Dramatic start to Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™

Runners at race 1 of the Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™ 2014. Image by Anthony Churchyard

It was a stormy start to this year’s Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™ as an angry Hennops River greeted almost 700 runners to kick things off in dramatic fashion.

As usual there were three races at Hennops River, the regular long and short courses as well as a stand-alone, longer XL of 20km.

The XL saw one of the most dominant displays of running as regular podium placer, Tranquil Gumbo blitzed the course in a time of 01:38:12 to win by just under 30 minutes. In the ladies XL race Lerentia Strydom took top honours and finished a superb eighth overall in a time of 02:12:35

Runners at race 1 of the Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™ 2014. Image by Pat Black (1)

Massive contests await

The battle for the men’s long course Championship title is sure to be a big one as two young men showed their intent and put in a strong showing at the first race. It was current winter Championship holder, Edwin Sesipi who grabbed the early initiative and won the 12km long course in 57:06, a mere 45 seconds ahead of Ruan Meintjies.

The race for the line in the ladies Championship race was equally intense as Jenna Bowes came in only four seconds ahead of veteran, Christel Nell in a time of 01:28:27.

Runners at race 1 of the Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™ 2014. Image by Pat Black (2)

Zimmermann stamps early authority

16 year old Anrich Zimmermann showed he is getting stronger and stronger and claimed the win in the 5km short course Challenge race by pipping Ryan Mathaba, current winter series champion, to the line in a time of 22:56.

In the ladies short course race, the win went to Vimbainashe Mhike who crossed the line in 26:58 to claim top spot by quite a margin ahead of of Anel Terblanche. Third over the line went to another exciting junior runner, Kayla Visagie – certainly a talent to keep an eye on!

Third place lady, Takalani Ndandani at race 1 of the Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series™ Long Course. Image by Pat Black.

The next race of the Series will take place this Sunday at Segwati Game Ranch and is set to be another exciting day on the trails.

Big thanks to our fantastic sponsors, Spur Restaurants, adidas, BOS and Protea Hotels.

Click here for the full report, results and more photos.