Nedbank Citi Dash returns with a bang, attracts over 2000 participants
Long-distance runners Simon Matias and Martha Shivolo were crowned winners of the 2023 Nedbank CitiDash Run on Sunday, 10 September, after successfully outclassing their opponents in the 10-kilometre (km) elite race category.
The event, which is in its third installation, made a welcome return after a three-year hiatus and saw over 2,000 runners partake in the 5-kilometre and 10-kilometre races.
The race started and finished at Zoo Park on Independence Avenue, opposite the new Nedbank Campus.
The elite race saw Namibia Correctional Service runner Martha Shivolo, dominate her field in the women’s category with a personal time of 35 minutes and 06 seconds. Namibia’s representative in marathon running at the recently ended World Athletics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, Alina Armas, came second in a time of 35 minutes and 39 seconds, ahead of under-18 winner Monica Kandjebo, who represented Ohangwena Athletics Club and was third overall.
Meanwhile, in the men’s category, the new kid on the track, Simon Matias, outclassed veteran runners Jeremia Shaliaxwe and Tomas Rainhold, who finished second and third, respectively.
Matias completed the 10-kilometre run with a time of 30 minutes and 33 seconds, ahead of Shaliaxwe, who completed the race in 30 minutes and 42 seconds, and Tomas, who clocked 31 minutes and 11 seconds.
The race saw the elite winners in both male and female categories pocketing N$7 000 each, while the runners-up got N$5 000, and the third-place finishers were rewarded with N$4 000. The fourth and fifth finishers received N$2 500 and N$1 500, respectively.
In an interview after the race, Matias said it was a bit tough but he gave it his all.
“I am happy to have won this race. It was hilly when we were coming back, but I saw that Shaliaxwe did not have the same energy as when we were going down to the turning point, so I kept pushing and came first,” he said.
He added that winning the race is a bonus and a big motivation for him to keep working hard.
Meanwhile, Namibia’s representative in the male category at the 2023 World Athletics Championships in marathon running, Tomas, who finished in third position, said he found the going tough as his body struggled to respond.
“I only had one week of rest after the world champs and then started training again, and I found the going tough, but I hope I will be ready for the next marathon,” Rainhold said.
The winner of the women’s category, Shivolo said completing the race in first place surprised her, but she is happy with her achievement.
“The race was tough due to the hills coming back, but I should thank my coach Robert Kaxuxwena, for the encouragement at training, and I ran my personal best today. I’m looking forward to future competitions,” said Shivolo.
This year’s Nedbank CitiDash Run also saw wheelchair racers and visually impaired athletes competing. Roodley Gowaseb and Nico Kharuxab finished first and second in the wheelchair race, respectively. The two wheelchair racers were rewarded with N$ 2,000 and N$ 1,500 in prize money, respectively. There were also prize monies for visually impaired athletes, schools, clubs, and a lucky draw for the participants.
Nedbank Namibia Communications and Public Relations Manager, Selma Kaulinge said: “The turnout we had for the Nedbank Citi Dash was incredible, especially given that we had a three-year hiatus. Seeing over 2,000 people fill up Independence Avenue was an incredible sight. We would like to thank each and everybody to turned up on Sunday to make the event the largest mass participation event in Namibia. Thank you to the organisers and supporting sponsors for helping us make this event possible. This edition of the Nedbank Citi Dash was truly one for the books,” Kaulinge said.
The Nedbank Citi Dash was co-sponsored by Paratus, NHP, Dstv, Ineos, and Checkers.