A full album of the #HMC2018 images now up on our Mountain Challenge Series Facebook page. Like this cracker by @marksampsonct 🔥 #GoAboveAndBeyond They say it takes a village to raise a child. So what does it take to organise a mountain challenge? This crew, and a few. Thanks all runners, crew, suppliers, volunteers and sponsors. Helderberg Mountain Challenge is a wrap for 2018
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#HMC2018 
#GoAboveAndBeyond 
@bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza @steenberg_farm @saggystone Sun's out! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Back of the 15km race is a happy place! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond #sweeps Heavy cloud pulling in at the top of the mountain but good warm vibes at the finish line. Beer by @saggystone going down! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond That finish line feeling 😊 #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Our 24km winner today. Robert Rorich takes it in 3h 12min. Can we just highlight that he ran the @whaleoftrail YESTERDAY! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond @bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza Defending his 2017 title, Robert Rorich heading towards the finish line now #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond @bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza First woman in the 11km is Hanja Bardenhorst! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Jaco Loots wins the 11km! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Well run @step.hen_mill and @hayleypreen first man and woman across the line in the 15km with Roger Dickson between them. All three came in one after each other. Hayley has smashed the women's record🔥 #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Full gas to the finish. @hayleypreen is still first woman and third overall #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond

11 years in, and the magic just keeps building. Every year a combination of familiar faces and brand new recruits arrive at the Trail Series® venues, each with their own objectives. Some come to test their legs at their very first trail race, others come to enjoy the social aspect of a short of medium distance trail with friends. The fast pack get out there to kick up the dust, and every year a few new trail stars are born.

With Race 1 and 2 already in the bag, the 2018 Cape Winter Trail Series® has been no different. On Sunday 22 July a capacity crowd streamed in to Paul Cluver for either the 15.5km long course, or the 8.6km short course. With some exciting route changes since 2017, both distances proved a balanced combination of challenge, reward and fun. 

Over hot pancakes and breakfast burgers, the post-race stories emerged. Who is Cana Peek? The young Stellenbosch student who was first spotted winning the JMC 24km earlier this year, took top spot on the long course and has reportedly won every trail race she has entered between the two events. Ryan Ball, in the junior category, cruised ever so easily to victory in the short course. Both Cana and Ryan are runners to watch. The Mini Mees and Pee Wees chatted and laughed over cups of Pepsi before prize giving; far cry from the fierce competition they throw down on the short course. The youngsters marvelled at the Grand Masters.

The amphitheatre was packed for prize giving. Raidlight gear, Steenberg Wine and the highly coveted Jaybird Bluetooth earphones in the lucky draw mix. You don’t have to be a podium runner to leave feeling triumphant. “See you next week!” as cars streamed out, taking sweaty, satisfied runners and their crew home. Not a sniff of the Monday blues about.

On Sunday 29 July a similar crew climbed the grassy bank to line up for Race 2, at Tygerberg Nature Reserve. This hidden gem of a space is not widely known to many, and it holds plenty of well-kept secrets. As the sun rose, the full moon hung low and heavy next to Table Mountain on the horizon. Runners peeled off their layers, sipped hot coffee and prepared to do battle. And a battle it was, with a tougher course than Race 1, and far, far more climbing on the menu, but no less fun.

The fast pack had to fight a little harder for their positions, but Cana Peek did not disappoint her new fan club, coming in second overall in the long course, and first woman. Marion Leiberich was hot on her heels, only a minute separating the two woman who were 2nd and 3rd across the line, behind Emmanual Dlamini. Ryan Ball also had to fight for first spot in the short course, with fellow junior runner Stephen Millard only 31 seconds behind him. Some cat and mouse racing up on the trails of Tygerberg.

(Above) Cana Peek

 

(Above) Ryan Ball

 

A festive atmosphere above the finish chute rounded out another day of winter trail magic. Good food, great tunes and endless laughter as the crowd hung around to bring the very last runners over the line.

Next up is the Taal Monument on Sunday 5 August. Race 3, and the fastest course of the lot.

Results for Race 1 and 2  

The 2016 edition of the 32km Spur Silvermine Mountain XL began under grey skies as some of the Cape’s top trail runners came out to enjoy the magnificent Silvermine Nature Reserve.

This race sees runners traverse both Silvermine East and Silvermine West and really is a race of two halves.

In the men’s solo event, it was tight at the top as the top 5 were all within 30 seconds of each other at the first check point, 13km in, with up-and-coming Raydon Balie all smiles as he led veteran and defending champion Nicholas Rupanga, Ben Brimble, Rory Scheffer and Chad Gordon through the check-point in 01:15:20.

The second half of the race saw solo runners tackle 14km of Silvermine West trails and it was soon evident that this race was to become a game of cat and mouse, with the leaders marking each other until the final 5km to the finish.

At the 27km mark and the second check-point, it was Balie and Rupanga who once again checked in as the top 2. This is where Rupangas’ experience came to the fore as he pulled away on the descent to the finish to wrap up his second consecutive Spur Silvermine Mountain XL in a time of 02:47:48. Balie sealed his 2nd place on the podium in a time of 02:49:31 and Ben Brimble rounded off an impressive top 3 by crossing under the arch in 02:52:35.

In the Ladies 32km solo race there were two clear favourites and friends - Megan Mackenzie and Kate Mapham, who locked horns with Sandra Koblmüller, a professional triathlete from Austria who was first to the 13km check-point in a time of 01:25:18. Megan was hot on her heels in 2nd place with a time of 01:26:21 and third to check in was Kate Mapham, 01:34:23.

The next 14km saw Koblmüller put the hammer down as she relished the technical terrain and downhill to run into the second check-point in an accumulated time of 02:44:05, four and a half minutes ahead of Mackenzie and more than 20 minutes ahead of Mapham.

In the end there was no denying Koblmüller the victory as she powered her way over the 32km course in 03:07:49 with Mackenzie, who seemed to take a tumble out on course, cruising home in second place in a time of 03:14:24.

Mapham held off the charge to seal her spot on the podium with a time of 03:37:16.

TrailBusters leave their mark

In the Men’s team event the duo of Niel Swanepoel and Edward van der Merwe blew everyone away with a dominant display of running, coasting home in 2:45:31 - more than 15 minutes over the 2nd placed team, Team DJ. Team DJ claimed second place in 03:01:46 despite tough competition from the Llandudno trail surfers, as Robert Shaff and Michael de Kwaadsteniet ran a good race to take home third place, with an overall time of 03:05:24.

The Llandudno trail team rounded off a superb day for the lifeguards as the ladies (consisting of Linda Detering and Daniella Mihal) ran home in first, with a time of 03:30:23, with trail stalwarts Maxine Reilly and Charlotte Noble claiming an impressive 2nd overall in a time of 03:44:46. The Mamas, comprised of Natalie Marcus and Mmamapudi Kubjane, rounded off the top 3, crossing under the arch in 04:21:21.

In the Mixed team event, Cornel Smuts and Leentjie Visser proved that consistency counts as their respective leg positions remained unchanged, to come home first over the line with a time of 03:15:18 with team Just Wing It, made up of Ben Kooyman and Tessa Engelhardt, claiming 2nd mixed team overall with a time of 03:20:23.

Rounding out the top 3 mixed teams went to Jason Lammers and Marta Jakot of team Dos Cabras, who cruised home in 03:33:10.

It was another magical edition of the Spur Silvermine Mountain XL and a big thank you must go to our sponsors; Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Sport, La Sportiva and Protea Hotels.

For results click here and take a look at the photos here