in the 10km race. The winners in the 21km race will walk away with a cool N$ 10 000 (male and female), with the second and third-placed runners receiving N$ 8 000 and N$7 000, respectively.
The overall winners in the 10km race will pocket N$5 000 (male and female) while the runners-up will receive N$3000 and N$1 500, respectively.
The winners in the veterans, masters and school categories will also be rewarded for their sweat. MTC Manager for Sponsorship and Promotions, Joseph Mundjindji, said the company has injected a sponsorship of N$184 639 into this year’s edition of the Dr Sam Nujoma Marathon.
He said that MTC will continue calling on other corporates to come on board and assist sporting development in the country.
Mundjindji said that the more the corporates open their wallets to support sport in the country, the better it will be for Namibia.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015