More than 1,400 professional runners and running enthusiasts from Namibia, Ethiopia, and other African countries took part in the 5th Husab Cup Marathon in Namibia on Aug 3, breaking the record of total participants.
The event, known for its large scale, rich activities, and warm atmosphere, was hosted by CGN Swakop Uranium Co Ltd Foundation. This year, the theme was Fit for Life.
All full marathon runners were in place at 6 am and followed the instructions of the fitness coaches to warm up their bodies. They set off from the Namibian National Expressway B2 at 7 am for CGN’s Husab project site and returned to the start pointing. The route traversed deserts, rivers, and valleys.
In addition to running clubs of Windhoek and Walvis Bay, many Swakop employees joined the event. Li Denghui from the company’s hydrometallurgical plant, for instance, participated in the full marathon for the first time.
At 8 am, the runners of the 10-km and 5-km marathons dashed out of the starting line upon hearing the shot fired by Zhang Yiming, the Chinese ambassador to Namibia. The diverse group of runners not only included youth and middle-aged participants, but also seniors, children, and those with physical disabilities.
Israel Kalume from Walvis Bay participated in the Husab Cup Marathon for the fourth time. He has suffered from a lower limb disability due to an accident a dozen years ago. Naturally optimistic, he is active in participating in all kinds of activities, and tries to pass on his positive attitude to people around him.
Kalume said that he had participated in a lot of marathons, which has become a part of his life. He said that taking part in the Husab Cup Marathon made him feel good and he finished the 10-kilometer race in a wheelchair.
The marathon was also a fun event for local families, as young parents pushed their baby strollers to take part in the 5-km race.
At 9.30 pm, long distance runner Paulus Ndangi IIyambo from Windhoek crossed the finish line at 2 hours, 30 minutes, and 55 seconds. Also a professional athlete, Allina Armas was the women's full marathon champion, clocking in at 3 hours, 13 minutes, and 47 seconds. Cleophsa Mutjavikus, governor of Erongo Region, and Cai Yusheng, general manager of Swakop, presented trophies to them.
left 3: Allina Armas
Allina told reporters that this was her first time to participate in the Husab Cup Marathon in an interview after the race. Although the race is very difficult, she was delighted to win the championship and hoped to participate in the marathon again next year.
Paulus Ndangj IIyambo
left: Paulus Ndangj IIyambo
Paulus lauded the Husab Cup Marathon as the best in Namibia, praising its well-designed route, well-organized supplies, and significant prize money, which was 10,000 Namibian dollars for the first-place winner of the full marathon. He said that he would like to reward himself first and then buy some sports equipment with the prize.