Namibia’s long-distance runners who qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics will use the Rössing Marathon National Championship taking place on 13 February as a springboard to test their fitness.
The four marathon runners Mynhardt Kawanivi (Men’s marathon) and Anna Amutoko, Alina Armas and Beata Naigambo (Women’s marathon) have often used it as the start of more intense preparation for international competitions.
“Namibia’s top longdistance runners have long used the Rössing Marathon National Championship as preparation and for qualifying for big, international races in the region, such as the Comrades and Two Oceans’ marathons in South-Africa. We wish all our athletes a very successful year in sport, and will be monitoring the progress of our national marathon champions throughout the year,” said Rossing Uranium Limited’s general manager: Organisational Resources, Leah von Hagen.
Reonard Namupala, running for the Namibian Defence Force (NDF), won the men’s Open category last year in a time of two hours, nineteen minutes and fiftyseven seconds (2:19:57). The ladies’ Open champion was Alina Armas, who got married to Reonard in August last year. It was her third straight win in the category.
This will be the competition’s 25th anniversary, and on how it has kept its longevity, Von Hagen was upbeat, and stated that “Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium always strives to create positive social impacts where we operate, helping to improve living standards, health and wellbeing and education in our host communities.
"As part of the Rio Tinto Group, our approach aims to equip our partners to reap sustainable benefits during and beyond our operations.
"The Rössing Marathon National Championship is but one of a variety of activities which illustrate our commitment to being a responsible mining company, promoting healthy lifestyles and wellbeing for our employees, business partners and our neighbouring communities. The theme for this year’s Rössing Marathon is 'Live well! Be well!' ”
This year, the event will follow the same format as in previous years, but with an increase of N$25 000 in prize money (N$1 000 for each year of presenting the marathon since 1991) across the different categories of participation.
The winners of the Ladies’ and Men’s Open categories will receive prizes worth a total N$60 000, including N$10 000 cash each and an additional N$20 000 development bonus each.
The development bonus is meant to help the winners further their careers throughout the year of their reign as Namibia’s marathon champions. An extra N$1 000 cash bonus is up for grabs should the marathon records be broken in the Open categories.