Wilson Billhawer Okanguindi-History was re-written when the popular Okanguindi village situated in the vast Otjozondjupa Region held its sixth annual mini marathon over 9.5km. The race, held on the 23rd of December, attracted lots of participants with the magnitude of its fast growing popularity taken it to an unprecedented level that saw a record 200 athletes enter the competition, an incredible increase of 120 from last year. Other nearby villages such as Omaupa, Otjikango, Okomutenya, Ovitjete, Otjinene, Onaanda and Okauha also joined the fray. In what was supposed to be a walk in the park in the main category (16-39 years men’s run) for defending champion, local favourite Tjeja Tjejamba from Ovitjete, turned out to be a fiercely contested battle of blood, sweat and tears with two fairly unknown enthusiastic runners giving the local boy a good run for his money. The pair of Arnolus Tjihuro (Otjinene) and Herman Kathima (Onaanda village) had the appreciative crowd on their feet as the trio were in full steam to tumble the record. The drama did not end there, as the ladies duly returned the complement to their male counterparts by producing the same spark if not better, with Otjikango village claiming all three podium spots while the record also tumbled in the process. In the men’s walking category, title holder and local favorite Perinai Kamundu retained his title for the third time in succession, while Maandero Riruako claimed honors in the ladies division in a photo finish. Overall, the gathering was a vast improvement from the previous five years with participants enjoying the open invitational race where anyone from four years to the age of 70 could partake. Interestingly, there were two main different categories from which participants could choose to compete in either the walking or the running disciplines. Kids under the age of 10 and the elderly were allocated half the distance to cover (5km), while the rest were obliged to complete the full distance of 9.5km. As has become customary, several water points were visible along the route while volunteers from the local community availed their cars for emergency services. Upon completion of the race, various prizes including medals were donated by the working young people hailing from host village Okanguindi and other areas in support of this noble cause. The biggest sponsorship came from Heavy-K Consulting Engineers of Olgin Hewicke (N$5,000); followed by Marley Tjitjo Architects (N$3,000); Hungiree Trading and Publishing Investment (Wilson Billawer (N$2,500) for medals, trophies and breakfast; Roger Kambatuku (N$2,000); Otjiwa Poultry Farming (Javier Kerii, N$850); Barrie Watson Town Planner (N$500); Olavi Makuti Environmentalist (N$100); Okanguindi residents and registration fees (N$850). The financial proceeds enabled the main age category (16-39) to receive N$1,000, with 2nd and 3rd places walking away with N$800 and N$600 respectively on top of medals for the three top winners in each age category.
2018-01-10 10:04:26 8 months ago