A magical day in the Richtersveld

Thabang Madiba and James Cracknell at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Copyright Ian Corless

Thabang Madiba and James Cracknell at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Copyright Ian Corless

Day 3 is boulder day on the Richtersveld Wildrun™ and there were some excited, though anxious, faces this morning as we set off on the third day of this epic adventure across the Richtersveld desert.

This day, for many their favourite day of the run, lived up to all expectations and provided not only astounding views but also more quality running. Thabang Madiba carried on where he left off on the first two days to claim the 34km stage win in a time of 3:24:03. He made quite a few navigational errors and got to the official checkpoint approximately five minutes ahead of Dayle Wheeler and Katya Soggot before pulling away again down Pypkloof. This was not the end of his navigational woes though and in the final stretch he once again made a few errors before arriving at the finish on the banks of the Orange River seven minutes ahead of second place.

Scenes from the Tatasberg at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Copyright Ian Corless

Scenes from the Tatasberg at the Richtersveld Wildrun™. Copyright Ian Corless

Wheeler and Soggot ran the last 15km together and came home in second place in a time of 3:32:31 – Soggot taking her third straight first place in the ladies race. The third man home was Filippo Faralla in a time of 4:04:10, with Nikki Kimball claiming second spot in the ladies race in 3:49:10 and Karoline Hanks being the third lady home in 4:04:10. Georgina Ayre tried her best to eradicate Hanks’ overall lead but for the second day in a row she made navigational errors that cost her dearly and possibly cost her a podium position.

Both Soggot and Madiba are on track to claim a whitewash by winning every stage of the race, but only time will tell where they will end up and with navigation playing a big part in this event, anything can happen.

The final day tomorrow will take runners down from the Orange River, over Akkedis Pass and Halfmens Ridge before they descend back to Sendelingsdrif where they started four days ago. It is possibly the toughest day of the race and is looming large ahead of everyone in camp. The great weather and perfect camp setting have made up for this though and the spirits are high as the smell of braaivleis fill the air next to the Orange River.

Click here for full results. Photos are available in Dropbox at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0s2k43u2cnmhf1v/AADk8YAitKvYMczLcrmuYvmBa?dl=0