Windhoek — At the fairly advanced age of 37, Namibia's most recognisable long distance queen Beata Naigambo, has no intentions of hanging up her running shoes - at least not for the time being.
Boasting an impressive resume in road running races, the internationally acclaimed marathoner has represented her native land in almost all august gatherings worldwide.
She recently spoke to New Era Sports in an exclusive interview about her ups and downs as well as how the sport has transformed and shaped her as a person.
Naigambo is the epitome of perseverance, dedication, determination, discipline and more importantly commitment towards staying the course.
The mother of 18-year old daughter, fathered by fellow long distance roadrunner Reinholdt Ita, says she still enjoys hitting the road and has no immediate plans to call it quits.
"I've have a very strict training schedule and look after my body well whilst carefully keeping my diet in check; controlling my eating habits and also making sure I get enough sleep."
Apart from Namibia's legendary sprinter Frank Fredericks, Naigambo is arguably the most decorated local athlete having represented her native land in an immeasurable number of prestigious gatherings with a fair amount of distinction in an astonishing athletic career - stretching back over almost two decades.
Naigambo's announced her arrival when she stunned the world by smashing the course record at the high profile international marathon Olympic qualifier in Valencia, Spain in 2015, which was also her personal best (PB - 02:26:24).
She holds the record of representing her country in four different Commonwealth Multi Sports Games, complimented by three appearances at the quadrennial Olympic Games in Being, London and Rio - a feat yet to be matched by any local female athlete.
An astonishing fourth place finish at the multi sports Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India will go down in history as the highest position attained by any local long distance athlete (female) at international level.
New Era Sports quizzed the friendly, gorgeous queen of the road as to what has kept her intact after so many years on the track while others wavered.
"It's my secret, but on a rather a serious note, I'm always trying at all costs to avoid competing in too many races notably ultra marathons.
"One's body needs a decent recovery period and this is exactly were many long distance athletes go wrong because they tend to expose themselves to unnecessary fatigue," she says with laughter in her eyes.
However, her blossoming athletic career has also had its ups and downs, because Naigambo was at times severely exposed to harsh training conditions while she also sometimes had to endure well-orchestrated, systematic manipulation by unscrupulous athletic officials.
A dejected Naigambo almost lost out on a place for Team Namibia's participation at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia and it took the last minute intervention of sports authorities to secure her seat on the flight to the land of the kangaroos.
Naigambo, was deservedly rewarded for her invaluable contribution towards the growth of local distance running when she swept her competitors aside to claim the coveted prestigious Annual MTC Namibia Sports Commission (NSC) Sports woman of the year in 2016.