The KZNTR Winter Series 2016 got off to a flying start with a record entry of 335 runners taking on the beautiful trails on the Hilton College Nature Reserve.
Martin Dreyer’s Change a Life Academy excelled with a 1-2-3 in the men’s 22km course (1st Mthobisi Mzolo, 2nd Dumisani Shabala, 3rd Siyabonga Ngcongo) with Trish Bahlmann showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the ladies field, finishing 12th overall! Xoli Madida finished 2nd just ahead of Jennifer Coppinger (3rd).
Muzi Madikwa, regular podium finisher in the long course, chose to conserve his legs in the lead-up to Comrades and he took top honours in the 12km event, followed by Change a Life Academy runners, Phaka Gwala and Sphelele Gumede. The ladies race was won by Alexia Loizou, followed by Zoe Papadakis and Abby Solms.
The 7km event was won by Mdu Zondi, also resting his legs with his sights set on a quick Comrades. Maritzburg College boys Clinton Merrington and Jean-Pierre Faulha placed in 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
Tate Stewart (14yrs) took the win with a 4min lead over 2nd lady, Nokulunga Mayka and Nina Grundlingh, 3rd. Stewart is under the tutelage of accomplished trail runner and triathlete, Claude Eksteen and is someone we will be watching as she matures as an athlete!
The series has shifted to Sundays to open it up for scholars and it was fantastic to see the strong showing from the juniors in the 7km event – 11 of the top 20 were taken by u16s, which is extremely exciting for the sport!
Full results from the event are available on www.kzntrailrunning.co.za
Thanks must go to Hilton College for hosting the event and providing such great trail. The Hilton College Nature Reserve benefits 50% of the profits of the race, the money goes straight back into the maintenance and improvements of the nature reserve.
Race sponsors and partners enable quality events and provide value-for-money to our participants. Funky Pants and Thule have thrown themselves behind trail running and bring a great the vibe to KZNTR events! Thanks to hydration sponsors, NatureZone, and Island Tribe for the vital sun protection, and the Midlands Meander Education Project for the administrative support.
The next event in the Winter Series is at Faulklands Farm on 12 June. This event offers stunning streamside running and adventurous river crossings on the medium and long courses. Pre-entries close at MIDDAY on 10 June 2016 on www.kzntrailrunning.co.za. Late entries will be available at the start, but a +R40 surcharge applies (U18s exempt).