Upon hearing that X ComradesMarathon winner, Gift Kelehe was going to be there I knew it was going to be a tough race!! Fast, Technical and Mountainous it turned out to be, with our first 5km on Saturday going down at a 3:42min/km pace ?? from there we went straight into a climb that had me thinking I was back doing the 9 Peaks Challenge! Luckily this gave me an opportunity to try to make up some time on the guys, after the loose shale technical decent I allowed myself to look back and saw they were only starting the descent. Seeing I was able to pull a gap on them my game plan was to put as big of a gap between me and them over the technical terrain as possible, as the next day was supposedly meant to be mostly Jeep track and fast!
Running there after had some moments of running alongside the giraffe, hearing the Zebras whinny (yes that’s correct I checked ?) and running into some angry Baboons, other than that the trails were awesome and loved the sections in the kloofs along the river!!
2h38min, 25km, and 1300m ascent later I crossed the finish line rather broken but super happy!! This was my first strict trail race in a long time and I’ve definitely come a long way ?? now it was just to wait and see if I’d managed to pull a gap on the guys… Just under 11min later the 2nd guy (Adam Maroko) came in with Gift 4min behind him. Then it was to rest up, refuel and hit the Spa for some heated treatment on the body ?
Day 2 – The legs felt good and did a nice warm up jog to the start, felt excited to hit the course and see what I had left… The race started off fast with Adam sprinting off ahead, closely followed by Gift, this was going to be tough! After the split and the realization that this was going to be a long climb Adam seemed to back off a bit and I tried to see how long I’d be able to keep up with Gift. He was a machine and this hill didn’t show any sign of slowing him down, after about 3km it slowed me down… But just for a bit, swapping between walking and running he started edging a bit of a lead getting to the top he could now longer be seen and I knew I’d have to use the downhills to my advantage as much as possible!! By the 2nd water table (7km) I had managed to close the gap back down to about 40sec due to a few rocky downhills. Reaching the 8km mark we got onto the trails and I was in my happy place! After the first long downhill, I was able to catch up to Gift and shortly there after managed to overtake him. Then again it was to try to make a gap while on the trails, but after about 11km my legs weren’t quite so happy and found myself having to power walk some of the hills. Just a little more I kept telling myself… Soon I was back in the Crystal Springs resort area and racing down their roads to the finish. With Gift close behind he was able to finish far enough ahead of Adam to move into 2nd place in overall time.
1h16min, 15km and 600m ascent later it was time to draw this weekends racing to a close, what a weekend! ?? So awesome to be able to take the win at a Trail event! Didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much with there being no obstacles and all but thanks, Shane Gouldie for an awesome race!! #NevarestTeam inov-8 South Africa Yancy Camp KeyHealth Medical Scheme Toyota SA Ryders Eyewear Southern Africa Hoffman Kellerman Physiotherapists