Old Mutual Victory races to kick off in Keetmanshoop

Submitted by Namibia Sport on 23 June 2011 - 12:38pm

The first leg of this year's Old Mutual Victory Race Series will take place in Keetmanshoop on June 25 starting at the Keetmanshoop Stadium.

The race has traditionally been run in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Oshakati and this year Keetmanshoop was added as the fourth leg.

In their 11th year, Old Mutual decided to increase its total contribution from N$350 000 in 2010 to N$480 000.

Race organiser, Quinton Steele Botes said that most of the top marathon runners would take part in Saturday's race.

"I think there will be a huge competition between Beata Naigambo and Helalia Johannes in the women's race," Steele Botes said.

"In the men's race we will have Reinhold Iita, who I think is a better half marathon runner, Johannes Naitembu who was runner up in last year's series and Luketz Swartbooi who won the series last year," he added.

"At 44 years old, Swartbooi won the series last year and I think he will always be a factor where ever he competes. He has a lot of experience and I think the other runners should not forget about him especially over 21km."

The race features four age categories namely, under 15, 15 to 19 years, 20 to 39 years and the 40 and over.

The best overall junior athletes, male and female, will each receive an academic and sports bursary to the value of N$ 12 000, while the best overall athletes in the senior category will receive N$15 000.

The top athletes in the senior category also receive an all expenses paid trip to compete in the Two Oceans Marathon in Cape Town next year.

The overall category winners will be determined by taking the two best times of an athlete in the series. Athletes also need to participate in the final in Windhoek and at least one other event of the series.

The Swakopmund race will take place on July 16 followed by the Oshakati race on July 23. The Windhoek race will be last on 6 August.

"I think the Swakopmund race will produce the better times because it will be cooler and the course is mainly flat racing. The Windhoek race will be the toughest of the four because it will be a hilly course that will be used on the Daan Viljoen route," Steele Botes said.

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