Christiaan Greyling Sets the Pace at The Cathedral Peak Challenge

“The mountains are calling, and I must go.”
– John Muir

All good stories have an adventure at their core. Conceptualised by the owner of the Cathedral Peak Hotel, William Van Der Riet, the Cathedral Peak Challenge is not a call to beat or overcome the mountain; it is an invitation to reconnect with the wilderness in its purest form. Go on an adventure into the great outdoors. Challenge yourself on the trail to the top of Cathedral Peak and back down again.

Over a distance of 20km with a total ascent of 1531m to summit highest free-standing peak in the Drakensberg, at an altitude of 3005m, the Cathedral Peak Challenge requires you to be at your best and your bravest, every step of the way.

The 8th of June 2018 marked the first official run for the money – those quickest to the top and back have a chance to share in cash prizes totalling R100 000. All 38 of the entrants made it to the start line and completed the daunting challenge to try and bag a healthy R25 000 for the fastest male, female and mixed team of 2.

Some of the big names to set their mark on the Challenge included top trail runners Mlungisi Mazibuko, Perfect Dlamini, Jeannie Dreyer, and Christiaan Greyling and Landie Greyling; top OCR athletes Thomas van Tonder, Dominique D'Olivera, Sabrina Daolio and JP Mare; top triathletes Matthew Holden, Michael Ferreira, Michael Lord and Hayden Corke; as well as Mrs South Africa 2018, Nicole Capper, seven-time Dusi winner and founder of the Change a Life Academy, Martin Dreyer, and Angela Yeung from Trek for Mandela 2018.

Make no mistake; this challenge is not for your average Joe. If you think it will be a Sunday afternoon stroll in the park, think again. A high degree of physical and mental fitness is required if you decide to #ChallengeYourself.

Christiaan Greyling had his work cut out with a late surge from Mlungisi Mazibuko who made a final sprint to the line, which Greyling won in a time of 2 hours 29 minutes and 52 seconds, only 8 seconds ahead of Mazibuko, setting a new course record, which was held by Megan Mackenzie with a time of 2 hours and 53 minutes.

In the ladies’ race, it was one-way traffic for trail runner Jeannie Dreyer, who completed the challenge in a time of 3 hours and 19 minutes, 26 minutes shy of Megan Mackenzie course benchmark set on 10 May during the route launch.

Elite Obstacle Course Racer, Sabrina Daolio came in second, 47 minutes behind Dreyer. The third lady home was Landie Greyling in a time of 4 hours and 8 minutes.

Top of the men’s leaderboard so far, Christiaan Greyling, comments, “What a beautiful experience. It’s something I would recommend to everyone and anyone. Everyone should challenge themselves on this race. It’s hard to explain all the emotions you experience on this mountain. It brings you closer to nature, draws out raw human emotion as you push your limits, but you will never regret it.”

The next date to keep in mind will be 18 July 2018, when a bonus race has been made available in celebration of Mandela Day, after which the series resumes on 28 July, 25 August and 22 September in one of South Africa’s most beautiful regions. These dates are supported race days to the summit, while the Mini Challenge, on unsupported days, follows the course to the base camp of the peak and can be completed at anytime before the final day of The Challenge.

Singles can enter for only R250 and teams may enter at R400 per team. Have the chance to beat the best of the best and claim the R25 000 cash prize at the end of the series, for the fastest mixed team, male or female. Participants are welcome to enter again and again and challenge themselves to better their times, until The Challenge’s final day on 30 September – #ChallengeYourself.

While one does not have to stay at the Cathedral Peak Hotel to race, participants that do will receive a 25% discount for the duration of their stay while running the challenge, allowing those brave souls to not only challenge their limits but to renew their souls at this outstanding resort with all its amazing facilities.

Do you have what it takes to #ChallengeYourself?

cathedral NL banner 2 Christiaan Greyling Sets the Pace at The Cathedral Peak Challenge Event Update!

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For more information and to register for this event, visit
Follow the Cathedral Peak Hotel on:
Twitter: @CathedralPeakH
Instagram: @cathedralpeakhotel

Take on the Momentum BIG5 Challenge at the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival

The Momentum BIG5 Challenge is just the activity for multisport enthusiasts looking to push themselves beyond their comfort zone. With accommodation packages available and all sorts of fun things to do in-between races, the BIG5 Challenge is a good reason to head to Knysna for the “best ten days of winter”.

The event is made up of five races taking place between 29 June and 7 July, and athletes can choose between the Momentum BIG5 and Momentum BIG5Lite, which both start and finish with the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour MTB and the Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon’s Half Marathon. An additional three events form the full BIG5 and take place between those two events. (see table below) Ranked by their cumulative time, the athlete who completes all five events in the least amount of time will be the winner.

Last year, local triathlete Vicky van der Merwe won the women’s event, and she will be back this year to defend her title. “I love the BIG5 Challenge, this will be my third year competing. The event is fun and varied, and very well organised, and we use the week as an opportunity to run training camps with triathletes,” she said.

Triathlete and multisport enthusiast Dean Hopf, who recently placed second in his age group in the Barcelona Half Ironman, says he is very much looking forward to another BIG5 Challenge: “BIG5 has something for everyone. I raced this first as an “introduction” to off-road racing and returned a year later with 10 friends that I had convinced to join me, many of whom were new to the sport and who are now regulars. I then raced it with a bit more focus and placed third in 2016.

“This year it serves as the perfect training block for my build-up to Ironman 70.3 World Champs, right in the middle of winter when motivation is usually the lowest,” he said.

Gary Marescia, Race Director, said: “More and more athletes are expanding from their chosen disciplines into multi-sports, and this is often paired with a passion for being outdoors. The Momentum BIG5 Challenge ticks all the boxes for an adventurous week of sport, and combined with the Knysna Oyster Festival, family and friends, you can see why this is landing up on so many people’s bucket lists.”

Amy Hoppy is Managing Editor of Women’s Health Magazine, a social-media personality and fitness lover, and has entered the Momentum BIG5Lite: “I discovered my passion for running three years ago, but I love taking on new challenges and this led me to try my first trail run. Then last year I decided to take my love of nature into the realm of mountain biking. I’m now an avid mountain biker, roadie and runner. My triathlete friends are urging me to take up swimming, and I do plan to, but what I love about the BIG5 is that, with the Lite option, I get to do some mountain biking and road cycling as well as the half marathon and trail.”

Amy Hoppy says she looks forward to the challenge as well as the holiday: “Knysna has such an extraordinarily beautiful landscape: mountains, veld, indigenous forest, the ocean… it’s the perfect place for outdoor adventure sports and I can’t wait to spend a week immersed in the vibe of the Oyster Festival. That means a lot of great food, wine and oysters in between all the sweat and mud!”

Visit for further information and to enter.

Visit for Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival schedule.

Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour announces seeding events

The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour is on track for its 31st year, and the organisers have confirmed that three of the races will be seeding events for the 2019 Cape Town Cycle Tour.

As one of the two biggest sporting events of the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival from 29 June – 8 July, the Knysna Cycle Tour will take place on 30 June and 1 July, the first weekend of the popular annual festival. The tour comprises MTB and road events, the SPUR Children’s Tour, and the Forest Family Dam Ride. Furthermore, the 80km and 50km MTB events as well as the 115km Road Race have been announced as seeding events for the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

Race Director Elwin Thompson says that this is a very exciting development for the Knysna Cycle Tour. “There has been a big demand for us to provide seeding events, as this ensures that riders wanting to do the Cape Town Cycle Tour are able to start the race with others of similar ability and fitness. This helps reduce bottlenecks and the need to overtake slower riders on the route, which means it’s safer for all riders. There is no doubt that this is a big drawcard for our event, and will attract an increased number of cyclists to Knysna this year.”

The MTB event on 30 June is one of the biggest in southern Africa and includes outstanding cycling routes through the Knysna Forest. Traditionally, the event has consisted of four different MTB routes for varying technical abilities, over 80km, 50km, 30km and 15km. Last year, the organising committee changed the 15km route to an easier, fun ride for all ages, and introduced a 30km e-bike route. Set up and managed by Leon Evans, known as Dr Evil, these MTB routes test the skills of competitors to the maximum.

“This year, following the fires of June last year, we will be looking to change the 50km route slightly to divert cyclists from some of the badly burnt pine forest where all the trees have now been cut down and the landscape has changed completely,” says Thompson. “We want to make our MTB routes as scenic as possible, to maintain our reputation as a bucket list event.”

The challenging 115km road race on Sunday 1 July, will follow the now-familiar route from Knysna to Sedgefield and Kleinkranz, then back to Knysna via Sedgefield and Karatara. “It was designed for enthusiastic, competitive roadies and always delivers!” says Thompson, adding that the 50km road race route is from Knysna to Sedgefield and back along the N2.

The SPUR Rotary Knysna Children's Cycle Tour on Sunday 1 July is a fun, safe event for children aged 2 to 10. There are three events for different age groups, all starting and finishing at the Knysna Oyster Festival venue.

The popular Forest Family Dam Ride on Sunday 1 July consists of two events, a 20km and a 30km ride. Both are scenic MTB routes through the Knysna Forest and past some of the town’s dams. The 30km event is for more experienced riders, while the 20km ride is for MTB riders of all ages and competency, including children aged 12 years and older. They are guided fun rides and will not be timed.

Says Thompson, “Online entries are now open for all these events and we are looking forward to a great event this year.”

For more details and to enter, go to You can also follow the Knysna Cycle Tour on Facebook and Twitter for regular updates about all the events.

#RideForALocal says Knysna Cycle Tour!

The Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour is going ahead despite the recent devastating fires and will celebrate its 30th year with exciting new routes & rides!

Marketing director of the Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that he hoped that many cyclists who were previously undecided about participating in the event this year, will make the decision to enter a race and come to Knysna.

“We’ve launched a campaign, #RideForALocal because many of our local cyclists were affected in one way or another by the fires. Every single person who comes to the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival will be helping the locals to rebuild their lives and their businesses,” he said.

To encourage participation, normal entries have been extended till 23 June, but late online entries will be accepted until 5 July with no penalties. A late entry fee will be charged for entries at registration. However, late entries will not be seeded.

The two-day event offers a weekend of cycling for the whole family and is for cyclists who enjoy scenic and challenging routes – from beginners to experienced riders.

· MTB Events: Saturday, 8 July: 80 km, 50 km, 30 km, 15 km PLUS a new 30 km e-bike route

· Road Race Events: Sunday, 9 July: 115 km and 50 km

· SPUR Children’s Fun Ride: Sunday, 9 July: 400 m, 1,5 km and 2,5 km

· Forest Family Dam Ride: Sunday, 9 July: 30 km and 20 km

EVENT ENQUIRIES: Megan or Linda | Cell: 079 796 7834 | Tel: 044 382 1129 (mornings only)



Discovery Vitality announces the inaugural Discovery Vitality Run Series

Discovery Vitality is proud to announce the launch of a brand new venture in partnership with four of Johannesburg’s most established running clubs – the Discovery Vitality Run Series. Designed to help people improve their health through physical activity, the Discovery Vitality Run Series connects four iconic running events in the city of Johannesburg, the popular Old Eds, Wanderers, Randburg Harriers and Rockies road races in August and September. The Series aims to get more people into running, and includes entry level distances to encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to take part. The Series also hopes to support the running community by contributing to the sustainability of these existing road running events.

“The Discovery Vitality Run Series is a natural extension of events like parkrun, which has more than 600 000 registered runners with over 50 000 participating every Saturday morning,” says Craig Nossel, Head of Discovery Vitality Wellness. “The aim is to motivate people of all fitness levels and to encourage more people to love running.”

The series will kick off on the 6th of August with the Old Eds Road Race. While it is the perfect event for Comrades finishers to get going after the ‘Ultimate Human Race’, beginners can also enjoy a scenic 5km or 10km route.

Mark Mohring, Chairman of the Old Edwardian Athletics Club says, “We at Old Eds Sports Club are thrilled to be included in the inaugural Discovery Vitality Run Series. This event will ensure the sustainability of road running in South Africa for many years to come and we are excited about the role we will be playing in this.”

The second race in the Series is the Wanderers Road Race. The Wanderers Athletics Club began in Johannesburg, and for decades has been a beacon in the local and international sporting world. “The club’s mission is to support running and walking as an antagonistic and recreational activity and encourage participation by all ages and sexes from all social backgrounds and fitness levels,” says Dylan Burgess, Chairman at Wanderers Athletics Club.

The Series then moves to the Randburg Harriers Challenge, which was run for the first time in 1984. “Founded in July 1982, the Randburg Harriers Running Club aims to foster, promote and develop all branches of athletics for which there is sufficient interest by members. “To say that we are excited is an understatement. We feel very privileged to be a part of the Discovery Vitality Run Series and can’t wait to put on the event of the year,” says Liesl Koch, Race Director at Randburg Harriers Running Club.

The Series concludes with the Rockies Road Race, named in memory of running stalwart Gerald Fox, and attracts about 4 000 runners and walkers each year. The race has taken place at the Johannesburg Zoo over the past six years and R155 000 has been donated to the Zoo from race proceeds. The Rocky Road Running Club was formed in 1975 and is one of the oldest running clubs in Johannesburg. “Rockies is a social running club and we have members of different capacities, from elite athletes who win races to those running their first 5km. We offer a great forum and support for people to do what they love – running!” says Saul Levin, Chairperson of Rockies Running Club.

Getting more people to exercise is a sound investment in health

Nossel adds, “These events on the running calendar are designed to encourage people to start, or continue, their fitness journey – a core aim of the Vitality programme due to the many, measurable health benefits. Highly social and visible events like these have the potential to get more people off the couch and into running shoes.”

Research conducted by Discovery Vitality, the Vitality Fittest City Index, emphasises how important it is to create supportive environments to improve population health by enabling more regular physical activity. “By offering distances such as 21.1km for seasoned runners, and 10km and 5km distances for novice runners and walkers, a Series like this does exactly that,” he says.

Challenging people to take on the Vitality Run Series

By creating a Series, Vitality hopes to encourage people to develop a healthy habit of running regularly. Runners will receive a limited edition Discovery Vitality Run Series medal at each race, and by earning all four, they can complete the medal set. In addition, runners who complete all four races stand a chance to win one of ten Asics hampers valued at R3 500.

Vitality members who run the Vitality Run Series receive:

800 Vitality points for 5km
1 100 Vitality points for 10km
2 000 Vitality points for 21km
Bonus points for completing at least 3 of the 4 events
Nossel concludes, “We are excited about this inaugural Discovery Vitality Run Series. By supporting these iconic races, we want to ensure their longevity while supporting the running community and getting more people active. Because regular exercise is a sound investment in good health, the Discovery Vitality Run Series is an investment in South Africa’s running community.”

For more information or to enter the Vitality Run Series, visit:

Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival 2017

Knysna Tourism has confirmed that the Pick n Pay 2017 Knysna Oyster Festival is going ahead as planned. Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, the Knysna Municipality and the event organisers, board chairperson Elmay Bouwer said that while the Garden Route town suffered extensive damage in this week’s devastating fires, plans for the Festival are continuing.

Marketing director for the Momentum Knysna Cycle Tour, Andrew Finn said that while Knysna has taken a big knock, the Knysna Cycle Tour is still on track with planning and organisation. “Once all the fires have been extinguished, we will be able to assess the situation to see whether it is necessary to alter any of our routes and plans, and all entrants will be updated by email,” he said. “We are looking forward to a great event.”

Organiser of The Momentum Knysna Forest Marathon, Leon Brown confirmed that the marathon would also go ahead. “We are dedicating the event to all the people who lost everything in the fires and will be focusing on our blanket drive. We urge people to add to the 2000 blankets which Momentum donates every year and to also donate clothing which will be collected at registration and the race start in the Glebe so that it can be distributed to where it is most needed.”

Knysna Tourism is presently assessing the impact of the fires on the local accommodation establishments but is positive that festival goers will be able to find accommodation in and around the town. Visitors can call Knysna Tourism on (044) 3825510 for more information.

Bouwer said that it was heartening to see how South Africans across the country had offered support to those who have lost so much in Knysna. “The Festival will be a great opportunity for people who want to help our residents to recover from this disaster and we are looking forward to welcoming a record number of people to our beautiful town.”

The Festival is known to stimulate the Knysna winter economy and firmly places the region on the tourism destination map during the quieter off-season. The Festival is also instrumental in raising meaningful funding for local charities (over R3 million in 2016) and for developing and growing local suppliers. These are good reasons for the Festival to take place and an even better reason to invite everyone to Knysna this year.

To illustrate the positive economic impact that the festival brings to Knysna, last year festival goers spent close to R110 million over the 10 days of the Festival, excluding event tickets and a total of 2 392 job opportunities were created.

Separate to the charitable contributions that will come from the Festival, both Pick n Pay and event co-sponsors Momentum have this week each donated R100 000 to immediate fire disaster relief.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to assist can take advantage of Pick n Pay’s online shop to purchase groceries and essentials for delivery to those in need. Visit

For more information about the Pick n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival visit For accommodation in Knysna visit

Hollard Jozi Urban Run Adventure

Remember when you were a kid and you used to run around outside with your friends running, climbing, jumping and just plain having fun? Well the Hollard Jozi Urban Run Adventure, taking place on the 27th May 2017 at Marks Park, is the ultimate adult version of that.
Urban is the new trail and the Hollard JURA turns Johannesburg into one big obstacle course for you, your friends and family to enjoy. If that’s not enough to get you all laced up and ready to go, there are over R50 000 worth of prizes up for grabs for both the fresh-off-the-couch potatoes to the more athletically inclined.

For those feeling competitive and looking to add to their “new running shoes” fund. We have a total of R24 000 waiting at the finish for the top three men and women for all three distances – from full 18km adventure to 6km fun run.

For those running with their family, BFF or boyfriend, feel free to dress to express. The Best Dressed Family, Best Dressed Ladies or Best Dressed Mixed Team stand a chance to win up to R3500 each with the total of R19 500 just one crazy wig away.

For those who want to break free from the ties; suits and pencil skirts and do some good while they’re at it. The Best Dressed Corporate Team stands a chance to win R5000, a commemorative Trophy and R5 000 to the charity of their choice.

If you feel, like we do, that sweat just adds that extra glow. Then strike a pose, upload your selfie to the Hollard JURA Facebook page and stand a chance to win your slice of R6 000 for the Best Selfie of the Day.

For those who want to document their Hollard JURA experience on, whether it’s Chariots of Fire style or a even a little more Forest Gump why not enter it into the Best Runners Video category. Just Upload it to our Facebook page and you could stand a chance to win R7 500 and a brand spanking new GOPRO – Hero 5. What are you waiting for – Run Forest, Run!

For those who just want to enter for the experience… Think awesome, yet optional obstacles from water slides to reed tunnels, hay bales to rock climbs and much more. Choose a distance from 6km fun run, to 12km or 18km adventure and celebrate with a cold one and some festivity at the Hollard Adventure Weekend Race Day Village at Marks Park.

The Hollard Adventure Weekend Race Day Village features a mini obstacle course for kiddies, an SAB beer garden and “Gig Rig”, Joburg’s top food stalls and much more. Follow all the latest news and announcements via social media by following us on Facebook.

Entries are open. Entry fees are R249 ex VAT for the 6km Fun Run, R299 ex VAT for the 12km Adventure and R330 for the 18km Adventure ex VAT. Runners, fitness fanatics, and adventurous spirits unite! Visit for entries and more information.











Are You Tough Enough to Tackle Gaborone?

The Diacore Gaborone Marathon is Botswana’s largest running event! The inaugural event was held in 2010 and now seven years down the line, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon is an IAAF certified qualifier for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon, the Commonwealth Games as well as the Olympic Games Marathon Event.

Since 2010 the race has raised over four million rand, and has been afforded the opportunity to donate funds to many deserving non-profit organisations. As testament to the event’s growth and success, the 2017 Diacore Gaborone Marathon welcomes the De Beers Group of Companies as a new Diamond status sponsor.

In order to get you ready for this year’s event, we give you a few helping hands and some guidelines to follow in order to make your race that much more special!

Water Intake

It is important to give your body plenty of liquid, especially with the climate in Botswana. On the day of race, the Diacore Gaborone Marathon's official water sponsor will have plenty of water available along the route. For the serious runners there are energy drinks to go with the water intake to give an additional boost to the body. Always remember to take small sips rather than huge intake at one time.


By now you are probably starting to increase the distance you run and maybe doing one longer run a week. Blisters can be a problem when running for an extended period of time. A good tip is to use Vaseline on your feet, especially around the toes and outside the socks. This should ensure that friction is minimized and you can run the distance comfortably.

Pace Yourself

Push yourself in the three months of January, February and March with a rigorous training schedule. However by April, it is important to turn down your training schedule in the week of race day so that the big day is a personal success rather than a day of overwhelming agony. In your interval training you should be making sure that you put yourself into oxygen debt. At the same time you should reduce your recovery times so that you are forcing the pace. On your long runs it is important to focus on pace. One of the biggest mistakes in a full marathon is too start too quickly.

Staying Mentally Focused

When you are on a long run it would help one not to focus on how much further you have to go but on how far you have already run. It can be quite uplifting to know that you have already run 21 kilometers, rather than to think about the remaining 21 kilometers. So always focus on the positive.

If this is your first marathon, run at your own pace and do not be distracted by others and if they are going faster or slower than you. Make sure that you concentrate on your pace, may be listen to music as it helps many people from getting distracted. Always let the crowds help you and lift you through the latter part of the race when your will to run and energy levels start to flag. And always remember if you finish you have a memory and experience that will last you a lifetime.

button_find-out-more Are You Tough Enough to Tackle Gaborone? Event Update!

WIN with Modern Athlete

Modern Athlete is once again giving runners an amazing opportunity. Enter the Modern Athlete Diacore Gaborone Marathon competition and stand in line to win an amazing weekend away at the Peermont Grand Palm Hotel and Casino Resort for two people sharing and at the same time bag yourself an entry into the 2017 Diacore Gaborone Marathon valued at R4000.00.

This prize does not included travel to and from Botswana and the winner must be able to travel to Botswana between Friday, 5 May and Sunday, 7 May 2017. This prize is not transferable to another date and must be used the weekend of the marathon.

button_enter-now Are You Tough Enough to Tackle Gaborone? Event Update!

2017 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon Substitution Entries Are Closing Soon

Runners still hoping to secure their place in the 2017 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon have until Monday, 6 March 2017 to secure a substitution entry. The substitutions process allows a runner to officially take over the entry of an athlete that needs to withdraw from the race. However, runners are cautioned to follow the official procedure and not just hand their race number over to a friend.

“Each runner’s personal profile – which includes important medical and emergency information – is linked to his/her race number, and the substitution process facilitates the linking of a newly-issued number to the new participant,” says Carol Vosloo, General Manager of the Two Oceans Marathon NPC, organisers of the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. 
“Not following the proper substitution procedure could have life-threatening consequences, as emergency personnel rely on the accuracy of the information linked to an athlete’s race number. Runners who simply give their race number to someone else – no matter how well-meaning – will result in disciplinary action for both parties.”

Runners may visit for detailed instructions.

Beware of fraudsters!

With the high demand for entries – especially for the Half Marathon and Trail Runs – there are individuals who abuse the trust of runners by advertising invalid substitutions.  “We encourage runners to contact our Entries Team to confirm the details of the withdrawing runner or substitution voucher number first. Don't be pressured into making any kind of upfront payment without first ensuring that the transaction is valid,” adds Ms Vosloo. 

Deadline for qualifier, medical & running club details submission.

Runners are required to submit their qualifier, medical and running club details to their entries by midnight on 6 March 2017. This is particularly important for Ultra Marathon participants who will forfeit their entry if they fail to submit their qualifying marathon results and 2017 running club information.

For more information, visit, contact, or call the organisers on 0861 262 326 / 021 799 3040.

Three Cranes Challenge Kicks off with the 2017 Old Mutual Wild Series

Solicitor Manduwa, an Old Mutual runner, took first place at the 2017 Wild Series Three Cranes Challenge, which was brought to a close on Sunday 26 February 2017. The Three Cranes Challenge that is part of the Old Mutual Wild Series, is a three-day trail run in KwaZulu-Natal spanning a distance of roughly 100km. The challenge helps to raise funds for the conservation efforts in the Karkloof Nature Reserve and surrounding areas.

The challenge was won by Manduwa with an overall time of 07:53:25. Second place went to Ruan van der Merwe, who finished 18 minutes behind the winner in a time of 08:11:21 and third place was claimed by Nomore Mandivengerei, also an Old Mutual runner, timing in at 08:19:02. International runner Holly Page won the women’s race in a time of 08:28:01. Chantel Nienaber came second in a time of 09:41:57. Tracy Zunckel completed the podium for third with her time of 10:32:53. Page was the Old Mutual Wild Series Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge winner in 2016. She is from the United Kingdom and was placed an impressive fifth overall.

The race was staged from a single base camp and each day runners had to complete distances that ranged between that of a half marathon and full marathon across challenging terrain. Participants ran on and off-road tracks through forests, grasslands and managed plantations. It was a mixture of conditions that challenged runners throughout the race. The weekend started off with some fairly good but cloudy weather. This came after very heavy rains in KwaZulu-Natal. Day one included the Karkloof Canopy Tour which was a highlight for many.

Day two seemed yo be the longest day of the challenge, as runners had to face a bit of heat, despite the weather conditions, participants got to enjoy a time out at the unique and spectacular setting at the highpoint at Mbona Nature Reserve and Benvie Botanical Garden. The final day started with some drizzle, resulting in mud through the forested and steep sections and fast-flowing streams through the grasslands.

Mandwu is immensely happy with his victory, saying, “This is a great experience and I am happy with my results.On the first day, I was putting in a lot of energy and enjoying myself. In terms of my strategy, I knew everybody would be tired on the second day, so I thought if I could open the gap the others behind would not be able to close it.” On his hopes for a win at the upcoming Old Mutual Wild Series Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge, Manduwa feels, “There is a chance of winning the Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge, but I must train hard.”

Page humbly stated, “I am really happy. I never expect to win anything, so it always comes as a nice surprise and you can’t take anything for granted. I am just super happy – it’s been a really wonderful three days and I have met some lovely people and seen amazing places – it’s so diverse. In fact, I wouldn’t have come here had it not been for the race so it’s amazing to discover yet another incredible place in South Africa.”  Page’s career doesn’t normally keep her in one place for too long, yet she still has her own hopes for another Mont-Aux-Source win, “If I am still here, I’d love to go all out again for the win at Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge.”

Louise Duys, Wildlands Director of Partnerships, Marketing and Events, is thrilled about the success of this year’s Three Cranes Challenge. “With the 2017 Old Mutual Wild Series Three Cranes Challenge now behind us, we’d like to thank all those involved for their role in making this another extraordinary event. The participants came out in full force in support of the conservation of the beautiful Karkloof. They displayed unbelievable character and camaraderie through wet, muddy and hot conditions – some pushing 11 hour days!

“Our sponsors’ unwavering support continues to show their commitment to Wildlands’ vision towards a sustainable future for all, in turn, driving responsible business. We’re truly grateful to our title sponsor Old Mutual, and Jonssons and Time Freight for their on-going support. An event like this would not have been possible without the team that worked tirelessly to pull it together. We feel incredibly proud to have delivered, once again, on our purpose for the Wild Series of being able to showcase one of South Africa’s most unique and breathtaking regions, in a way that leaves a legacy for future generations.”

By participating in the Three Cranes Challenge, runners help to conserve KZN’s endangered Cranes – a flagship species for South Africa, through the incredible work of the Karkloof Conservancy. The three Cranes themselves are the Blue, Grey-Crowned and Wattled Cranes. The threat they face is incentive to protect the wetlands and grasslands they call home. This year, the Karkloof Conservancy turns 19 years old. It is comprised of local landowners who wish to protect biodiversity within the Karkloof area. This has precipitated several community projects to protect the Karkloof, of which the conservancy protects 40 000 hectares. Projects include the Karkloof Conservancy Farm Schools Project and the Adopt a Crane Project.

Karen Thomas, Head of Brand at Old Mutual said “Congratulations to all the runners who challenged themselves and conquered the Karkloof! You are true champions – and we are proud of your efforts to run for more than yourselves and support nature conservation. Like Old Mutual, who have stood the test of time, all the runners inspired us with their endurance to do great things.”

Race Organizer, Andrew Booth commented; “For me, as with all Wild Series Challenges, the Three Cranes Challenge 2017 has been a grueling one to prepare for – a lot of hard work getting everything into place, but once the runners started to arrive and everything began to flow it has been one of the most spectacular Wild Series challenges to date. “Having the largest record field for this Challenge yet certainly added to the atmosphere, with the race village being full throughout. I think as a Wild Series team who work closely with the Karkloof Conservation Centre, all the volunteers from Ezemvelo, and the Karkloof can be very proud of what we all pulled off here.”

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