The marathon, in its second-year running known as the ‘Sam Nujoma Marathon’, has been downgraded to a half marathon 21km instead of the normal 42km marathon due to the many sister marathons such as the Old Mutual Marathon and others.
Head of the Organising Committee Commissioner, Amos Shiyuka told the media that the Office of the Founding President has been approached but that no confirmation has been communicated to them (organisers) as to whether or not Nujoma will attend the event.
“I think they still have to see if there will be any other pressing commitment for the Founding President on the day before finally letting us know,” said Shiyuka.
Namibia Sports Commission (NSC)’s acting chairperson, Vivienne Katjiuongua said during the media briefing late last week that now that the annual event has been demoted to a half-marathon, there will be no defending champions. Meaning that last year’s winners; Reinhold Iita and Helalia Johannes, will only defend their titles during the 2013 edition.
The half-marathon scheduled for Sunday will kick off at the Sam Nujoma Stadium at 07h00 and conclude at the Vegkop Stadium at the Windhoek High School.
Top-notch runners vying for the 21km-race will have the winners in both female and male categories pocketing a cool N$20 000 each, which is to date, the country’s biggest prize money since attaining her independence 22 years ago.
The second largest prize money is from Old Mutual sports series of which the series’ overall winners take home N$15 000 in both the female and male categories.
It is not known how much will be dished out to the runners-up at the Sam Nujoma Marathon, as MTC, the official sponsor, injected a massive N$170 000-cash sponsorship while co-sponsor, Namibian Beverages, donated N$55 000 in kind and cash.
Shiyuka said 60% of the money from MTC will be used for the prize monies and logistics since only N$15 000 from the Namibian Beverages’ N$55 000 is in cash.
Interested persons are thus requested to register from the NSC’s head office in Eros, Athletics Namibia (AN), OTB Sports and Trophy outlets as well as from the Khomas Athletics.
Other categories are the 5km walk, 10km race of which registration fee is N$10 and N$20, respectively while registration for the half-marathon is N$30.
Participation for both the 5km and 10km categories will kick-start from the Windhoek High School after the main event.
Last year’s event held at the Independence Stadium attracted an impressive 400 enthusiasts.
Pundits says, the presence of the Founding President, Sam Nujoma, at the half-marathon this Sunday would undoubtedly inspire many upcoming long-distance runners from the country’s largest impoverished township.