Mr Price Sport Runners looking to paint the town red

My Magalies Mayhem

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Cradle Mayhem
Three Day Trail Run, Magaliesburg, 4-6 May

While I was
preparing for my first trail race, trail devotees were geared up for the
weekend’s stage races. Highveld’s first and only multi-day trail race was set
in the Hartbeespoort area, overlooking Magaliesburg Mountain Range. Routes
stretched over 20-odd farms and entered the Cradle of Human Kind.

 

THREE-DAY ADVENTURE

The
weekend’s activities kicked off on the Friday night with a 10km prologue run
along the Scheerpoort
River
. Around 40 runners
with headlamps took on the relatively flat but twisty route on, crossing rivers
and streams, and running through reed tunnels, which must have been quite
challenging in the dark!

 

The
three-day stage runners made sure not to overdo it in the prologue, as Saturday
saw the mammoth 35km second stage, which took runners through a technical trail
passing The Cradle of Humankind and turning back to soft sand, plus three steep
climbs and fast descents. One climb even took runners along historic ox-wagon
paths that were used for by miners more than a century ago.

 

The final
stage on Sunday offered a less technical, flatter 20km route, but with some
climbs, and the finish stretched out next to the beautiful river and reed
tunnels. That made for an overall distance of 65km, andfirst home overall was Jason
Sprong in the men’s field, finishing with combined time of 5:13:35. Next home
were runner-up Mazu Ndandane (5:28:18) and third-placed Nico Schoeman
(5:33:42). In the women’s field, Lindsay Van Aswegen claimed top spot in 6:13:42,
with Beverley Davey second (6:41:25) and Natasja Kask third (6:43:12).

 

MY RUN IN NATURE

The final
day also saw a single-entry 7km fun run and after watching the weekend’s
racing, I knew I had to grab the opportunity to run my first trail race with my
Dad. I wasn’t quite kitted out like the rest of the field, though – I didn’t
have a nifty backpack or fancy stopwatch – but I was fairly confident, despite
never doing trail before and having a wee bit of shin splint pain.

 

I started
off slow and took it all in: The bridge, the stream to my right and the
unspoilt path, the greenery and trees hanging above, and I realised why people
do this every weekend – it’s just you and nature! My Dad, being far fitter than
me, is an encouraging person to have around… every time I slowed down, he’d
keep me at it, shouting “Not long now! Keep the momentum!”

 

Around the
2km point, the flat course stretched to a downhill run which gave me an
opportunity to build up some speed and ease into a rhythm, but my shins kept
acting up, especially when going up the small climbs near the halfway mark. But
I took my Dad’s advice and made small goals for myself. At 5km, I knew I could
finish the run in under an hour – I am a novice, so that was my goal, and I was
determined! That saw me finish in 52 minutes.

 

The Cradle
Mayhem offers some of the most beautiful routes that cater for both the novice
and the trail expert. It is definitely an event to look out for next year.


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