Standard Bank Xtrail

Standard Bank Xtrail

TRAIL Running has over the last years has boomed in Namibia.  From being almost a non-existent sport a few years ago, Standard Bank’s support has ensured robust growth.  So much growth, organizers OTB Sport say, that more than 400 trail runners entered the first of the Standard Bank Series, the K-H Xtrail, that recently took place at farm Goddess.

The Goddess run consisted of a light version of 7km and an endurance version of 16km. Most of the run is on a single track and involves scrambling up huge mountains and scrambling back down as well as boulder hopping and running in sandy riverbeds, while the local wild life retreats from the threatening running multitudes.

In the main race over 16km, the Free Runners duo of Pedro Mendoza and David Egumbo smashed their record of last year by more than 11 minutes with a new time of 1:13:44.

Thomas Miller and Wim Steenkamp came a few seconds behind in 1:14:23, while the Van Zyl Squad, consisting of Laurie and Willy van Zyl came third in 1:18:00. They were followed by Willy van Greunen and Jaco van den Berg, who also broke the record set in 2017.

In the female category the 16km race was won by the Nampol team of Leena Ekandjo and Salmi Nduviteko in a new record time of 1:29:40, followed by the ‘Eyptian Mummies’, Nadine Agnew and Alex Marko. In third place were Team Kaliber, consisting of Berta Theron and Alta du Plessis.

The mixed category was won by Venus and Mars (Eloise and Geon Ellis) in a time of 1:44:09.  Second was Jocelle Deysel and Bredell Wessels, while the Honey Badgers, consisting of Christiaan Horn, Erika Brand and Stefan van Doorn came third.

The 7km Standard Bank X Trail started off with a rocky river section and then a very long winding steep cliff face climb.  Runners had to push hard in the 1km river bed to get into the right position, so as not to be stuck in the queue going up the steep single track where passing would be almost impossible.  

The top runners all managed to get into leading positions to ensure that the race remained fast and again some records were broken.

In the Male Team category, Okahandja Running Club (ORC) took three of the top four positions.  Abraham Rooi and Frans Erasmus, took first in 44:58, while second place went to Tobias Festus and Ramos Murang, in 45:01.  Team ‘Chicken Chase’ with Greg Chase and Carl Hahn were third in a time of 45:25, while Team ORC 3 came fourth in 48:53.

The Female Team category was won by ‘The Blister Sisters’ of Julie Mbaisa and Lizl Geyser in 1:06:37. Lee-Anne Palmhert and Marlene Hailwas came second while Esther Sandberg and Lutopu Khoa came third. 

The 15 and under category was won by  Yenik Brinkmann and Junius Autuhole in 56:55, with JG van der Westhuizen and Theuns van der Westhuizen coming second, Tristan Feldman and Marlon Rheinhard third and Cormien Vermeulen and Corrily Yates fourth.

The under 11 category was won by the ‘Parrots’ consisting of Keira Mcnamara, Connor Mcnamara and Alice Rowles, followed by Tom and Jerry (Kian, Ethan and Sascha Brinkmann) and in third place, ‘Die Broers’, Justin and Armand Scholtz.

The Standard Bank Xtrail series consists of four trail runs, all over varied tough terrains. 

The second Xtrail will take place at Avis Dam and in the mountains behind Avis, the third will be on Midgard Country Estate Lodge where the run takes participants to the source of the Swakop river, and the fourth and final event will be in the dunes of Swakopmund.