Swakopmund — Zambian national Mathews Mutunya tumbled the old national record when he showed local competitors a clean pair of heels to clinch the annual Rio Tinto Rössing National Marathon in Swakopmund on Saturday.
Namibian long distance runner Tomas Rainhold from the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) finished adrift in second place behind the runaway Zambian, clocking a time of 2-hours-17-minutes-and-3-5 seconds - almost 2 minutes shy of Mutunya's record-breaking time of 02:16:5-2.
Anna Amutoko claimed top honours in the marathon ladies open category breaking the tape on 2-hours-53-minutes-4-5 seconds.
The gathering, proudly sponsored by Rio Tinto Rössing Uranium in conjunction with the Swakop Striders Athletics Club, was staged at Namibia's hunky coastal holiday resort Swakopmund in overcast, windless conditions starting at the Vineta sports fields before winding its way to the Henties Bay road.
The 27th edition of the annual marathon national championship was themed 'For the health of it!' Overall winners in the marathon were the proud recipients of N$10, 000 in both the men and ladies' open divisions.
For the first time in the history of the event a half-marathon (21km) was added to the menu and was well received. The fastest runner in the men's category of the half-marathon was veteran local middle distance athlete Mynhardt Kauanivi from Correctional Services in a time of 01:05:4-9.
The first lady to cross the finishing line was Lavinia Haitope from NamPol in a time of 1:16:05. Haitope retained her title after winning the event last year.
First across the line in the men's 10km open race was Matheus Kadhingula in a time of 30:16, with Salmi Nduviteko finishing first in the ladies category in a time of 38:58.
Approximately 285 walkers took part in the popular 5km fun walk in aid of the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN).