Athletes call for changes to Erongo Powersave Street mile race

14 Oct 2017 15:40pm
OMARURU, 14 OCT (NAMPA) – Participants in the fifth edition of the Erongo Powersave Street mile race have called for changes to its structure to make it more competitive and attractive.
Speaking to Nampa at the end of the race, Erongo Powersave Street mile record holder Mynhardt Kauanivi called on the organisers to change the course to its inaugural format of 2013.
“When I set the record in 2013 it was a straight course, now they changed it to have a loop, which requires athletes to slow down at the turn before increasing the speed again. That works against breaking the course record for athletes,” he said.
He added that since Omaruru is one of the hottest places in Namibia and as such, the organisers must consider changing the programme line-up to allow senior athletes to race early in the morning while it is still cool instead of 10h00 or 11h00 as the heat makes it impossible for them to produce top class times.
Kauanivi, however, applauded the organisers for hosting the event which attracted marathon runners from Botswana, saying it made the event more competitive.
Race winner Kefas Kondjashili echoed Kauanivi’s sentiments, saying the heat is difficult to handle adding that incentives were needed to help motivate athletes to break the records.
“If they want us to break records, they must put incentives on the table to motivate the athletes. I can break the record, but what will I get?” asked the NamPol runner.
Kondjashili exemplified that he broke the record at the Navachab Half Marathon last year but was not rewarded for his efforts.
Responding to the athlete’s concerns, Berthold Karumendu welcomed the suggestions on behalf of the organisers, saying they will always look to improve the race while admitting that logistics will not allow for some of the changes to be made.
“On what technical aspect are they basing their argument on the route?” he asked, adding, “Athletics allows for straight and loop courses. We chose the loop course because everything is nearby because you start and finish at the same point.”
On changing the programme, Karumendu said if they have the main races earlier it means the spectators will run away before watching the juniors and veterans run.
The race organiser went on to thank the event sponsors such as Powersave, Marathon Sugar, First National Bank and the Directorate of Sport for supporting the event in cash or kind.
Karumendu promised a bigger and better race next year but added that more support is needed from corporate and Government for them to deliver a race of international standards.