Ariane thrives in Sabie Mountains

Ariane Kleinhans thrives in Sabie mountains - Images: Marike Cronje/ ZCMC

Ariane Kleinhans thrives in Sabie mountains – Images: Marike Cronje/ ZCMC

Ariane Kleinhans continued her love affair with the mountains in Sabie as she won her fourth consecutive title at the Ashburton Sabie National Marathon this past weekend.

The women’s marathon covered 72km with 1250m of ascent, which included the notorious Mamba Switchbacks and Rocky Horror sections of the men’s Ultra distance route.

“The course in Sabie with its long ascents and fast descents is probably the one race in the South African calendar that comes closest to a Swiss marathon and it suits my abilities as a climber coming from a similar background.

“My legs felt very good and I went into the race with confidence. Robyn and I were leading the ladies field over the first flat few kilometres to the beginning of the first climb. There, after about 14km, I managed to open a small gap to Robyn before going into the main climb up the Mamba Switchbacks. I managed to extend my lead and was happy to stay trouble free over the Rocky Horror section and all the way to the finish to claim my fourth victory at this race.” said Ariane Kleinhans.

In the Men’s race, Erik Kleinhans continued his love-hate relationship with Sabie, finishing just outside the top ten after fighting in third position for most of the race.

“For me this race is definitely the toughest in the series, not only for the amount of climbing, but mostly due to the rough, rocky terrain that makes you work much harder on the climbs as well as on the downhills. Its always a race of survival.”

“Up the steep Mamba climb, I lost contact with Max Knox and Waylon Woolcock, and had to settle into chasing mode in third position for most of the day. I managed to slowly crawl closer to the front as the race progressed, but unfortunately with 35km to go, like many others, I got plagued by some mechanical issues which saw me lose big chunks of time to finish with Nico Bell just outside the top 10,” commented Erik.




Elite Men – 115km Ultra Marathon

  1. Max Knox (Biogen) – 5:11:19
  2. Waylon Woolcock (Red-E Blend) – 5:15:42
  3. Matthew Beers – 5:18:45
  4. Matthys Beukes (Scott) – 5:22:50
  5. Konny Looser (Wheeler) – 5:26:16
  6. Arno du Toit (Scott) – 5:29:43
  7. Adriaan Louw (Contego) – 5:31:45
  8. Kevin Evans (Biogen) – 5:32:56
  9. Gawie Combrinck (EAI) – 5:32:56
  10. Alan Gordon – 5:33:36


Elite Women – 72km Marathon

  1. Ariane Kleinhans (Team RECM) – 3:40:20
  2. Robyn de Groot (Ascendis Health) – 3:46:16
  3. Jennie Stenerhag (Ascends Health) – 3:54:14
  4. Candice Neethling – 3:57:13
  5. Vera Adrian (Wheeler) – 4:02:48
  6. Yolandi du Toit (Garmin) – 4:07:10
  7. Vanessa Bell (Bell’s Cycling) – 4:09:44
  8. Theresa Ralph – 4:11:05
  9. Dalene van der Leek – 4:19:37
  10. Tamaryn Kietzmann (Specialized) – 4:33:39