You know what they say, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened! And it will happen all over again, soon. Leeuwenkloof was the grand finale of the Spur Gauteng Winter Trail Series®, and what a place for it. The start / finish venue lay within their tented camp area, with our start chute beneath the looming rock face that watches over the field, braai area and lapa.
The course offered a great mix of forestry single track, open dry high veld along the koppies, some rocky jeep track and, for the long course runners, a cool mine shaft that leads to a cave which ultimately shoots runners out higher up on the mountain.
The Long Course started at 9am, with a sneaky little hill to wake everyone up right near the start. Tranquil Gumbo once again took top honours, in a time of 01:01:50. It was the first time he went over the 1 hour mark in the series, illustrating the increase in distance and technical terrain of this race. Second was Bradley Claase in 01:01:36, with Michael Ferreira third in 01:06:33. Overall female winner in the series, Magretha Wang, wasn’t able to be at this race, which made way for a fresh podium made up of Megan Winderley, first, in 01:25:32 followed by Rondel van Graan, second, in 01:26:34 with Leanri Williamson coming in third in 01:27:38.
Those lining up for the Short Course were treated to a surprise just before the start. A group of cross country runners from Westlake Boys High School in New Zealand extended their running tour of South Africa to include our event, and performed a traditional hakka in front of an appreciative audience! With that out of the way, the New Zealand boys proceeded to clean up, taking 8 of the top 10 spots in the race. Top spot went to Murdoch Mcintyre who breezed through at a cracking pace to finish in 38:22. He was followed by Stuart Hofmeyer who finished in 39:57, and third spot was taken 2 seconds later, by David Moore.
Overall Short Course challenge winner, Ryno van Vollenhaven had to settle for 4th this week. He went out hard but the Kiwis went out harder, and Ryno blew up just 2km from the finish. Short Course challenge winner, Michelene Kahl did not race this one, which changed the ladies’ podium up a bit, too. In the women’s field, Chery Lee Schoeman was first with a time of 45:22, followed by Daniel Vienings in 50:43, with Phyllis de Fouw rounding out the podium in a time of 51:45.
The crowd was buzzing, and the spectacular venue rounded off another great Series®. The slightly longer prize giving included the overall series results, as well as some Saturday Night Fever dancing, all in the name of enthusiastic spot prize claims! Our incredible gear partners, Raidlight, gave away two technical running packs in the lucky draw, and category winners (open and older) enjoyed a combination of Raidlight vouchers, Raidlight gear, Steenberg bubbly and R100 Spur Vouchers.
Leeuwenkloof and overall series® results are here with gallery images coming soon!
The trail magic gets proper sparkles thanks to our sponsors and partners; Spur, Raidlight South Africa, NatureZone, Steenberg Vineyards and WWF.