This past Sunday saw the trail running calendar kick off with the first race of the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® at Lebanon Forest in Elgin. After taking a beating from the wild fires last year, it was awesome to have all the fun single tracks back in action. The Cape decided to play along as well and dish out some delicious weather for runners to play in out on the trails.
First light came peeking out at 5:30am as runners started rolling in for registration and number collection. By 6:30am there was an exciting buzz in the air from all the runners getting ready to dust off those holiday legs and kick up some dirt. To add to the buzz was Wildrunner’s own bag of exciting news for 2017. First was the fact that Spur Trail Series® and Wildrunner turns 10 years young this year.
Then the addition of Raidlight as new apparel sponsor, this means a whole lot of awesome spot prizes, podium prizes up for grabs.
On that podium note, let’s get onto the racing for the day. In the long course Championship, there was a fast competitive field lined up on the start line. All of them ready to take on the course record set by the legend himself, Bernie Rukadza in 2015, a smashing time of 53:43.
All though flying over the finish line at a ridiculous pace, no one could come close to Bernie’s time. Taking the win on the day was Raydon Balie, in a time of 54:49, almost a minute behind him in second was Emmanuel Dlamini, taking the final step on the podium, just sneaking in in front of Jarryd Dunn, was Vincent Viet in a time of 55:44.
In the ladies long course Championship race, taking top honours for Race 1 was local road running star Ashleigh Simonis, in a time of 1:03:37. Shortly after her was Swiss track running champion, Fiammetta Troxler, and wrapping up the ladies podium was Sophie Cope in a time of 01:10:21.
The short course men’s challenge race saw Dino Adams smash Riaan Wildskut’s 2014 short course record by almost a minute, racing across the line in a time of 22:45. Hot on Dino’s heels, and also breaking the record was Evan Fortuin, who came in only 2 seconds behind Dino. And claiming 3rd place was Llewellyn Jacobs. Some ridiculously fast running put on out there in the short course.
In the ladies Challenge race, Liezl du Plooy came sprinting across the line in first place, a long way ahead from runners up Josie McCann and Chanel Hannah. These two had a great battle out on course, and in the end it was Josie who snuck in 5 seconds ahead of Chanel in a time of 32:32 to take second place.
Amazing running by all out there on Sunday. Lebanon never ceases to hand a fantastic dose of good dirt to go and play on.
If you acted crazy, or stopped to strike a pose at the Steenberg Camera Trap, go check out the album here on facebook to see if you’ve been snapped? If we missed you this Sunday, be sure to keep an eye out at the next race for those Steenberg Gates and you could be the next lucky winners who also stand a chance at winning the grand prize. For more details on the competition click here.
A big shout out and thank you to all our sponsors and partners; Spur Steak Ranches, Raidlight, BOS Sport, Steenberg Vineyards and WWF.
Check out your race results here and some the race photos here.