Desert Triathlon gears up for Swakopmund

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South African triathlete Brad Venter claimed overall 2nd place last year and will be back again this year in his pursuit of a first finish on the podium in the ultra event.

  SWAKOPMUND – The coastal holiday town of Swakopmund will once again play host to the annual FNB Desert Triathlon (swim/bike/run) on December 8.

As a result of hectic traffic on Saturdays, organizers have resolved to reschedule the race for Sunday.

The competition kicks off from the Swakopmund Mole with a swim in the chilly Atlantic Ocean to be followed by cycling in the Namib Desert’s salt roads.

The recently rehabilitated salt roads make for particularly fast surfaces especially on the downwind section, also offering the perfect opportunity for runners as they embark on the scenic paths meandering alongside the beach while enjoying the cool and fresh winds blowing off the sea.

Veteran top international triathlete Glen Gore, who won the veterans category last year, has confirmed his presence at this year’s event. “What a fantastic event! Namibia certainly has some hospitable people and the town of Swakopmund welcomes people with open arms. The cycle route is surprisingly flat and smooth considering the lack of tarmac. A steady headwind on the way back to the run transition zone suits the stronger bikers. Overall a great venue, I would certainly rate this as one of those must do races.”

Another triathlete, Russell Nugent, who also took part last year said he looks forward to such an awesome event, adding: “If I had to choose between the 70.3 (ultra distance triathlon in SA) I’d choose Swakopmund. It wouldn’t even be close.”

The FNB Desert Triathlon offers a choice of three distances. The ultra distance (1.9km/90km/21km), a standard distance (1km/40km/10km) and a sprint distance (400m/20km/4km).

Athletes can also team up with athletes in other disciplines to enable them to complete the entire event.

OTB Sport, the organizers of the event say they have promoted this year’s event in South Africa and further abroad in a bid to attract more entries to the ultra section of the race.

A total of 250 participants are expected this year with a strong increase in numbers in the ultra distance.

The FNB Desert Triathlon offers close to N$46 000 in prizes, which include cash prizes, vouchers, trophies and medals. The top prize is for the winner of the ultra event, who will receive N$4 500.  The first 230 entries will receive a Puma  T-shirt.

All entries and further information are online at www.otbsport.com.

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