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Riders and runners had to battle wet and muddy conditions in the first race of the 2020 Gravel and Dirt MTB Marathon series

Riders and runners had to battle wet and muddy conditions in the first race of the 2020 Gravel and Dirt MTB Marathon series

Undeterred by the rain, 340 athletes turned up on Saturday at Okapuka near Windhoek for the first event in the 2020 Gravel and Dirt MTB Marathon series.

The race was for riders covered either a 65km full or 35km half marathon. Runners had the option of a 20km or a 10km route.

At 08:00 when the race started it was still raining. This created wet and muddy conditions which in turn produced some spectacular mountainbiking.

Alex Miller, riding in the Elite Men’s category, crossed the finishing line first for the 65km race in a time of 02:39:42. Second was Xavier Papo in 02:46:25 and third Bergran Jensen in 02:51:51.

Among the women, Courtney Liebenberg was first in a time of 03:15:45 followed by Irene Steyn in 03:26:10 and Cindy Rowland in 04:31:25.

In the 20km Men’s category for runners, Immanuel Mwatwoshive crossed the line first with a time of 01:29:07. He was followed by Nesley Gawaseb (01:29:10) in 2nd and Wesley Pieters (01:40:10) in 3rd. Michelle Pretorius ran an amazing race taking the podium in the 20km Women’s run with a time of 01:33:32. In 2nd place was Benita Kasch (01:49:32) followed by Lydia Thiel (01:56:21) in 3rd place.

At the prize giving ceremony, main sponsor Hollard Namibia was thanked for their support to grow Namibian MTB to what it is today. Other sponsors are Build-it, Cymot, Namibia Breweries, Food Lovers Market and E-Med Rescue 24.

The next event in the series is the Midgard MTB & Run on Saturday, 14 March 2020. Entry can be done online at https://raceday.events/gravel-dirt-mtb-series/.


Caption: Courteny Liebenberg (left) took the honours among the women in Saturday’s 65km MTB race at Okapuka. Alex Miller (right) was the fastest man of the day.


 

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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.

Rain Rate >UTC + 2 hrs = Namibian Time<