Keeping the running passion alive

Athletes who have not seen much action this year are encouraged to keep working hard as things can return to normal in the near future.

15 September 2020 | Sports

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa

WINDHOEK



Senior sport officer in the Erongo Region and race event organiser Berthold Karumendu has pleaded with athletes to keep their passion alive.

While non-contact sport has been allowed to resume under the coronavirus state of emergency regulations, the race organiser maintained that their decision to cancel all events still stands.

Karumendu, who has been at the helm of many long-distance events, added that he hopes runners will not be discouraged by the fact that sports have been on halt in the country.



'Better days are coming'

Many athletes have not been able to enjoy their routine competitions this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Karumendu is, however, confident that things will get back to normal and said athletes should keep their hopes alive.

“It was indeed a tough year for us and many of the athletes who like competing in big competitions.

“Under any normal circumstances, we all had hope that the long-distance events would grow bigger this year.

“My encouragement to athletes is that better days are still coming and they must not give up hope,” Karumendu said.



Tough decisions

In June, Karumendu and stakeholders had to make tough decisions to cancel top races that were on the cards for the remainder of the year.

“The decisions we made in June still remain the same because we do not want to risk anyone at this time.

“The situation is beyond our control and there is definitely nothing we can do but to prioritise the safety and health of the athletes,” he noted.

The second edition of the Spar National 10km Championship was one of the races cancelled this year.

The event, which was only launched last year, was scheduled to take place in Oshakati on 29 August.

Last year, the inaugural race attracted 924 athletes from all over the country.



Other cancelled events

Meanwhile, the seventh edition of the Navachab Half-Marathon (21.1km) Challenge, initially slated for 19 September, was another event cancelled due to the pandemic.

The popular Erongo Street Mile will now be held on 16 October 2021 in Omaruru.

The event was initially scheduled for 17 October at the town.

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