Cele’s Triple double

2012-11-10 00:00


THE 11th Triple Challenge took place in perfect conditions last weekend. This unique ultra-distance multisport event has evolved to become one of the toughest endurance events in South Africa.

For those who embark on the solo journey over a 20km trail run between the start in Pietermaritzburg to the first transition in Camperdown, then on to the bike for a testing 53 km mountain bike leg to Inanda Dam, which finishes with either a seven kilometre trail run (Multi-X race) or a 20 km paddle (Multisport race), it is certainly an individual quest.

Nhlanhla Cele claimed his second successive victory in Multisport race in a time of six hours, 13 minutes and eight seconds, barely a minute clear of Matthew Trautman in second place. Gauteng athlete Tommy Booth, doing his first Triple Challenge, claimed third place.

Top surfski paddler Michelle Burn (nee Eder) claimed a deserving victory in the women’s race, in her first attempt at the Triple Challenge. Second place went to Caroline Ablort-Morgan.

In the Multi-X race, John Ntuli set a cracking pace over the first 20 km trail run, but at the expense of defending his title. Derrin Smith soon pulled back the two-minute lead Ntuli had off the run and went on to clock a blistering bike leg. There was no stopping the Eston farmer as he hammered home on the final seven kilometre trail run in a rising heat of the Inanda valley to claim the honours. Experienced multisporter Justin Porteous crossed the line in second. Sizwe Mkhasibe paced himself consistently over the three part race to claim a well-deserved third place.

Jeannie Dreyer (neé Bomford) added another title to her impressive resumé as she claimed the women’s title in the Multi-X race while becoming the first athlete to have won both the Multisport and Multi-X versions of Triple Challenge. Melanie Palframan showed good form to place second ahead in a consistent race, ahead of Wendy Mills.

With the demand for trail runs increasing, the organisers introduced the Challenge Trail Run as a stand-alone event to the Triple Challenge last year, adding the 10 km option this year to give trail runners the opportunity to run an exclusive route between Pietermaritzburg and Camperdown. Matthew Kretzmann and Alison Misselhorn were the respective men’s and women’s winners of the 20km trail run.

Full results and race photos available at www.triplechallenge.co.za.


Fifty-three kilometres into the Valley of a Thousand Hills may not sound too demanding, but participants in the Challenge MTB race last Sunday were treated to an unexpectedly sunny day and hot conditions, making for extra challenging race conditions.

The only rider to break the two-hour barrier on race day was defending champ Andrew Hill, who claimed victory. The result may have been different had Brendan Davids not punctured, but that’s racing. Leeroy Emslie placed third. Jackie Church was again the winner of the women’s race. Second place went to U.S. rider Kendall Ryan, with Nicola Nairn third.

Full results available at www.


The Complimed Mountain Splendour Mania takes place in the central Drakensberg next weekend. A full weekend of outdoor activities and great family fun, which coincides with the final event in the Roag Series, it’s not to be missed. For entries and event details, log on to www.


Sunday, November 25, sees the ever-popular Karkloof Trail Blazer taking place on some of the best trails in the country from the Karkloof Country Club — 40 km, 20 km and 10 km options available. Entries and details at www.roag.co.za.


Next up on the local cycling calendar is the Engen Dynamic Cycle Challenge, which takes place from Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban tomorrow morning. The race distances are 20 km, 50 km and 100 km. Details at www.edcc.co.za. This is an ideal tester for local cyclists preparing for Johannesburg’s biggest cycle race, the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge, which takes place next weekend.

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