Alex Miller and Vera Looser won the 2023 Nedbank Namibia National Marathon Championships (XCM), which took place on Saturday at the IJG Trails in Windhoek.
The race also saw the crowning of a national titleholder for the E-bike category for elite men and women cyclists for the first time in Namibia, with Frank Klosta and Christine Steinfurth becoming the inaugural champions.
Klosta won the elite men’s e-bike race in a time of 02:12:36, ahead of Andre Steinfurth, who clocked 02:13:36, and Frederick Chuckmeister van Greunen, who recorded a time of 02:25:33, in third place.
In the elite ladies’ race, Steinfurth came home in a time of 02:44:51, with second place going to Lionie Meyer, who crossed the finishing line in 03:17:31.
Miller dominated the elite men’s race and clocked 02:16:31 in the first place, ahead of Xavier Papo, who finished second in a time of 02:30:27, and Simon Kaita, who crossed the finishing line in 02:32:32.
In the elite women’s competition, Looser was racing for the first time after she suffered a fracture on her hand five weeks ago, and won the race in a time of 02:45:12. Anri Krugel-Greeff followed in second place, clocking in at 02:50:53, while Nicola Fester took third place with a time of 02:56:24.
Krugel-Greeff led the early stages of the race before suffering a puncture, which allowed Looser to win the race and claim the national title. By winning their respective races, Klosta, Steinfurth, Miller and Looser also claimed the national titles.
Namibia Cycling Federation president Axel Thiessen said the event was a success, and the weather played along. “As for the e-bike competitions, it was a slow start, which we have also seen internationally. But we are hoping for improved participation next year,” he added.
Speaking after the race, Looser paid tribute to her competitors, saying the competition was high, despite the fact that there were only three of them competing. “It was good competition between me, Anri and Nicola. Anri kept the pace very high at the beginning. Unfortunately, she got a flat tyre, and had to stop and fix it. It’s racing, and it happens; it was a mistake. She went over a rock. I wasn’t in top form because I broke my hand five weeks ago, but I cycled as hard as possible,” she noted.
She was full of praise for the course, saying it was challenging, with long climbs and a lot of single trails. She also confirmed her participation in the upcoming Nedbank Desert Dash, which is scheduled for 8 - 9 December.
Nedbank Namibia communications and public relations manager Selma Kaulinge said: “We would like to congratulate all our national jersey- bearers, and wish them all the best in the international races they will take part in while representing the country. We would also like to thank the Namibian Cycling Federation for their unwavering support in competitions like these and others,” she beamed.