Kleinmond was our final destination, and what a grand finale it turned out to be. Sunday 12 August promised some much needed rain in the Cape, which came down in buckets in regular intervals. Well over 100 runners took off to run the XL route, and they were the only group with a truly “dry” start. This didn’t last long, and they were treated to a course full of puddles, mud and the stuff that trail runners love the most.
All three courses offered runners the best of both worlds; with a mountainous route that boasted beautiful ocean views. A rocky single track next to the shore early on in the race was followed by a steep climb. A technical descent to the finish caught a few by surprise, and those with speed on this kind of terrain finished with big grins. Kleinmond is definitely the most technical of the four races in the Series® with a picturesque finish that had everyone grabbing Instagram worthy shots between downpours.
Frederick Wagenvoorde, already comfortable with his second place in the Long Course Championship and perhaps tired of the middle step on podium, stormed the 23km XL course to take first place in a time of 1:48:58. He just held Kei Heyns off, who crossed the line in 1:50:32, followed by Vojtech Krajicek in 1:56:01. It was great to see the infamous mountain goat, Dion Middlekoop, back in race mode, taking first in the vets category and 4th overall in a time of 1:57:15.
First in the women’s field, and one to watch as she progresses, was 23 year old Julika Pahl. Julika finished in 2:20:24, followed by Mia Uys in 2:22:23. Suzanna Winter was third, and first in the women’s vets category in a time of 2:30:09.
The Long Course runners were coaxed from below the tents to the start line, where they took off straight in to an impressive cloud burst. With Raydon Ballie already the clear winner of the Long Course Championship, he opted to miss the last race, giving Gareth Jooste the gap to take top step in a super-fast time of 1:05:31. Gareth was followed by Ricardo Jaftha only 10 second later, and third was 47 year old Kevin Spratley, showing the rest of the youngsters how it’s done in a time of 1:07:51. Next over the line was the first woman, Beth Hanson in 1:09:13. Beth took first place in the Long Course Championship, consistently mixing it up with the top 5 men in each race. We bid Beth a sad farewell as she returns to the UK, and hope that she will come back to race in South Africa again soon. Beth was followed by 18 year old Linda Detering in a time of 1:18:21, with Melany Porter (also first vet) rounding off the podium in 1:25:05.
Each time the clouds parted and the sun attempted to shine down on us, another bank of grey would move in, leaving the Short Course runners a cheerfully bedraggled crew, full of hot coffee, by the time their race began. 20 year old Nicholas Quenet confirmed his Short Course Challenge win with another first place, in a time of 29:44. Tino Adams chased him down to finish second in 31 minutes, with third place going to Kobus Hugo some 4 minutes later. Monita Scullard was first in the women’s race, securing her overall Short Course Challenge win, with a time of 39:16. Second was Alexandra Quenet in 39:59, followed by Gugulethu Makhathini in 41 minutes.
Our website carries the full Series Results as well as all the individual race results.
Well, we’ve been doing this for 10 years now; hosting you at the Spur Cape Trail Series®. We’ve rolled this unique racing concept out to no less than 4 provinces, and watched some cross over from road to trail, some kick start their professional trail running careers, and many of you go from one age category to another, having infinite fun along the way. We’ve loved it, every minute of it, and we aren’t stopping now. Thank you to our title sponsor, Spur Sports, as well as our technical partner, Raidlight South Africa. Thank you Mountain Dew and Capri-Sun for all your generosity. Thank you Steenberg Vineyards and Peak Performance Fitness. And thank you to the landowners and venue hosts for continuing to promote trail running as one of the very best ways to explore new places. But mostly, thanks to all the runners that continue to grow the world of trail running in South Africa.
We have one more race in Port Elizabeth this coming Sunday 20 August, and then it’s on to the sunny skies of KZN!