Hennops Turns up the Heat

Words & Photos: Claire Davidson

Race 2 of the Gauteng Winter Trail Series took part at the majestic Hennops River farm. More than 1200 excited runners entered for this race which had an added extra-long course for those feeling a little more hard-core! This XL course took runners over 20km of undulating trails which had it all; hills, rocky descents, a river crossing and forest trails.

Conqueror of the XL race, Eduardo Ordax, had not only the trails to battle, but had to fend off a determined Piers Cruickshanks, who pushed Eduardo all the way to finish a mere 10 seconds behind! Eduardo came home in a great time of 01:47:40, with Piers in 01:47:50. Third place went to a familiar face on the Gauteng trail scene, Mazu Ndandani, who finished in 01:48:23.The ladies XL race saw a dominant display of running by Anita O’Brien, winning by over 2 minutes in a time of 02:01:54. Second place went to Nicolette Griffioen with third place going to Jane Swarbreck.


Andrew Lowndes, last week’s overall winner in the Long Course, looked focused on the start line and was keen to add another overall win to his basket in the Winter Championship. Absent from Race 1 in Groenkloof but lining up alongside Andrew this week was Tranquil Gumbo, recent winner of the Two Oceans Trail 10km Trail Run and last year’s runner up in the Winter Series Championship. It was an electric race from these two young guns (Andrew is 25 and Tranquil only 20) with honours this time going to Tranquil in a time of 00:58:16 with Andrew right behind him, only 29 seconds back in 00:58:45.


The ladies race was once again a tense affair. Last week’s winner, Catherine Malungati, was a notable absentee but that didn’t deter from great racing as Lelani Scheffer and Takalani Nthulane-Ndandani battled it out yet again, this time for top spot on the podium. Winning in a time of 01:10:01 and by 9 seconds was last week’s runner up, Leilani Scheffer, with 2nd place going to Takalani Nthulane-Ndandani. New to the podium this week and winner in the Veterans category went to Meg Mclaren in a time of 01:11:54.


The Short Course race was once again dominated by the young guns as the first two over the line were junior competitors. Patrick Colborne (17yrs) picked up where he left off last week by recording another win and was the only runner to break 30 minutes, winning in a time of 00:29:44. Anrich Zimmermanne (15yrs) came in 3 minutes behind Patrick and snapped up 2nd place, with Romeo Alexander picking up 3rd overall in a time 00:33:31, first open male.


The Ladies race was dominated by the younger runners as well, with the top 3 overall all under 15 years of age! Exceptional running from these young girls who no doubt have a bright future in trail running. The win was taken by Simonay Weitsz (14yrs) in a time of 00:35:37 with Sinead de Jager (15yrs) placing 2nd over 3 minutes back in 00:39:04. Steph Jay (11yrs), last week’s 2nd lady overall, was third overall and first Minimee 00:39:46. Steph’s mother Delia was fourth lady over the line and first veteran, coming in just behind her daughter in 00:39:58.


Race 3 of 4 in this Gauteng Winter Trail Series is already sold out and promises to be another epic chapter in the Trail Series story. The Segwati Game Ranch plays host this Sunday, June 23, and we look forward to seeing you there!


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @wildrunnerza #trailseries for live race results and reporting. The Gauteng Winter Trail Series is a Wildrunner event & proudly sponsored by adidas, Spur, Protea Hotels, & 100Plus.


Trail Running

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