Amateur runners make a splash at the Two Oceans in Cape Town, helped by their employer
Silveira Madalena, Hendrik van Wyk and Tanitha Nell work for a bank during the day but after hours they are avid runners. All three participated in the Two Oceans marathon in Cape Town over the past Easter weekend, returning to Windhoek with medals and fond memories.
Madalena who works in Standard Bank Namibia’s Katutura branch, won a silver medal in the half marathon, finishing the race in 01:27:05. Van Wyk, the blue bank’s branch manager at Ausspannplatz booked a time of 01:53:43 with Nell, one of the bank’s graduate trainees, close on his heels in 01:58:00.
The three were part of a group of 13 runners, all either working for Standard Bank Namibia, or as clients, that were sponsored by the bank to make the trip to Cape Town to fullfil their dream of running in this world-famous race.
Erich Goeieman, a bank client, also won a silver but he ran in the ultra-marathon, coming home in 04:06:00, some forty minutes more than his 2018 time due to an injury, but still a very respectable feat.
Commending his bank for their generous sponsorship for the whole group, he said “They helped me a lot with all logistics, and even when Home Affairs could not process my passport on time, Standard Bank went the extra mile by getting my flights re-arranged. They never gave up on me, but rather stood by me.”
After the race, Van Wyk said “Our Standard Bank Namibia group was great, the crowd was so amazing and the Cape Town scenery was breath-taking. He added that he has learned so much about himself, about endurance, competitiveness, discipline, will, courage and moving forward in all circumstances.
“I was never a sportsman in my younger days, but now I am much faster than I was more than 25 years ago. Standard Bank helped me to become a much healthier person,” he said. In preparation for the Two Oceans, he trained six days a week.
“When the average human being was sleeping I was already on the road doing 6km during the week (4 days) and 10 to 15km over the weekends,” he said. “I started running 3km daily on my own for health reasons in 2011, but at the end of 2017 the bank came up with this awesome wellness initiative, thus I grabbed it with both hands.”
The sponsorship for the Cape Town trip is part of the bank’s Healthy Lifestyle Challenge which runs until September this year. The bank’s Employee Wellness Consultant, Cicile Fouché said the challenge encourages healthier lifestyles both physically and emotionally.