Namibia’s FNB Desert Triathlon, now being held this month for the 29th outing, has again added some international flavour to its participant base. The event, which takes place on Sunday 6 December, has been boosted by an increase in prize money that title sponsor, FNB Bank, has injected. According to the organizing team, this has helped to attract some top athletes from around the world.
From the days when the race first started in 1986, the organizing team notes that triathlon in Namibia went through ‘a bit of a dip’. The partnership between FNB Bank and race organizer OTB Sport, over the last 8 years, has ‘assisted in the growth of triathlon in Namibia.’
2015 is expecting to see a strong turnout with a least 20 international triathletes visiting Namibia for this year’s FNB Desert Triathlon, with another 250 Namibians also taking part.
Distinguished by the Namib Desert along the Atlantic Ocean coast, Namibia in southwest Africa, remains an emerging triathlon market – often seen in the shadow to the more established South Africa. Helping the growth of the sport in Namibia, OTB Sport notes that ‘the female side of triathlon has grown tenfold over the last 10 years.’
“The first races we organised,” said Yvonne Brinkmann of OTB Sport. “We only saw a handful of female entries. It was difficult to create categories. All you had to do was to take part to get a prize. Today almost half the participants are females.”
The route for the 2015 FNB Desert Triathlon will stay the same as in 2014. The sea conditions are expected to be less rough than last year, where the route had to be changed on the morning of the race because the buoys had been swept away by furious seas.
Wind conditions will be windy as usual, making the cycle section hard. The run is along the sea in a loop with a slight sea breeze keeping athletes cool along the way.
OTB Sport has thanked title sponsor FNB for its continued support over the last 8 years. OTB has also thanked OCNAM for assisting with bike logistics and bike route water tables, Vigo for sponsoring the finisher drinks and Herco Marketing for sponsoring all water table drinks.
There are three FNB Desert Triathlon distances: the ‘Light’ sprint distance race, which involves a 400m swim, 20K bike ride and 3K run; the ‘Standard distance’ (1K swim, 40K bike, 10K run) and the ‘Ultra’ (1.9K swim, 90K cycle and 21.1 K run).