OMARURU, 13 OCT – Kefas Kondjashili from the Namibian Police Force (NamPol) won the sixth edition of the Erongo Street Mile Race on Saturday morning, retaining his title for the second consecutive year.
Kondjashili, who finished in a time of 4 minutes and 13 seconds (4:13), beat out competition from Reinholdt Tomas and Shaliaxwe Jeremiah, who finished second and third with times of 4:18 and 4:19 respectively.
Speaking to Nampa soon after the race, Kondjashili said the race was tough for him as it came shortly after he competed in a marathon race in Swakopmund last week.
“I was supposed to rest for at least two to three weeks but my coach decided that I must compete here and I did well. I led from start to finish. It was a bit hot but that is the reality of marathons,” he explained.
He called on the organisers to bring in more international athletes to compete with Namibians.
The NamPol runner also said next year he wants to break the course record, but urged the organisers to revert to the original straight course, compared to the current u-turn format.
“When Mynhardt Kauanivi set the record of 04 minutes 06 seconds, the race course was straight. Nowadays we have to make a U-turn at mid race, forcing us to reduce speed and lose valuable time in our quest to break the record,” Kondjashili explained.
He further called on athletics officials to give Namibians more international racing opportunities outside Namibia, saying marathon runners want to test their skills against international athletes.
In the senior woman’s section, Commonwealth Games champion, Helalia Johannes proved why she is the queen of road races in Namibia, beating out last year’s champion, Lavinia Kauteka (née Haitope) and Anna Iipinge.
Johannes finished in a time of 04:40, while Kauteka was 14 seconds behind in a time of 04:54, while Iipinge clocked 05:01.
Johannes was competing at this event for the first time this year, just two weeks after breaking the record at the Cape Town Marathon, to cap a year in which she also won a Commonwealth gold medal.
The organizer, Berthold Karumendu, in an interview with Nampa on Saturday said the event attracted over 1 100 athletes participants, with 16 runners coming from Botswana.