Claude Eksteen (North Beach, Durban) and Anita Obrien (Kameeldrift West, North West Province) were the first men’s and women’s contestants respectively to complete all twenty-five signature obstacles of the New Balance IMPI Elite Race on Saturday, 06 April 2013 at Van Gaalens Cheese Farm, Hartbeespoort (North West Province) securing them the title of Ultimate IMPI Warrior.
According to Eksteen the New Balance IMPI Elite Race was interesting. “I’ve been a professional triathlete for the past twelve to thirteen years. I’ve seen the IMPI on TV a few times, but could never take part due to my schedule. I’ve just recently started to do more trail running and felt ready for a new challenge. I didn’t know what to expect, so I just tried to pace myself in between obstacles. To be good at the IMPI Elite Race I think you definitely need to possess a combination of good running skills and upper body strength. Because there were obstacles in between I couldn’t really find a rhythm on the run, which was nice as it added variation and got my heart rate pumping. The competition today was great. I’m really looking forward to taking part in Cape Town in October and will definitely be on the start line again at Hartbeespoort next year,” says Eksteen.
Obrien’s first New Balance IMPI Elite Race experience was a memorable one. “The event was really well organised. Although the obstacles were difficult, they were manageable and that was great. Coming from a running background I’m not that strong on the swim and this is where my competitor took the lead as I struggled a bit in the dam. I managed to keep my pace on the run and made up the time. I think a strong runner will definitely have an advantage over a physically strong competitor when taking part in the New Balance IMPI Elite Race. This event is way more fun than just running and it takes your mind off of just running. I’d recommend that athletes take part in the IMPI at least three times a year. I will definitely be back next year to defend my title,” says Obrien.
Venues for the New Balance IMPI Challenge are specifically chosen for their exclusivity and ability to accommodate fun obstacles that will challenge participants both physically and mentally in the ultimate adventure challenge. Set over 12 gruelling kilometres with 18 extreme obstacles for the IMPI Challenger Race and 18km with 25 extreme obstacles for the IMPI Elite Race, the IMPI Challenge combines trail running with a military style obstacle course.
Date: Saturday, 6 April 2013
Start: 08:00 – IMPI Elite Race / 100 competitors
09:15 – IMPI Challenger / 1500 competitors
Date: Sunday, 07 April 2013
Start: 08:15 – IMPI Challenger / 1500 competitors
Venue: Van Gaalens Cheese Farm (Hartebeespoort / North West Province)
Format: Participants could enter individually or as part of a team (teams vary in size from 2 – 10 people, although you start together, you do not need to finish together)
Fancy Dress Competition: The best dressed individual and/or team entries were awarded with awesome New Balance shoes, IMPI kit and Tsoga Sun weekend vouchers!
– KZN Debut: Saturday, 18 May 2013 at Virginia Farm, Eston
– Cape Town: Saturday, 19 and Sunday, 20 October 2013 at Lievland Wine Estate and Wiesenhof Legacy Park (Stellenbosch).
Entries are open for KZN, while entries for Cape Town will open in May 2013.
Community Support: The New Balance IMPI Challenge supports the Woodside Special Care Centre, a private residential home for intellectually and physically disabled children and young adults. Established in 1976 the Woodside Special Care Centre offers a wide range of services designed to promote the development of each of its children.