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PROUDLY SAFFA!

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Welsh Wonders

4th IAU
World Trail Running Championships (77km), Llanrwst, Wales, 6 July

 

More than 150
runners from 20 countries took on a course of five 15km laps set in the Gwydyr
Forest. Soaring UK temperatures and extreme conditions saw a high drop-out rate
amongst runners, but the SA team was one of the few with a full complement to
complete the race. The team did South Africa proud by claiming an overall seventh
position out of 18 countries.

Midstream-banner-scaled PROUDLY SAFFA! Features

 

“It was a great day for us, and we all fought our
battles in one way or another. We had amazing support along the route – our
team manager Altus Schreuder with Marcus Nienaber stationed at the 9km table; my
brother Graham and sister-in-law Marie, along with Marinda Cloete, manning the
table at the start/end of each lap; and Tracy’s mum Pauline and friend Christa
on the course, cheering us on. The vibe was fantastic and the energy amongst
the team extremely positive. South African trail running was represented in
full force, and on every count we held our heads high and did our country
proud.” – Linda Doke

 

“What an experience
to compete against such phenomenal athletes, and I can honestly say I gave it
all I had. Very proud of team SA, we were one of the few who had a 100% finish
rate, even though we had our share of injuries or stomachs running faster than
the athle
te, and I even took a hard tumble at 60km. Many people simply gave up.
Not the Saffas! We were gonna finish and we all did. Absolutely great support
team of Altus Schreuder, Markus (Chantel’s husband), Marinda Cloete and Linda
Doke’s family.” – Dirk Cloete

 

“The course was quite
demanding, with two big climbs right at the beginning of each lap as well as
some technical muddy sections and log jumps which became quite unwanted
obstacles on the fourth and fifth laps!

In a pre-race interview, I
said that I wanted to be in the top 10, so it felt amazing not only to be the
top SA woman, but to also achieve that goal. Now to get onto that podium next
time! And it was such a unique, blessed experience and privilege to share my dream
of representing my country with my life partner!”
Landie Greyling

 

“I am 32nd
in the world and Landie 9th. Well done to my wife! Thanks for the
support SA… We raced our hearts out for Sunny SA!” – Christiaan Greyling

 

“I think that
most SA athletes aspire to being able to step up to the starter’s line in the
green and gold to represent their country. I felt honoured to be able to do
just that. As Altus said, ‘It comes down to National pride.’ At the seconding
station, my husband saw grown men cry, with athletes withdrawing due to various
ailments and injuries. I am thrilled that all of our team managed to ‘vasbyt,’
no matter what was thrown at them. We went out as true ambassadors for our
country; bringing back invaluable experience of racing on International soil.” – Chantel Nienaber

 

(Box)

SA’s MEN

32 Christiaan Greyling 6:58:01

42 Charl Souma 7:16:59

45 Dirk Cloete 7:21:17

Winner: Ricky Lightfoot (UK) 5:36:03

SA’s WOMEN

9 Landie Greyling 7:17:27

28 Tracy Zunckel 7:51:23

37 Chantel Nienaber 8:18:52

40 Linda Doke 8:22:07

Winner: Nathalie Mauclair (France) 6:38:45

 

 

Polish Pride

10th World
Long Distance Mountain Running Championships (41km), Szklarska Poreba, Poland,
3 August

 

A really tough course,
with a start reached by ski-lifts, was made more difficult by temperatures of
up to 35?C, but once again the SA contingent pushed through to the finish
regardless – Kane Reilly and Katya Soggot in particular had a proverbial bad
day at the office, but were able to help each other home in the end. On the up
side, o
ur women’s team came 7th and the men 10th, a
great result for SA.

 

Thank you, Altus
Schreuder, all team members, and all our supporters there on the day. I am so
delighted all our team members managed to hit the finish line, which is the
most important thing. Being 20th at my first Long Distance World
Champs is really a big
achievement to me, and I’ve learnt a lot today, so now my coach and I will go
back to our drawing board and prepare for next year’s race. Viva, Team SA,
Viva! – Thabang Madiba

 

World champs done! Amazing
race, really happy with how it went. But gee, these Europeans can run, and they
have MOUNTAINS! Not like the little mole hills back home. The whole team did
really well and made SA proud. Thanks for all the support from everyone at
home. We really appreciate it! – Ronel
Nattrass

 

Terrible day for me
in the mountains. Really struggled to get to the finish line, heartbroken at
how things didn’t work for me, but the Saffa’s definitely made waves up here!
Thanks everyone for all the kind words – really helped me rise above a very
disappointing day. Still learnt a lot and made some new friends. Experience,
experience, experience! – Kane Reilly

 

Tough day in the
mountains of Poland. My first ride on a ski-lift, then 22km of running on the
route in over 30-degree heat to get water bottles to athletes and help
everybody get home. What an unbelievable privilege and brilliant experience. – Altus Schreuder, Team Manager

 

I was 10th at 13km, but the heat and altitude started
taking its toll and I had to really dig deep. The water at the water tables was
quite warm, but we crossed two small streams and the water there was ice, ice
cold. It was like an oasis – unbelievably refreshing! Eventually getting to the
last waterpoint, Altus was standing there encouraging us on. It was so awesome
to hear a familiar voice! Stoked with my result and
overall team effort today, considering the conditions! Hope to make it to World
Champs next year in the USA.

Michael Bailey

 

SA’s MEN

22 Thabang
Madiba 3:40:33

46 Michael Bailey 4:06:44

307 Kane Reilly 6:00:33

Winner: Mitja Kosovelj (Slovenia) 3:07:36

SA’s WOMEN

24 Robyn Kime 4:32:01

26 Ronel Nattrass 4:33:30

30 Anita O’Brien 4:40:23

61 Katya Soggot 6:00:33

Winner: Antonela Confortola (Italy) 3:44:51

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