Riders gear up to take on the gruelling Namib Desert – 4% increase in female participants
Nedbank Desert Dash, organisers are geared up and ready for the 24-hour race which will start on Friday, 6 December at 15h00 at the Grove Mall of Namibia and finish on Saturday, 7 December at the Platz Am Meer Shopping Centre in Swakopmund.
According to organisers, this year just over 1000 cyclists will take on the 373 kilometre journey through the mighty Namib Desert from Windhoek to Swakopmund.
This year there will be participants from 15 international countries. Just over 620 of the dashers will be Namibians, with South Africans just about half that number, totaling 339 participants. Germany accounts for 35 riders, with British cyclists the next largest contingent, with 6 entrants, the organisers said.
This year’s race will also see participants coming to our country from as far as Finland, Austria, eSwatini, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Spain.
Out of the 1022 riders who will take place in the Nedbank Desert Dash this year, 80% are male and 20% female riders, this is a 4% increase in female riders from last year.
“The number of young cyclists has also increase with 39 cyclists under the age of 20 taking on the mighty Namib Desert this year, opposed to only 27 last year. The age group with the most entries remains the 40s with almost a third of the entries. They are followed by the 30s and then the 50s. This year there are 39 participants in their 60s, eight in their 70s. The oldest participant this year is 81,” Nedbank said.
According to the organiser, it is estimated that theevent helps generate up to N$25 million, which enters the economy solely as a result of the visitors.