Thomas and Haitope win Navachab half-marathon

Namibia Correctional Service (NCS) athlete Reinhardt Thomas and Lavinia Haitope of the Namibia Police were on Saturday crowned champions of the sixth edition of the Navachab Half Marathon in Karibib.

Thomas came first in a time of one hour, six minutes and four seconds (1:06:02), beating Simon Paulus who came second in 1:06:04, while last year's winner Kefas Kondjashili was third in 1:09:01.

The women's category saw Lavinia Haitope retaining the title she won for the past two years with a time of 1:16:05.

Alina Armas of the Namibia Defence Force came second in 1:18:01 and Anna Amutoko, came third in 1:19:03.

Over 500 athletes from Khomas, Omaheke, Zambezi, Kavango East and West and the host region Erongo participated in this year's event.

The male athletes started the race at a high speed and by the 10-kilometre (km) mark most of the athletes started dropping out of the leading pack. It was just Thomas and Paulus who were in the lead as they opened up a big gap after 11km into the 21,1km race.

With five kilometres to go the Thomas increased the pace even more, breaking away from Paulus, who also increased his gap to the chasing pack.

Speaking to Nampa after the race, Thomas said this was the first time he won the Navachab Half-Marathon.

The route was flat and easy while going but it was a bit tough when we came back because the wind was really strong and kept pushing us back. But I am happy I won the title for the first time while in the same event as the defending champion, he said.

Haitope, who won the women's race, said she did not have much of a challenge as she ran her own individual race like last year.

The wind was really strong today and it was cold in the morning. At two-kilometre I started breaking away from the group and had my own race then. My goal now is to keep feet for the Spar Marathon that will be held in the North and also compete in the street mile in Omaruru, she said.

Race organiser and regional sports officer for Erongo, Berthold Karumendu was satisfied with the outcome of the race.

In terms of logistics, everything went accordingly, even though we did not have all the best athletes in the country in the 21.1km race because most of them competed in the five-kilometre run, he said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency