The first MTB Winter Marathon to take place at the Ongeama River Game Farm under the joint stewardship of the Okahandja Cycling Club and P.A.Y. was a true celebration of mountain biking in Namibia. With 120 cyclists taking part and well over 200 guests, the event justifed the efforts put into bringing it to life.

Ongeama River Game farm

Invigorating, challenging, inspiring and fun-- these are some of the ways to describe the 2nd MTB event organised by the Okahandja Cycle Club and the first to be hosted by Clare and Steve Galloway in the awe-inspiring topography offered by the Ongeama estate, just 6km outside Okahandja on the road to Gross Barmen. The well-organised event allowed the cyclists to test their MTB prowess on the 21, 40 and 80 km trails while the spectators had the chance to enjoy a sunny Saturday over delicious sosaties and cool beverages.

Approximately 120 riders took part, double the number compared to the previous year. We hope this to be a portent of a future trend which will see Ongeama Game evolving into a hotspot of mountain biking in Namibia.

Start of the 80km men raceStart of the 80km men race.

Thomas Mabuku, the Sport Officer at the Directorate of Sport from the Ministry of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture launched the event, signalling the eagerness of the Ministry to support the initiative. Mr. Mabuku emphasised the inclusiveness of the event and how glad he was to see "[...] all the divsersity here, agreeing with the Prime Minister that Sport is the greatest equaliser. Sports is for all. There is no sport for individual colour, race, tribe etc. in Namibia. I am humbled by the grass root organisation of OCC and PAY and I am especially humbled by Clare & Steve Galloway who have chosen to host this pioneering event and give back to the community through grass root development". 

Organization of Ongeama game2014: MJ Ndimbira, P.A.Y Director,Doreen Koen, from the Okahandja Cycle Club and Steve Galloway, who hosted the eventDoreen Koen, from the Okahandja Cycle Club with MJ Ndimbira, P.A.Y Director
and Steve Galloway, who hosted the event at the Ongeama Game.

The fun ride of 21 km saw P.A.Y. junior road cyclist Sofia Simon win the race even though this was only her 2nd time on mountain bike. In the 80 km men category, Jojoe Hamunyela, member of the elite road P.A.Y. team took a solid 5th place while Isaak Hipitako from the PAY RMB MTB team finished 9th. In the 40km men category, Martin Sheya was 4th while his team mates Paulus Sheya and Riccardo Mangalie finished 8th and 11th respectively. Our junior rider Milano Jarman did well to finish 16th in the same category competing against much more experienced riders. The complete results are embedded in the .pdf below.

Junior PAY riders Sofia and Selma

Sofia and Selma, junior PAY road riders rising up to the challenge of mountain biking.
The event was covered by the NBC. You can see the evening news bulletin here: 

The official race results:

Ongeama Game - Winter marathon MTB challenge 2014 - Race results