Kazungula Bridge Marathon, Water Under The Bridge

Kazungula Bridge Marathon PIC: FB
Kazungula Bridge Marathon PIC: FB

One of the major talking points from the recently held FNB Kazungula Marathon was the lack of sufficient water points. Athletes pounded the grounded in sweltering heat, with little hydration.

Where water was available, complained one runner, it was like it was straight from a boiling kettle. The shortage of water during the marathon is an irony as Kazungula is a water paradise, with gallons and gallons flowing from the mighty Chobe and Zambezi rivers.

However, marathon runners who converged in the border location were left high and dry. Some took to social media to vent their frustration as it remains a mystery how the organisers failed to tap into the abundant fresh resource. Hosting the Kazungula marathon makes a lot of sense from whichever perspective you look at it from.

It would not be off the mark to expect the event to become one of the highlights in the sports calendar. It could reach the same cult status enjoyed by the Toyota Desert Race, which, well, is currently in exile in South Africa. With the Desert Race having abandoned the local shores and now flirting with South Africa’s Upington, this could present a perfect opportunity for the Kazungula marathon to win the hearts of hurting sport fans. The Desert Race and the Kazungula Marathon are the true embodiment of sport tourism. Kazungula is a quadripoint where four countries meet over a vast undulating landscape. It is in Kazungula where you find the nearly one kilometre-long iconic bridge that connects Botswana and Zambia. The bridge is a must-see modern day architectural masterpiece.

Kazungula is also known for its variety of wildlife species, which freely roam the streets and the wild. The area is a dream destination for many, with tourists flying from overseas for a safari adventure. Against such a background, the organisers could not have chosen a more ideal location. The marathon, other than being a sport event presents abundant opportunities for the tourism sector. The scores who descended on Kazungula for the marathon and other aligned activities should have had only glorious moments from the event. However, the scarcity of water in the middle of plenty, emerged to literally and figuratively water down the event.

But the organizers would hope the issue is now be water under the bridge. The organisers should see and utilize the water under the Kazungula Bridge as they prepare for next year’s edition.

That could create a mouthwatering prospects for runners. It cannot be a case of runners being beggars on a beach of (water) gold. That said, the organisers should not be stoned for the teething problems, instead they need to be encouraged. Yes, they should have paid particular attention to the finer details, and involved those with experience in organizing events of this magnitude. But the water and other challenges should not be a train smash.

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