A new national marathon champion was crowned when Paulus Iiyambo of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) sport club won the Rössing Marathon National Championship in a good time of 2 hours 19 minutes and 30 seconds over the weekend.
Sponsored by Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium and hosted by Swakop Striders Athletics Club, the event took place in overcast, windless conditions at a new venue the Vineta North sports fields in Swakopmund.
After his win, a confident Iiyambo said: “I’ve been participating here for a number of years so by now I’m almost used to the Rössing Marathon. My race was relaxed and the conditions were great.”
A media release by the event organizers said the defending champion, Reonard Namupala, came in hot on the heels of the winner and managed a respectable second place in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes and 31 seconds while Simon Shipingana finished third in 2 hours 23 minutes and 17 seconds, respectively.
In the Marathon Ladies Open category it was Namibia’s 2012 Olympic star and NDF competitor, Helalia Johannes, who burst back onto the victory scene with an impressive win over many younger competitors.
Helalia won in 2 hours 45 minutes and 20 seconds and still looked full of running after her victory. She said: “It feels great to perform well in the marathon again after focusing on the shorter distances during last year’s event. I am happy with my recorded time and still had energy left after the race. Thank you Rössing for another great event this year.”
Sofia Nambabi finished second in the Ladies Open Marathon with a time of 3 hours 6 minutes and 48 seconds and Julia Jansen van Rensburg third in 3 hours 17 minutes and 24 seconds.
The fast-paced 10 km Run was won by Kefas Kondjashii in a time of 30 minutes and 16 seconds slightly slower than last year’s winning time of just under 30 minutes. Kondjashii was followed by Tomas Rainhold in 30:18 and Jeremia Shaliaxhwe, last year’s winner from the Namibia Police (Nampol), with a time of 30:35.
In the 10 km Run Ladies Open it was Nampol’s super fit Lavinia Haitope who triumphed in 33:40, followed by Alina Armas (35:36) and Leena Ekandjo in a time of 37:46.
The winners of the open categories received prizes worth over N$70 000, which included N$10 000 cash each and an additional N$20 000 development bonus for the men’s and ladies’ marathon winners. The development bonus is to help the winners further their careers throughout the year of their reign as Rössing Marathon National Champions.
A record number of 109 marathon athletes entered the Rössing Marathon this year, with close to 300 entries in the 10km Run.
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