Race 1 of the Gauteng Winter Spur Trail Series®

Less than an hour outside of Johannesburg, the B’sorah Luxury Tented Camp is hidden in the bushveld of the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains. As the venue for the first of the Gauteng Winter Spur Trail Series® events, B’sorah welcomed runners with icy temperatures, but the sun, views and great vibe had warmed everyone up by 9am, when the racing kicked off.

It was a fast day out, and with this being a new course, all times have been recorded as the times to beat during the summer series. Challenge set!

The Long Course started at 9am with Batch A. Batches left in 2min intervals, and there were 4 batches in total. This course boasted about 1.5km of jeep track before taking runners in to 3km of single track between the canal and the river. There was a sneaky climb out of the river, before runners made their way down a jeep track. A single track climb up a koppie, through typical Highveld scenery delivered runners on to a muddy wetland. Thereafter, super fun flowing forest track took the runners home.

The Long Course male champion was Tanquil Gambo, flying over the line in a time of 51:18. Second was Craig Smith in 55:46. Third male over the line was Egar Oussov in 56:42, notably bare chested which elicited some chirps.  He was a great sport and removed his shirt for prize giving, too! No extra series points for that, though.

The Long Course female champion was Magretha Wang in a time of 01:00:26. Margretha is a hot favourite for this series. Second was SA triathlete Kate Roberts in 01:04:09. We have plenty of triathletes kicking up dust on the trails these days.  Third female, and first female vet, was Lana Dyer in 01:08:24.

The Short Course kicked off at 9:21am with E Batch. Four batches in total went out in 2 min intervals.

The Short Course had the same 1.5km jeep track before splitting from the long onto some fun highveld singletrack. They made their way to the same koppie, but skipped the big climb in favour of some fun bushveld singletrack. From there they made their way into the same forest and back to the finish line. A really fast course with only 88m of elevation.

The Short Course male champion was Ryno Van Vallenhaven in a time of 26:46. He pretty much destroyed the course, and set the bar high for summer. Possibly because of the minimee that was hot on his heels for the first part of the race, and caught up with him again towards the end. Second was Greg Fuller in 27:07 with Marco Botha rounding out the podium in 28:44.

The Short Course female champion was Michelene Kahl in 29:37. Michelle Ross was second in 33:36 and Michelle Meyer was third in 34:30. Apparently, if you want your daughter to be a trail champ, it helps to name them Michelle!

Prize giving was festive with plenty of runners and their families staying behind hoping to get their hands on one of the awesome lucky draw prizes. The Raidlight South Africa Ultralight Jacket worth R1500 was the one causing most of the excitement.

Next week, we’re at Hennops where a Short Course, Long Course AND exciting XL course awaits. Entries close online on 15 June, at 10am. There will be limited entries at registration and on the morning.

Here  are all your race photos and full results are here

Thank you to the sponsors that make all of this infinitely more fun! Spur, Raidlight South Africa, NatureZone, Steenberg Vineyards and WWF.