20 August 2012 By Oiva Angula

Inaugural Telecom Namibia Windhoek City Run attracts 500 enthusiasts

Nearly 500 runners and walkers converged in sunny conditions at the Doc Jubber Hockey Field in Windhoek to take part in the Inaugural Telecom Namibia Windhoek City Run on Sunday.

Runners ranged from the young to an 83 year-old. For many, the aim is just to reach the finishing line. The Telecom Namibia Windhoek City Run was arranged for the first time in partnership with the Windhoek Harriers Club and Otb Sports. The former invited Telecom Namibia to sponsor the event as part of the company’s 20th anniversary activities.

The event featured the 42.2k marathon, as well as 21,1k and 10k runs and walk races, while the route chosen showcased the Mother City and some of its scenic landmarks.

According to the Chairman of the Windhoek Harriers Club Johan van Niekerk, the event is planned to become a part of the Windhoek City annual calendar, saying: With increasing public awareness, it will become a new name-card for our marvelous City of Windhoek.”

Telecom Namibia was the Title sponsor of the Windhoek City Run, while Coca Cola served as the official soft drink sponsor for the event.

"Telecom Namibia is pleased and honored to host the Inaugural Telecom Namibia Windhoek City Run," said Telecom Namibia MD Frans Ndoroma, who ran a red-hot race to claim the Grand Master Male title in the 10k category.

"Runners and walkers who participated have surely enjoyed the course, the spirited competition and time well-spent in our country's incredible Capital City. Next year we expect more participants from far and wide to enjoy the beauty of Windhoek," Ndoroma pointed out.

The highlight of the event was the 42.2k Marathon, which kicked off at 6.30 am. Embashu Phineas and Ndeshimona Ekandjo won the Men and Females’ first place in the Elite categories respectively, and Frans Erasmus and Ashew Ndivu won the first place in the Vet Male and Female categories respectively. Dieter Max Ester emerged as winner in the Master Male.

The 33-year old NDF Lance Corporal Sakaria Shifotoka bagged the Elite Male category in the 21.1k, with 34-year old Anna Hamukoto taking the title in the female category.

First place winners in the 21.1k series were as follows:

Title Run Walk
Elite Male Tobias Atoani Sakaria Shifotoka
Vet Male Kanu Alex Chidi Mathew Hoeb
Master Male Manie Ross Roly de Klerk
Grand Master Male John Cull Eric Marisch
Elite Female Anna Amukoto Rachael Akukotela
Vet Female Ida Calitz Ruusa Shipiki
Master Female Maritz Engelbratz Isle Burger

Winners in the 10k series were:

Title Run Walk
Elite Male: Kauanivi Mynhardt Simon Shaninara
Vet Male Ryan: Syser Wonnie Bock
Master Male: Nelson Mushariwa Werner Sell
Grand Master: Male Frans Ndoroma
Elite Female: Melissa Papgis Drerdo Esterhugsen
Vet Female: Madelein Spies Jenny Mostert
Master Female: Betty du Plessis Maryke Am

The event was preceded by a gala dinner on Friday, which was addressed by the Telecom Namibia MD and guest speaker Andre Diederichs, a well-known public speaker and media personality who have published more than a 1000 business articles and six business books since 2002.

“As a corporate citizen, Telecom Namibia is very much willing to help out on an event that promotes health, fitness, and better lifestyle for Namibians,” Ndoroma said.

He said Telecom Namibia agreed to sponsor the event in order to reclaim the City of Windhoek for people to run through its streets and enjoy its beautiful scenery.

The event should be seen by corporate Namibia for their involvement as a long term project to promote the City of Windhoek nationally, regionally and internationally, he said.

“As part of Telecom Namibia’s 20th birthday celebrations, this sponsorship enforces our company’s commitment to the health of the nation and an investment in the people that make Telecom Namibia who we are,” he added.

Ndoroma said that Telecom Namibia would continue to promote healthy living at every opportunity and encourage not only our employees, but every Namibian to lead a healthy lifestyle.

“It is our duty as individuals and companies to combat inactive lifestyle and chronic conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes as we seek to create meaningful change in our communities and in our nation as a whole,” he said.

The Windhoek Harriers Club is also celebrating its 30th birthday this year.

Organisers assigned 100 marshals and volunteers to man the entire route and water points at intervals, as well as the professional services of the City Police Department and SOS to secure event order and safety.

“I am happy the inaugural Telecom Namibia Windhoek City Run was very informative, a learning curve and we have had great feedback from those who participated. Together with our partners, we will be able to build on their input,” Ndoroma said.

“I thank all the participants and all the volunteers for making the day a success,” he concluded.

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