The 7th annual ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance enjoyed a cool start in Grabouw on Friday, 13 March 2015 when just under 600 keen trail runners toed the line at the picturesque Houw Hoek Inn to partake in South Africa’s premier three day stage trail run.
Edwin Sesipi and Johardt Van Heerden of Team 32gi Gauteng Men’s clinched the Stage One victory completing the 34km route in a blistering fast time of 02 hours 21 minutes 37 seconds. “This is my first AfricanX Trailrun,” says Van Heerden. “I actually only entered the event last week Sunday on invitation. I have always wanted to take part. We had an easy start, with a big group running together. On the 13km – 14km mark a smaller group broke away. It was on the 22km mark that we made our breakaway up a hill. The rest of the teams fell back. From the last water point we just kept it steady to the finish. The route was tough, but runnable, while weather conditions were perfect. Crossing the finish line first was amazing”. AJ Calitz and Bernard Rukadza of Team KWAY came in second, while Eric Ngubane and Thabang Madiba of Team Salomon Men finished third.
Yolande Maclean and Nic De Beer of Team CW-X Ultraspire took the lead in the mixed team category securing victory in a well-deserved time of 02 hours 42 minutes 39 seconds. “Although Nic and I have been corresponding with each other for quite some time, we only met for the first time on Thursday,” says Maclean. “He was great today, very positive and supportive. The stage one route was very nice, tough on some parts. My feet are actually burning. There was one point where the helicopter was right above us. I actually got goose-bumps. Tomorrow is going to be tough. Our plan is to just go with it and enjoy”. Sister and brother duo Natia and Antoine Van Heerden of Team Twinning came in second, while Kerry-Ann Marshall and Morne Van Greunen of Team Enduro Hub finished third.
The women’s team stage victory went to Meg Mackenzie and Landie Greyling of Team Salomon Blondies. According to Greyling it was an awesome day out. “We decided to keep within ourselves, keep a steady rhythm and have fun. Taking part in a women’s team is great as we control the pace, where if you race in a mixed team you are pretty much always trying to keep up with the male runner as he is usually the stronger runner. Tomorrow is a big day, but luckily we both enjoy technical running”. Team Salomon Blondies claimed gold in an impressive time of 02 hours 49 minutes. Nicolette Grifioen and Carla Van Huyssteen of Team ProNutro Timefreight came in second, while Inge Visser and Liesbeth Van Der Merwe of Team Ganbei finished third.
Stage One started and finished at the Houw Hoek Inn (Grabouw). Runners needed to complete a 34km route that featured an 890m ascent.
Teamwork forms an essential part of this leading stage race, with participants having to rely on each other’s experience, strength and expertise in order to complete the route. The three routes have been planned in such a way that the participants will have the opportunity to tackle a different breath-taking scenic route each day, allowing them to enjoy the full beauty of the Overberg.
STAGE TWO: Saturday, 14 March 2015
Stage Two is fondly referred to as “Dress Up Day”. Runners are encouraged to let creativity reign as there are awesome sponsor prizes up for grabs!
Mount Rozier Estate / Somerset West
Paul Cluver Amphitheatre / Grabouw
34km / 1100m Ascent
On entering the ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun each entrant receives a spectacular goodie bag containing ProNutro Product, a ProNutro Visor, a New Balance Hoodie, Rehidrat Sport Sachets, Wintergreen product and a ButtaNutt Squeeze Pack.
An exciting new edition to the event, the Rehidrat Zone is a welcomed oasis for tired runners when they cross the finish line.