Photo credit: Volume Photography
On Sunday 24/5/2015 trail runners from Gauteng were welcomed by some of the best weather and a warm atmosphere at ATKV Buffelspoort for yet another FNB Platinum Trail Run. This event is a favourite with many runners as the route in the 8,12 and 24km offer a tough course with loads of technical rocky terrain. Having a major sponsor like FNB and race organizer, Stillwater Sports, involved for some years now, offered every runner a race worth much more than their entry fee.
But at the end of this race day it was the route, passionately know as ‘The Monster’, who didn’t disappoint. The 24km race saw a race of some of our best trail runners in South Africa. Thabang Madiba, Lucky Miya, Edwin Sespipi and Pedro Caldonron in the mens category and in the ladies Megan Mackenzie, Poppy Mlambo, Mpho Mabuza and Karine Bezuidenhout. A field set for some spectacular racing.
The race started off much as expected with Thabang leading the pack with a super pace up the start of the monster climb. Halfway Lucky and Edwin increased the pace and was just to strong for Thabang to cling on. In the ladies race Megan broke away from the rest of the field in the first 3km. She led the ladies race throughout and literally kicked up some dust as she flew over the course. Poppy and Mpho raced like track athletes, running shoulder to shoulder through most of the race.
Lucky gave a final push within the last 5km and secured himself an overall win with a fast 1:29.16 as winning time. Edwin was second over the line with 1.31.26 and Thabang in third with a time of 1:34.14.
Megan Mackenzie dominated the ladies race and finished comfortably in 1st position at a time of 1:48:25 and also top10 overall position. Mpho managed a break from Poppy over the hilly sections and was 2nd lady in at 1:51:38. Poppy, who suffered from a twisted ankle on one of the technical downhills, still came running over the line for 3rd lady at 1:54:48.
The 12km race delivered some of the finest sprint running even though the route measured longer at 13km with very technical rocky sections, climbs and fast descents. Itumeleng Komalu was first male home in a time of 51:50 and Maphuti Maphuti came flying home as first female and top5 overall with 1:00:55.
Exhilarating running and always an inspiration to watch these athletes race each other and giving a 110% when they step onto the trails. The event is well organised, routes clearly marked and marshalled, with superb water & aid stations. As an added bonus every runner is called over the line by name, gets a beautiful medal and an ice cold beer or soft drink of choice. We had a great day running mountain trails with other like-minded athletes and hope to see more of you at the race next year.