Ah man! We hate it when a good thing comes to an end. After a super exciting day of racing at Leeuwenkloof on Sunday 8 July, that’s a wrap as we wave Gauteng farewell, and get prepped and pumped for the Cape Winter Trail Series®.

The weather played out perfectly for Race 4. The cold front travelled up from Cape Town, but only brought just enough to leave a fresh bite in the air. Warm enough to start without a long sleeves, but cool enough for runners not to overheat.

Race 4 included the all new 23km XL course at Leeuwenkloof. Arguably one of the best medium distance trail routes in the high veld. The course took runners through forests, streams, technical rocky single tracks, some tough climbs, a cave and some typical bush veld trails with views of Hartbeespoortdam and the Magalies Mountain Range. The XL set out at 8am, the unknown course causing a surprisingly serious undertone in the chute, but they were all smiles and stoke when they came in.

Men’s XL Results:

1st: Bradly Claase - 01-51:58

2nd: Dillom Mc Evoy - 01:52:00

3rd: Grant Johnson - 01:52:10

They all finished within seconds of each other. The heat was on out on course, but apparently this was the order they ran in for the bulk of the race. They also took a collective wrong turn towards the end, adding 1km to their run and still managed to hold on to the 3 podium positions.

Women’s XL Results:

1st: Sandra Mansvelder 02:05:56

Sandra was also 5th overall, and won the ladies race by 20mins. She said at the finish line that the course was super tough. She rocked the long course last year and came back for the XL this year, was expecting a tough run, but "sjoe" was her finish line statement!

2nd: Marjoelein Mansvelder 02:25:46

3rd: Veronica Warmington 02:39:28

In the long course, Ryno van Vollenhoven made his mark as the current Gauteng Trail Series® King, having won both the Challenge and now the Championship titles.

Men’s Long Course Results:

1st: Ryno Van Vollenhoven 00:57:02

2nd: James Reid 00:59:22 "Race went as usual, Ryno shot out the start at a stupid pace, impossible to hold on to." "Rad course, super technical and fun"

3rd: Allan Ross 00:59:59

Women’s Long Course Results:

 

1st: Chelsea Harrup 01:13:59

2nd: Fiona Butler 01:14:02 (a neck on neck battle out on course for first place, Chelsea came out on top)

3rd: Jaime Davidson: 01:16:45

Men’s Short Course Results: 

1st: Dylan Mitchley 00:40:13 - taking the win and also cementing his mark as overall winner in the junior category for the challenge.

2nd: Rob Donkin 00:42:38

3rd: Ian Fourie 00:45:03

These three became solid besties on the podium over the series.

Women’s Short Course Results:

1st: Shani Van Wyk 00:49:10. Whether she's on the podium, crossing the finish line, out running, you won’t ever catch Shani without a smile on her face. MC made note of this during prize giving, she just smiled and laughed some more.

2nd: Anri Celliers 00:51:02 

3rd: Robyn Dykes 00:55:04

It was a truly fun and festive end to the series on the longest route of all 4. Runners all had much to say about how technical, tough and beautiful the trail was. Every complaint about how tough it was, was delivered with a smile. That’s what we line up for.

Prize giving was long and festive with 3 race prize giving taking place, championship and challenge overall prize giving and loads of awesome spot prizes from our generous partners. Overall a fun series, with some serious racing at the sharp end, some festive running at the Instagram end.

Thanks to the partners who add magic to each event, and the overall series; Raidlight South Africa, Jaybird, Steenberg Vineyards, Mountain Dew and WWF.

Event images can be found here  and all the results right here.

Cape Town, we’re coming in HOT for the 2018 Cape Winter Trail Series®. Get those entries in!