A number of SA’s elite trail runners will be seen going for gold at the 10th annual AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS at Boschendal Wine Estate (Stellenbosch/Franschhoek) this coming weekend (27 – 29 April 2018).
The Western Cape’s premier three day stage trail run, the AfricanX Trailrun requires teams of two runners (male/female/mixed) to battle it out on a route that will vary in distance between 20km – 36km each day. Teamwork and endurance will be put to the test.
Running for Team K-Way Wintergreen, AJ Calitz is excited to team up with long-time friend, Bernard Rukadza. “It’s the vibe, people and the camaraderie between runners that attracts me to AfricanX,” says Calitz. “When it comes to team strength, I think friendship is the key, everything else comes later. We would like to podium, but a win would be great. If you want to meet great people and find out what the sport is really about, AfricanX is the event to do.”
Looking at the team name, Team #gearupgetout is #timetoplay’s Thabang Madiba and Lucky Miya are not lacking creativity. “AfricanX is more like a trail running family reunion,” says Madiba. “Each stage will pose its own challenge. As a team our aim is to approach each day with a positive attitude and give the best of our ability. A podium finish will be a big blessing for us.”
Team Pure Endurance’s Dawid Visser and Rohan Kennedy are no strangers to AfricanX. “We enjoy the team dynamic of the race,” says Visser. “We’ve trained together for most of our professional racing careers. We’re no longer as competitive as we used to be, but we will always race as hard as we can. Stillwater Sports puts on a great event. The stages are hard, but achievable to all athletes.”
Kate Mapham and Danette Smith of Team Brooks are sure to mix things up in the Women’s Race. “This is our favourite stage race,” says Mapham. “It’s not a race for the faint hearted. It’s not about how hard you can go on day one, but how quickly you can recover and keep going for three days. We love trail running and the opportunity to go to new and untouched trails is really exciting. Running is normally an individual sport, but at AfricanX we get the chance to work as a team. We need to build on each other’s strengths, learn from each other and keep each other going through the highs and lows of the adventure.”
Fizzer sisters’ Yolandi Visser and Herme Visser are looking forward to a fun filled weekend of trail running. “We enjoy the event because it requires team work and we get to be outside,” says Yolandi. “We recommend AfricanX to other trail runners because it is always spectacular and very well organised.”
Mari Rabie and Kate Roberts of Team R & R (Retired & Rewired) will make their AfricanX debut in 2018. “We’ve both retired from our professional triathlon careers and are keen to test ourselves in a trail running race,” admits Rabie. “We have only heard positive reflections from other runners regarding AfricanX. We cannot wait to tackle the race – three days of running in one of the most spectacular settings in South Africa, with plenty of wine to drink (we believe it’s good for recovery)!”
Ronel Nattrass and Carla Wood of Team Altra Ladies will also be on the start line. “Apart from being a tradition, I just love the vibe, the organisation and the fact that you get to spend three days in the mountains,” says Nattrass. “Our toughest competition will be the team just ahead of us. Our goal is to have a ball and finish the race with a bigger smile than when we started.”
Team Rehidrat’s Chantel Nienaber and Katya Soggot will admittedly be going for the win. “We know that we are vets, but we always give 100%,” says Nienaber. “I love running with Katya. We just gel. This will be our 4th AfricanX. I recommend the event to other trail runners because of its vibe.”
Nicolette Griffioen and Carla Van Huyssteen of Team KeyHealth Neverest/K-Way are worthy competitors both in the multi-sport and trail running arena. “It’s the great atmosphere that attracts me to AfricanX,” says Griffioen. “Despite hosting elite runners, the general vibe of the race is always relaxed. Our goal will be to have fun. No matter how we perform, we really just want to enjoy the trails.”
The 2018 AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS has also attracted the attention of Songo Fipaza, founder of Songo.info. “This will be my seventh AfricanX,” says a very happy Fipaza. “I love the challenge that the event brings. This year I will be running with fellow ASICS Front Runner, Caroline Pule. This will be her first stage race. AfricanX is very addictive. Once you’ve done one, you will keep coming back for more.”
EVENT INFORMATION: 2018 AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS
The three routes have been planned in such a way that the runners will have the opportunity to tackle a different breath-taking scenic route each day.
STAGE ONE: Friday, 27 April 2018
- Start & Finish Venue: MTO Head office, Jonkershoek
- Distance: 33km -36km
STAGE TWO / DRESS UP DAY: Saturday, 28 April 2018
- Start & Finish Venue: Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
- Distance: 33km -35km
STAGE THREE: Sunday, 29 April 2018
- Start & Finish Venue: Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
- Distance: 20km -22km
SANET WENTZEL SPIRIT AWARD: Introduced in memory of a fallen athlete, the ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit honours AfricanX entrants who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face. Trail runners taking part in the 2018 AfricanX Trailrun are encouraged to send their nominations with a short description to email@example.com
BEST DRESSED COMPETITION: Although all three stages of the AfricanX Trailrun are equally special, Stage Two features ‘that extra flair’ with trail runners allowing their creative sides to get the better of them as they try to outdo their rivals in the AfricanX’s “Best Dressed” competition. With awesome sponsor prizes up for grabs, “Dress Up Day” is sure to be the source of much excitement.
Follow us on Face Book: Asics Running South Africa / Stillwater Trail Running / MTO Trails / MTO Group
Follow us on Twitter: @ASICS_ZA / @runtheafricanx