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Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Merrell Autumn Events Shine and Soar in Joburg

Fantastic conditions greeted Joburg Trail Runners for both the Merrell Autumn Night and Day runs held last Thursday and Sunday.

Delta Park School hosted the Merrell Autumn Night Run presented by Black Diamond on Thursday, 27th March, which had 250 runners turn out for a stunning autumn evening. After a loop on the school’s athletic field, the runners headed out for an 8km or 5km loop of Delta Park. The park, situated in the middle of an urban area, provides one of the best places for “trail running” within JHB and offered some awesome terrain for a Night Trail Run. Ideal for those wanting to get out and about after a hard day’s work. Tranquil Gumbo took the honours in the 8km men’s race in a time of 29.30 after an exciting sprint finish with second placed Mapepane Mahlangu. The ladies 8km race was won by Takalane Ndandani in a time of 37.28. The juniors dominated the 6km run, with Dylan Krenczeck just edging out Chris Fisher in the men’s race, and Lize-Li Smit winning the women’s race.

On Sunday the action shifted to Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens for the Merrell Autumn Run presented by Nikwax. Another ideal venue for tough, challenging and beautiful trail running. Over 530 runners came out for a fantastic Autumn Morning to test themselves against the honest 12km and 6km routes on offer. Both routes had the runners tackling the grueling climb out of the Botanical gardens onto the ridgeline for spectacular views of the surrounding area. The 12km route headed off for an extra loop within the 4×4 Hobby Park, before joining back onto the path that took both routes back down past the magnificent waterfall to the finish. Tranquil Gumbo made it two wins out of two, winning the 12km event in a staggering time of 54.43, nine minutes ahead of the second placed runner. Magretha Wang lead home the women’s race in a time of 1.07.06.  Lucas Phofa won the 6km event in a time of 30.32 finishing just ahead of the leading junior of Keegan Dally. Janet Reed finished a remarkable third overall, winning the ladies race in 32.51.

A huge thanks to title sponsor, Merrell and presenting sponsors Black Diamond and Nikwax. Product sponsors PVM Nutritional Products, Glider Eyewear and Aquelle Water. A special thanks to our prefect venues, Delta Park School and Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, as well as the marshalling crew from Soweto Canoe and Recreational Club.

See you in August for the Spring editions of both events.

Results are on www.mountainrunner.co.za and images from Erik Vermeulen are up on our FB page www.facebook.com/MountainRunnerEvents

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