Multisport series, a mixed bag of fun for sporting enthusiasts

2012-08-25 00:00

BE the fun! was certainly the name of the game for the third and final round of the Varsity College Multisport Series at Albert Falls Dam on Sunday. With so many events to choose from, winners were plentiful.

Leading home the original long-course multisport (five kilometre trail run, 20 kilometre mountain bike and five kilometre paddle) was Change-A-Life athlete Erik Zondi, who claimed the honours just seconds ahead of team-mates Thulani Mbanjwa and Kwanda Mhlope: a successful podium domination for coach and mentor Martin Dreyer.

Michelle Burn claimed the women’s title ahead of young Jordan Peek and the ever consistent Marion Young came in third.

Racing was tight among the leading men in the short-course equivalent (2,5 km trail run, 10 km mountain bike and 2,5 km paddle), with Brendan Sharp taking a narrow win just four seconds ahead of Byron McKie and Codey McKittrick in third. Jenna Ward was the first woman home.

In the long-course multiX, Derrin Smith took the win ahead of team-mates Daniel Carlton and Patrick Belton. A classy women’s field saw Jeannie Dreyer home first, with Melanie Palframan second and Helena Muir third. Rising junior stars Cameron Wright and Tiffany Keep were the respective men’s and women’s winners in the short-course multiX.

Mark Malherbe just pipped fellow Varsity College colleague Hilton Frost to win the 40 km mountain bike race with Buck Norris himself (aka Evan van der Spuy) avoiding the red hartebeest this year to finish third. Daimon Wright and Gina Ryan were the respective winners of the 20 km MTB race.

The five kilometre trail run proved to be the most popular choice of events for the day with over 100 participants. Bryn Tyrer took the win with Carla Johnson, the first women home. Top multisporter Gareth Harrington used the 15 km trail run as preparation ahead of the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas next month, winning comfortably. Rising young Winterton athlete Thobeka Zondo was the first women home.

Host campus the Maritzburg Mammoths were extreme in their orange theme and concluded a successful intercampus challenge, taking the final victory in the three-part series amid much skulduggery, chirps and fun rivalry between the campuses. Next up on the Max Cluer Sports Marketing calendar is the Triple Challenge on November 4. This event also includes the standalone challenge trail run (either 10 km or 21 km) between Pietermaritzburg and Camperdown, and the Challenge Mountain Bike race between Camperdown and Inanda Dam, along the beautiful and challenging route through the Valley of a Thousand Hills: same as that used for participants in the Triple Challenge.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

ANDREW Hill retained his lead as the current overall leader in the men’s category for the Roag Series after placing second at Saturday’s aQuellé Tour de Krantz race. Still holding tight to her position as current overall leader in the women’s category is Natalie Bergstrom.

Racing upfront was fast paced, with Hill and Brandon Stewart making a move to stretch the bunch after a sedate six kilometres brought a big group back together after the initial flurry of excitement at the start. The two raced to a commanding lead, with Stewart attacking after 13 km to take the win by a minute-and-a-half from Hill after 45 km of racing. This pushes Hill into a position of strength with two races to go in the competitive Roag Series.

The Stewart family was well-represented with Bridgette coming in second to Nedene Cahill, with Natalie Bergstrom in third, in the 45 km women’s race.

The men’s 25 km race saw a sprint for the line narrowly taken by Bradley Stevens, by one second over Reinhard Zellhuber, with Njabulo Nsikayeswe a further half minute back. The women’s 25 km event was won by Catherine Pellow-Jarman racing in the youth categor,y with Anita de Waal in second and local lass Sabine Thies in third, racing in the nipper category. The victors in the 10 km race were Michael Gevers and Michelle Meyer, who are both only 10 years old.

The aQuellé Tour de Krantz was the seventh event in the Roag Series and all categories were hotly contested as riders seek to consolidate their positions as the Series reaches its climax.

• Information on forthcoming MTB events, on September 2, may be sought on www.roag.co.za

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