Conquered trails for Gondwana Moonvalley Marathon

Off-road running
In the spotlight was Thomas Miller, who convincingly earned the title of men's marathon champion.
Precious Nghituanapo
The coastal town Swakopmund filled with energy and determination as well over a hundred runners laced up their shoes for the third annual Gondwana Moonvalley Marathon held on Saturday.

The uniquely scenic marathon saw seasoned athletes as well as first-time participants, individuals from all walks of life came together to partake in this spirited event, showcasing the spirit of unity and the fitness lifestyle.

The Moonvalley outside Swakopmund witnessed an electrifying spectacle as an astonishing 177 trail runners united for the third Gondwana Moonvalley Marathon.

The marathon featured various categories catering to runners of all abilities, including the full marathon (42 km), half-marathon (21 km) and shorter races of 10 km and 5 km. The 10 km and 21 km routes were favourites, attracting the most numbers of seasoned athletes and enthusiasts alike.

In the full marathon race, it was a display of sheer determination and resilience as runners pushed their limits to the finish line. In the spotlight was Thomas Miller, elder brother of the mountain biker Alex, whose unwavering pace and endurance earned him the sought-after title of men’s marathon champion. His victory in 3 hours 33 minutes 53 seconds was a testament to months of rigorous training and unwavering dedication.

Not to be outdone, participants in the half-marathon showcased their eagerness on the challenging course. Nicole Blaauw emerged as the women’s 21 km champion, her determination and grit propelling her to victory. On the men’s side, Willie van Zyl’s impressive performance secured him the top spot, ahead of Dionisus Britz by about nine minutes.

Abrosius Shiimi and national women’s hockey player Jivanka Kruger claimed victory in the 10 km category, while Thomas Miller and Julia Janse van Rensburg emerged victorious in the grueling 42 km race.

Acknowledging the outstanding performances, the podium-placed winners in each category were honoured with sought-after Gondwana accommodation vouchers worth N$10 000, N$8 000 and N$6 000. The prize-giving for the spirited 5 km run category featured a raffle of vouchers, leaving many faces beaming with joy.

Beyond the individual triumphs, the Gondwana Moonvalley Marathon was also a celebration of community and camaraderie. Volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the event, while local businesses and sponsors lent their support to make the marathon a resounding success.