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Winter trail series gains popularity – more participants enter in event

Winter trail series gains popularity – more participants enter in event

The first Standard Bank/OTB Winter Trail series took place at Farm Godeis, some 75 km west of Windhoek, and attracted 420 participants.

Standard Bank’s Head of Marketing, Communications and CSI, Magreth Mengo said this was an increase compared to the 380 participants who took part in the last event.

“I am proud to see that a lot of people are participating in our annual Winter X-trails, it is not only testament to the fact that the X-trails are growing from strength to strength, but also that Namibians are serious about adopting a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

Mengo added that the Bank has been sponsoring the event for the past three years because it understands the important role physical activity such as trail running/walk plays in the physical and mental wellbeing of those taking part.

“We are committed to ensuring that people adopt a healthy lifestyle by aligning ourselves with the development of various sports in the country through sponsorships. Our X-trails are ideal for both professional athletes and amateurs who want to enjoy the beautiful scenery of nature away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If the scenery isn’t enough to sway you to the side of trail runners, perhaps the fact that nature is good for the emotional and mental wellbeing of all humans will sway you,” she explained.

OTB’s Yvonne Brinkman was equally pleased with the success of the first event, stressing that it had exceeded all expectations and that she anticipated the remaining X-trails would be even bigger.

“In 2017 we had around 380 entries and did not expect any further growth as the farm is fairly remote. We were very surprised and excited to exceed 2017 numbers and it is clear from the comments that people made at the first X-trail that they are very excited for the Standard Bank Winter Trail Series,” Brinkman said.

Owing to the fact that the Avis Trail is more accessible to the public, Brinkman said she expected to see between 700 to 800 people participating in the event. Last year the Avis trails had 646 participants.

“The Avis X-trail has beautiful routes in the mountains right on the cities doorstep. As with all the X-trail events in the series there is broad range of ages and ability; from your social to your more professional athlete. The routes offer something for everyone and for the more social participants it’s a great way to spend a Sunday with friends and family and to keep fit or work on your fitness,” she said, urging everyone to attend the next X-trail.

The Curly Duo, consisting of Vicky Dan and Madrinha Nyeemwatya, who participated in the 16km run, said they started taking part in the X-trails last year because they heard it was the ideal series for anyone who wanted to get into trail running and they are now committed to the series.

“The atmosphere is amazing because it is not just about the competition. It’s about the running community coming together to network and encouraging each other. Apart from the health benefits, I believe that the benefits of the X-trails are spiritual and mental because it overwhelms you with positive vibrations,” Dan said.

Nyeemwatya added that she enjoyed the X-trails because each trail is different and pushes you beyond what you think you are capable of. “If you are an adventure lover and want to challenge yourself then I urge you to participate in the X-trail series,” she stressed.

Pedro Mendoza, who won the men’s 16km run this year and was the overall winner of the X-trails series last year, said he was excited to win the K-H trails for the first time and it would motivate him to continue on his winning streak.

“I enjoy the Standard Bank X-trails because they are steadily developing trail running as a new trend for avid runners. I think the X-trails came at the right time, they are challenging physically but also have a social aspect that allows us to mingle with other runners. At the moment the series are quite young, but I hope they can make a mark and also develop in other events. I hope they can increase the winning prices so as to motivate a lot of people to compete,” he said.

The Avis X-trails will take place on 8 July, followed by the Windhoek Light Midgard X-trails for which Standard Bank is a co-sponsor on 5 August and the last in the series, the Dunes X-trails on 22 September at the coast.

Caption: Participants take off in the 16km run/walk during the first event in the Standard Bank OTB Winter Trail series, the Khomas-Hochland (K-H) X-trail, at Farm Godeis on Sunday, 3 June.

About The Author

Sport Contributor

The Economist does not have a dedicated sport reporter. This designation is used for several contributors who want their sport stories in the Economist. Experience has taught us that companies usually want their sport sponsorships published prominently, being the reason for a sports category. It now also carries general sport items but only those with direct Namibian relevance. - Ed.