Rukadza, Calitz claim second stage victory at AfricanX

Carla Van Huyssteen and Nicolette Griffioen

Carla Van Huyssteen and Nicolette Griffioen in action during Stage Two of the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

Team K-Way Wintergreen’sBernard Rukadza and AJ Calitz further extended their lead with a second consecutive stage victory at the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS at Boschendal Wine Estate on Saturday, 28 April 2018.

 

Stage Two started and finished at Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate. Teams had to complete a 33km – 35km route.

 

According to Calitz, the stage was by no means easy.  “We felt it today.  For once I was stronger than Bernie on the climbs, but he still pulled me on the flats.  A 30-second lead is not much.  With Sunday’s Stage (Day Three) being shorter, we know that Lucky Miya and Thabang Madiba will push hard.  We had to make our gap today.  We took the lead from the start.  We spoke all the way making sure that both of us were ok.  I always say that the friendship is more important than the win.” 

 

“Our plan was to push hard today,” admits Rukadza.  “My legs felt ok.  Before the start AJ and I had a chat.  We just stuck to our game-plan.  AJ was strong on the up hills.  That is where he pulled me.  When we’re in front of the group, I took the lead.   We’re happy to take the stage victory.”

 

Team K-Way Wintergreen claimed the Stage Two victory in a well-deserved time of 02 hours 58 minutes 24 seconds.  Team Old Mutual Wealth’s Timothy Chambers and Jonathan Black came in 2nd, while Team #gearupgetout is #timetoplay’s Lucky Miya and Thabang Madiba finished 3rd.

 

Nicolette Griffioen and Carla Van Huyssteen of Team KeyHealth Neverest / K-Way also claimed their second stage victory for the weekend in a time of 03 hours 28 minutes 42 seconds. 

 

“Today’s stage was hotter than yesterday,” says Griffioen.  “The route was also flatter, which isn’t our strong point.  The girls kept with us.  We pulled away on a climb and managed to keep our lead”.

 

“Every time that I do AfricanX I realise that I am not fit enough for the distance,” laughs Van Huyssteen.  “I’ll have to make a mental note for next year.  Nicolette is super strong and helped me a lot today.  We have a very good partnership.  We used our strengths and pushed on the descents.  We’re happy to open the gap going into Stage Three.  It’ll help a lot.  We’ll run with what we have and try to protect the gap.”

 

Team R & R’s (Retired & Rewired) Kate Roberts and Mari Rabie came in 2nd, while Team Tailwind Ladies’ Danette Smith and Kate Mapham finished 3rd. 

 

In the mixed team race Team Crumb’sDavide Del Fante and Daneil Feldmann also managed another stage victory in a time of 03 hours 51 minutes 19 seconds.

 

“I can’t decide which was tougher, Stage One or Stage Two,” says Feldmann.  “This stage had a crazy climb.  We’ve got a pretty good lead.  Tomorrow we’ll just run our own race and keep it consistent.”

 

“We didn’t lead from the start today, but instead switched places a number of times,” says Del Fante.  “We stuck to our plan which was to keep it steady and run our own race.  Our plan worked.  We’ll just do the same tomorrow.”

 

Team Gauteng Diesel Engines’ Takalani and Mazu Ndandani came in 2nd, while Team ATS’ Leani Grimes and Jacques Buys finished 3rd.

 

The AfricanX Trailrun is a three day stage trail run that requires teams of two runners (male/female/mixed) to battle it out on a route that varies in distance between 20km – 36km each day.  Teamwork and endurance is put to the test. 

 

NEXT UP:  Stage Three / AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS

 

  • Date: Sunday, 29 April 2018
  • Start & Finish Venue: Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
  • Distance:20km -22km

 

SANET WENTZEL SPIRIT AWARD:  Introduced in memory of a fallen athlete, the ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit honours AfricanX entrants who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face. 

 

BEST DRESSED COMPETITION:  Although all three stages of the AfricanX Trailrun are equally special, Stage Two features ‘that extra flair’ with trail runners allowing their creative sides to get the better of them as they try to outdo their rivals in the AfricanX’s “Best Dressed” competition.  With awesome sponsor prizes up for grabs, “Dress Up Day” is sure to be the source of much excitement.

 

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For additional information or to enter the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS visit www.stillwatersports.com, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email entries@stillwatersports.com.