Kauanivi and Aimwata win marathon

Inaugural Sanlam Coastal Marathon attracts hundreds

30 April 2018 | Sports

About 400 runners participated in the inaugural edition of the Sanlam Coastal Marathon at Swakopmund on Saturday.

The event offered a 10km run, a 21km half-marathon and a 42km marathon.

Mynhard Kauanivi (Nampol) crossed the finishing line first with a time of 2:19:35.37 in the open section for men and won the full (42km) marathon.

Erich Goeieman (Road Runners Walvis Bay) was second with a time of 2:21:52.81 and Sakaria Shifotaka (Namibian Correctional Services) was third with a time of 2:26:21.51.

The top three finishers set the pace from the onset and followed each other closely. It was a neck-and-neck race until Kauanivi opened a 200m gap with approximately 6km to go.

Kauanivi said he enjoyed the race and that the weather played along.

“The cars on the route were however disturbing and I had to run on the road and at times next to it. I am however happy with my time since this is my first marathon for the year.

“I can now focus on preparing for the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon, the Victory Races and the Sam Nujoma Marathon,” said the champion, who started running in 2003.

“My ultimate aim is to qualify for the World Championships next year.”

He acknowledged his coach, Dankie Iyambo, for getting him into top shape for competitions.

Kauanivi has won two 21km races in Swakopmund and Windhoek and a 10km run in Oshakati since the beginning of this year.

Goeieman slipped and took a tumble, injuring his knee with 5km left to the finishing line. He picked himself up and continued to the finishing line.

Ottile Aimwata (NDF) was the fastest woman in the full marathon with a time of 2:51:09.80.

Beata Naigambo (Nampol) followed in second place with a time of 3:10:09.43 and Sofia Nambabi (Namibian Correctional Services) was third with a time of 3:14:22.10.

The two winners of the 42km runs pocketed N$15 000, plus automatic participation in the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon. The second-place finishers received N$10 000 each and the third-place finishers N$5 000.

The men's half marathon (21km) was also a closely contested affair with Rainhold Tomas Shigweda emerging as the winner in a time of 1:05:55.08.

Jeremia Shaliaxhwe finished second with a time of 1:05:58.78 and Matheus Kadhingula third with a time of 1:06:02.86.

Lavinia Haitope was the first woman to cross the finishing line section with a time of 1:19:58.33. Anna Amutoko was second with a time of 1:27:56.94 and Ester Haitope was third with a time of 1:28:05.44.

The winners of the half-marathon received N$5 000 each; the second-place finishers N$3 000 and the third-place finishers N$2 000.

Thomas Shigweda won the men's 10km race in a time of 30:46.48. Paulus Daniel finished second with a time of 30:49.07 and Cornelius Nghiynedele third with a time of 30:51.61.

Leena Ekandjo (Nampol), who finished 12th at the Commonwealth Games recently, was the fastest woman over 10km with a time of 37:39.94.

Salmi Nduviteka (Nampol ) finished second with a time of 38:31.67 and Victoria Kaliteka (Kadhinwa Running Club) was third with a time of 40:08.19.

The two winners of the 10km run each received N$2 000. The second-place finishers earned N$1 000 and the third-place finishers N$500 each.

Frank Slabbert of Swakop Striders welcomed the event and said it was always exciting to host another top-class marathon.

He added that the organisers would definitely use another route for the event in future and mentioned the Henties Bay road as a possibility.

Athletics Namibia and the Namibia Sports Commission endorsed the event, which attracted competitive athletes from several clubs around the country and fitness enthusiasts from as far as South Africa.

Sanlam marketing and communications manager Hilaria Graig said the company decided to start its own home-grown marathon to ensure that more talent is unearthed and that the Sanlam Coastal Marathon would become an annual event.

Prior to introducing this marathon, Sanlam had been sending athletes such as Commonwealth gold medallist Helalia Johannes, Mynhardt Kauanivi, Ndehimona Ekandjo and Uveni Nawa Kuugongelwa to the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

OTIS FINCK