Reonard Namupala, running for the Namibia Defence Force (NDF), won the Rössing Marathon National Championship 2015 in cool, misty conditions in Swakopmund on Valentine 's Day. In what most of the participating athletes labelled ideal weather conditions for long distance running, the winning times were closer to the marathon's records than in many years before. Namupala won in 2:19:57, eight minutes outside of Luketz Swartbooi's record of 2.11.23 and more than six minutes faster than last year's winning time of 2:25:14. Namupala said after the race: "I have participated in the Rössing Marathon a number of times before, but this is my first win in the event. As usual it was a tough race. I am glad to finally be the national champion."
Ladies Open marathon winner Alina Armas (left) and Men's Open marathon winner, Reonard Namupala (right)
with Rossing MD Werner Duvenhage (middle).
Reonard Namupala - Rössing Marathon National Championship 2015 winner.
Reonard Namupala (right - Number 18) - Champion - Rössing Marathon National Marathon 2015
The NDF team continued their dominance over the last couple of years at the marathon with both the second and third places in the Men's Open category also going their way. Aron Tjivambi and Elifas Shuuya came second and third in 2:24:53 and 2:41:23 respectively.
In the Ladies Open marathon category it was the formidable Alina Armas, aslo from the NDF club, who came first in 2:40:09. Last year she won the same category in 2:48:58. This was the third straight victory for Alina at the Rössing marathon. She was followed by Ottilie Aimwata with a time of 2:57:27 and Julia Jansen van Vuuren in 3:19:25.
In the 10km Run, a drove of Namibia's top long distance athletes challenged each other for top honours. It was Reinhold Tomas of the Namibian Police (Nampol) who eventually took the crown for the men in a time of 0:30:50, with Simon Shipingana of NDF second in 0:30:59 and Uveni Kuugongelwa, another NDF athlete, coming third in 0:31:04. For the ladies, Anna Amutoko of the NDF was the champion over ten kilometres in 0:33:58, followed by Beata Naigambo of Nampol in 0:33:59 and Helena Iipinge of the NDF in 0:37:55
This year the annual Rössing event drew over 300 entries in all categories, and has grown to become an important preparative event for runners planning to take part in the upcoming Two Oceans and Comrades marathons in South Africa.
The Men's and Ladies' Open marathon winners received N$10 000 cash each as well as a development bonus worth N$20 000 each, for the continued development of the athletics careers of these two champions over the remainder of the long distance running season in 2015.
Speaking at the main price giving ceremony after the event, Rössing's managing director Werner Duvenhage said: "The Rössing marathon forms part of our commitment to promote healthy lifestyles in the mine's neighbouring communities. We are also proud to re-commit to the development of professional athletes in Namibia. The development bonus was introduced in 2010 and this is the fifth year that Rössing is investing in the future of our country's sporting heroes. We are pleased to see so many health conscious participants from all over Namibia and beyond our borders at the marathon championship."
The fun filled 5km Fun Walk in aid of the Cancer Association of Namibia was supported by over 210 walkers from the coastal community and walkers from as far as Windhoek and even the United States. During the Fun Walk prize-giving, prizes were given in various categories, including for the oldest walker who was 87 years old and the youngest walker, at 5 years.
The event, hosted in Swakopmund by Swakop Striders Athletics Club and sponsored by Rössing Uranium, promoted healthy lifestyles with the theme for this year being "Walk or run and live a healthy life."
Issued by Corporate Communication
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