March 5, 2024

AfricanX Trailrun 2018 – “Extremely, tough, technical and mountainous”

A proper mountain race!

That is how AJ Calitz described the terrain of the African X Trailrun after he and Bernard Rukadza of  team K-Way Wintergreen claimed their 3rd AfricanX Trailrun  title in the men’s team race on Sunday, 29 April 2018.

AJ Calitz and Bernard Rukadza claiming gold after Stage Three. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

Starting and finishing at Retreat (Boschendal Wine Estate), Stage Three of the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS pitted runners against a 20km – 22km route.

“This is a true mountain race.  Everyone who managed to complete this race can be truly proud of themselves. The first two stages were extremely tough, technical and mountainous and in my opinion is the toughest I have every experienced since I have been doing this race.

“We knew all along that we would not be able to secure a Stage Three win as the route on the last day was too flat. This does not suit me,” says Calitz.

“Bernie is fast enough on the flats, but I’m not.  We looked at the profile of each stage beforehand.  We knew what our strengths were and knew what to expect.  We managed to build a good gap after the first two stages.  It wasn’t easy, but everything went according to plan.  Bernie and I have raced AfricanX together three times and we’ve won all three.  We’re happy with that.”

According to Rukadza, AfricanX is a nice race.  “We didn’t plan to win the first stage.  Stage Two was always our main focus.  We were happy to win both stages though.  Today we just wanted to protect our lead.  AfricanX is a really nice race.  I enjoy being here.  Teaming up with AJ is awesome.  He’s really supportive. We definitely want to come back next year.”

Team K-Way Wintergreen completed the three days of trail running (a combined distance of +- 86km) in a combined time of 07 hours 08 minutes 07 seconds.  Team #gearupgetout is #timetoplay’s Lucky Miya and Thabang Madiba came in 2nd, while Team Old Mutual Wealth’s Timothy Chambers and Jonathan Black finished 3rd.

AJ Calitz and Bernard Rukadza in action during Stage Three. Photo Credit: Tobias Ginsberg

In the women’s race Team KeyHealth Neverest/K-Way’s Carla Van Huyssteen and Nicolette Griffioen’s combined finishing time of 08 hours 36 minutes 34 seconds (after three days of running a combined distance of +- 86km) firmly secured them the top spot on the podium.

According to Van Huyssteen, Stage Three’s open roads did not suit their running style.

“We just did what we could and ran as hard as we could.  Nicolette has been amazing these past three days.  We are really happy with the stage.  It’s the camaraderie that brings us back to AfricanX each year.  Next year I plan to start a family, while Nicolette will most likely go on to win world champs.  I’m just really glad that we could close off our partnership in this way.”

“We pushed a little on Stage One and really enjoyed the trails.  This was definitely a positive change to the event.    Stage Two was long.  On Stage Three we pushed again, just focussing on getting it done.   Carla and I raced our first AfricanX together in 2015.  My focus is now on endurance racing,” says Griffioen.

Team Rehidrat’s Chantel Nienaber and Katya Soggot came in 2nd, while Team Tailwind Ladies’ Danette Smith and Kate Mapham finished 3rd.

In the mixed team race, Team Crumb’s Daneil Feldmann and Davide Del Fante claimed victory in an overall combined time (after three days of racing +-86km) in 09 hours 20 minutes 38 seconds.

“Our legs felt good today,” confirmed Feldmann.  “We once again just ran our own race and kept it consistent.  The AfricanX Trailrun has an awesome vibe.  Claiming the mixed team title is amazing.  It’s really cool to do that with my partner.  It’s just amazing to be able to socialize and do sport at the same time.  I’ve wanted to take part in AfricanX for quite some time.  Winning is just an added bonus.”

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

EVENT INFORMATION:  2018 AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS

The three routes were planned in such a way that the runners were treated to a different breath-taking scenic route each day.

STAGE ONEFriday, 27 April 2018

  • Start & Finish Venue: MTO Head office, Jonkershoek
  • Distance: 33km -36km

STAGE TWO / DRESS UP DAYSaturday, 28 April 2018

  • Start & Finish Venue: Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
  • Distance: 33km -35km

STAGE THREESunday, 29 April 2018

  • Start & Finish Venue: Retreat, Boschendal Wine Estate
  • Distance: 20km -22km

Follow us on Face Book:  Asics Running South Africa / Stillwater Trail Running / MTO Trails / MTO Group

Follow us on Twitter:       @ASICS_ZA / @runtheafricanx

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

Issued by:                        NEWSPORT MEDIA

On behalf of:                  STILLWATER SPORTS

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