The final event in the KZNTR Winter Series 2016 took place in cold, clear conditions at Mcoseleli Secondary School, just outside Pietermaritzburg. The Winter Series comprises of three trail running events organised by KZN Trail Running in the Pietermaritzburg area, held annually in winter. The first event took place at Hilton College on 22 May, Faulklands Trail on 12 June and the final event on Table Mountain on 26 June.
The event allows participants a very rare opportunity to explore on top of Pietermaritzburg’s own Table Mountain, a site that is steeped in folklore. Although the top is seemingly flat when viewed from afar, it is deceptively undulating with very technical terrain following cattle paths, rocky cliff tops and sections that are “off-trail” through the grassland. “That was a proper trail run – wild bushveld below, epic climb to get to the top and unbelievable views for miles around” enthused Tracy Steart on the finish line. The medium (12km) and long (18km) courses circumnavigated the mountain, giving panoramic views of Pietermaritzburg, the uMnsundusi and uMngeni Rivers and Valley of 1000 Hills. The short course (7km) followed the edge of the mountain-top before cutting back through a magnificent wetland, feeding a waterfall.
In the long course, Nomore Mandivengerei managed to cross the line seconds ahead of Change A Life athlete, Siyabonga Ngongo, with team-mate Phaka Gwala 2min behind in 3rd. The ladies race was won by well-known paddler and Dusi winner, Abby Solms, also seconds ahead of 2nd place Heather Mullon. Kate Swarbreck rounded out the podium in 3rd.
12km Men’s Results: 1st Mxolisi Zondi 53min:10s, 2nd Sphelele Gumede 53min:18s, & 3rd Owen Bengo 56min:02s.
12km Ladies’ Results: 1st Engela Kuun 1h:15min:46s, 2nd Jane Millar 1h:16min:07s, 3rd Lorna Taylor 1h:21s:37s.
7km Men’s Results: 1st Femele Mnqobi 41min:04s (U14), 2nd Dirk Smith 41min:46s, 3rd Tiaan Barkhuizen (U12) 43min:12s.
7km Ladies’ Results: 1st Tate Stewart 47min:11s (U14), 2nd Shenne Davies 51min:45s, 3rd Candice White 52min:29s.
Full results from the event are available on www.kzntrailrunning.co.za/results.
“It’s the first time that the Winter Series has included a long course and it’s fantastic to see it well subscribed. Trail runners who started running the short courses in this series when it started in 2011 are now taking on the longer distances. It’s a great sign of growth for the sport in KZN and South Africa!” said race director Andrew Booth, from KZN Trail Running.
Series sponsors and partners: NatureZone, Funky Pants, Thule and Midlands Meander Education Project.
The next event on KZNTR’s calendar is the popular Phezulu Trail Run, taking place on 9 July at Phezulu Safari Park. Details of this, and other trail running events are available on www.kzntrailrunning.co.za.
Photo caption: The leading pack with 18km winner, Nomore Mandivengerei (centre) early into the race.