Paul Cluver Wine Estate was the picturesque venue for Race 1 of the Spur Cape Winter Trail Series® and it marked the 10th anniversary of the Cape Winter Series® in style. After a chilly start to the morning, the sun rose and winter was temporarily forgotten.
The Long Course A Batch flew out of the start at 9am, with some of the Cape’s well known speedsters setting a cracking pace straight up. 3 more batches followed, some to run the 16km route for a personal best, and others just to enjoy a perfect morning on the trails, take a few Instagram-worthy shots and connect with like-minded mountain lovers. Nearly 300m of new single track was added to the route this year, and the infamous ropes and a steep and tricky descent rounded out a challenging course with a little bit of everything for everyone.
Raydon Balie set the tone and his intent for the rest of the series with a 1:15:35 win, followed by Frederick Wagenvoorde in 1:17:43, and downhill king, Lucas Adams, in 01:19:59 was third. 21-year-old Beth Hansen was the first woman across the line, and 7th overall with a time of 1:22:36, a full 15 minutes ahead of Linda Detering who finished second in 1:37:32 followed by Dieke Hessels in a time of 1:42:25.
The Short Course was just over 8km of pure fun, with a couple of speed bumps, some great single track and lots of fast and flatish. The front batch took off at break neck pace, led by the juniors who seemed to be hunting in a pack until around km 3. First over the line, in a time of 30:24 was 16-year-old Oliver Stewart. He was followed by Nicholas Quenet who clocked 30:58. The podium was completed by another 16-year-old, Stephen Millard, in a time of 33:44. Monita Scullard started in the second batch, and managed to catch and pass all the women in batch one, finishing first in a time of 40:25. Monita was followed by Elmarie Meyer who finished in a time of 43:21. Third woman across the line, and first VET, was Ellie Courts in 43:54.
Age category winners were acknowledged across the board, proving once again that VETS and Masters mix it up quite comfortably in the overall top spots.
Prize giving with Sean Falconer on the mic is always great. In addition to prizes for the overall winners, there were prize giveaways courtesy of our naming partner, Spur Steak Ranches, technical partner, Raidlight South Africa, Peak Performance Fitness, Wildrunner and Mountain Dew/Capri Sun.
There was a definite “South Africa has Talent” moment with two PeeWee division (10 years or younger) runners in a sing-off for cool prizes. The crowd expected Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, but the first talented lass launched in to one of the current Kfm Top 40 tracks, and the second a pitch perfect little-lady version of Bohemian Rhapsody. No one saw that coming, and the crowd cheered equally for each, so two prizes were swiftly claimed. PeeWee runners are being encouraged to run the Cape Winter Series® at no cost, as part of the 10th anniversary celebration.
Next up is Tygerberg Nature Reserve on Sunday 30 July. Online entries are open until 10am on Thursday 27 July.