Big business dominated what’s destined to become an even bigger sporting bash, with Nedbank dominating some categories and Stanlib, Energizer and Discovery putting in great performances. The biggest win of all was the crowd who turned out to join in the fun and action, which included events for the young at heart and seriously young (from 12 years up) to compete against the superfit and experienced.
Key concept is for athletes to compete over a tough outdoor course in the dark. Courses are marked only with reflector tape; participants use Energizer headlights to find their way. With that in mind, imagine running laps of a five-kilometre course as a relay; walking three laps of a five-kilometre course as a relay; or biking two laps of a nine-kilometres course as a relay and then running that course together. In the dark!
Making it more fun, Energizer allowed male, female and mixed teams to enter, and many were surprised by the performances in this first Gauteng Night Relay.
Nedbank dominated the trail run relay, taking honours across the board. Their men’s team – Tshamano Setone, Xolisa Tyali, Kgosi Tsotsane, Juan van Deventer – crossed the line in a fast 1:16:03 (15,8 km/h) and set the fastest lap split at 0:16:40 (18,4 km/h). Energizer and Discovery romped home in 1:28:55 for second, with Stanlib hot on their heels clocking 1:32:03.
Nedbank also took the category for the ladies’ team, with Christine Kalmer, Rene Kalmer, Annerien van Schalkwyk and Marelise Retief recording 1:30:55 for the 20 km total. St Mary’s DSG Pretoria took second in 1:57:23 and Crazy Daisies came home third in 2:19:03. ?
Looking at the men’s’ times, it’s hard to believe that Nedbank’s mixed team came home in 1:16:05, just two seconds shy of the all-male team. (Hearty congrats to Enock Mayandi, Lucky Miya, Poppy Mlambo and Donald Mathipa!) What’s more, Metaphysical Tri Geeks [adventure racers!] took second in 1:24:25, more than four minutes faster than the second-place male team, and Nedbank RC GN1 clocked 1:36:17.??
Biking was just as exciting as running, navigating two 10-km laps and then running it as a pair. Garmin Adidas’s, Phillip Buys and Francois Theron zoomed over the 30 km total in 1:19:59 (that’s 22,5 km/h), Moonlight Bump & Grind took 1:33:11, and Specialized Boys 1:36:51. Those times would be good in broad daylight! There were only two ladies who dared form a team for the biking – Urban Escape – and they managed a hair-raising 1:46:49 – considerably better than the best mixed team. And those mixed results were Meridamad 2:02:03, Two Volts De-Light 2:42:54, and Night Jars 2:51:38.
Perhaps the idea of watching an event over an unlit night time course is off the wall, but spectators loved it as much as they enjoyed the entertainment. The evening was interspersed by the amazing talent of George ‘Georgeous’ Avakian, SA’s talented beat boxer, displays from light throwers, a live-feed big screen showing the action out on the course and lighting and sound to keep the crowds in a great party mood.
Jeep Apparel, Nedbank, Time Freight, Husqvarna and Chrysler Jeep Dodge were there as corporate sponsors and helped make the Energizer Night Relay an evening of fun and action courtesy of Energizer. In the past, the event has been held at Hilton College Estate, Pietermaritzburg. Energizer brought it to Gauteng in the sure knowledge that more people would take part here – and one and all look forward to even more fun and excitement in the 2011 Energizer Night Relay