Stage One of South Africa’s premier three day stage trail run, the Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS got underway at the exquisite Houw Hoek Inn on Friday, 11 March 2016. Edwin Sesipi and Givemore Mudzinganayama of Team ASICS Elite Men rode the wave to a Stage One victory completing the 36km stage in a lighting fast time of 02:31:42. Sesipi says: ‘Our plan was to relax and stay with the leading men’s teams until the 30km mark, before making our move. The pace was nice and slow, while the route was really nice and runnable. Running with Givemore was amazing. We trained together for the last two weeks and know each other’s weaknesses. We’re so happy to cross the finish line first. We will have the same strategy tomorrow.’
Johardt Van Heerden and Henno Havenga of Team Windhoek Light Pro’s came in second, while AJ Calitz and Ben Brimble of Team KWay North Face finished third. Nic De Beer and Tish Jones of Team Silent Assassins dominated the mixed team category, crossing the finish line in a well-deserved time of 02 hours 54 minutes 39 seconds. De Beer says: ‘I really enjoy introducing strong female runners to AfricanX. We ran with the first three mixed teams up until the 2nd water point at Paul Cluver Wine Estate. From there we started to push harder. The camaraderie between the teams was great. We had good fun today. Stage Two is going to be tough as the chasing teams are good climbers.’
Leilani Scheffer and Dawid Visser of Team ASICS Beat The Sun came in second, while Maphuti Phaka and Tranquil Gumbo of Team My Road Less Travelled finished third. Defending women’s team champions Landie Greyling and Megan Mackenzie of Team KPMG Salomon Ladies dropped the hammer, securing an impressive stage victory in 02 hours 59 minutes 35 seconds. A delighted Greyling says: ‘We had a lot of fun. It was so good running with Megan again. The running conditions were perfect and the stage was really beautiful. Both Megan and I had our ups and downs, but that’s where good teamwork is important.’
Dunya Ansems and Taryn King of Team Takkie and Heels came in second, while Katya Soggot and Chantel Nienaber finished third. Starting and finishing at Houw Hoek Inn, Stage One saw teams of two (male/female/mixed) having to complete a 36km route that featured a 900m ascent. The terrain was predominantly non-technical with a large amount of single track.
Although there were no major climbs on the day, there were a lot of ups and downs. Runners were advised not to underestimate the stage’s distance by starting out too fast.
Stage Two: Saturday, 12 March 2016
Ongegund (Somerset West)
Paul Cluver Amphitheatre (Elgin, Grabouw)
Distance & Ascent:
34km / 1100m
WP 1 / 9km
WP 2 / 19km ~ Grabouw Country Club, the only spectator point on the day
WP 3 / 24.5km
WP 4 / 29.5km
Photo credit: Tobias Ginsberg