The Pick n Pay Mokolodi Scorpion Mountain Bike Race, 2010 edition, makes a comeback this September.
The race, popularly dubbed ‘the race with the sting in the back’ due to its gruelling finish on the hill known as the World’s View, will be held on Sunday, September 19th at the Mokolodi Park.
Speaking in an interview with Telegraph Sport, Peter Sekwale of the Gaborone Cycling Club said this year’s race has been sponsored to the tune of P40┬á000 by Pick n Pay supermarkets.
Sekwale said that for this year, the race will also have a newly incorporated 5 km race for kids, adding that this was done to accommodate the kids who always come to the race and want to take part.
For the first time, a floating trophy, known as the Pick n Pay floating trophy, will be awarded to the event’s overall winner. This will be in addition to the Fabian Gordon floating trophy, which is awarded to the first Motswana to make it across the finish line.
Another new addition to this year’s race will be the introduction of more stalls and a craft market where people can buy food and curios. Commenting on the race’s course, the race competition coordinator, Marius de Wet, said the entire race will be run inside the park.
de Wet informed The Telegraph that for this year, there will be three main categories: the 60 km race, 20 km and the kids’ 5 km race.
He says the 60 km race route will include, among others, single track routes and gravel route before it ends at the top of the hill to give it a sting.
He, however, pointed out that the 20 km race will have a different route with the only similarity being that it will also end with the ascension to the World’s View hill.
The race coordinator says in view of the hazards that go with mountain biking, they have taken precautions to ensure the safety of participants. According to de Wet, they will have three medical aid kits to provide aid should the need arise. He added that they will also have an emergency medical service company on standby to help when needed.
Angus Boxshall-Smith, who won last year’s veterans category is the race’s overall winner defending champion while South African Nevelle Van Zyl is the race’s open winner.
Despite being a veteran, Boxshall-Smith registered a better time of 2 hrs 33 minutes to be the overall winner while the younger van Zyl made a time of 2 hrs 39 minutes to win the open race.
The defending champion for the women’s race is South Africa’s Martine Nel, who currently resides in Botswana.
For all its gruelling finishes, however, the race will be a good outing for all even those who are not competing.
de Wet says it will be good for families to come to the event and enjoy the race as well as the scenery at Mokolodi Park. He says the park has beautiful game drives, views as well as picnic places for those who may seek adventure.