Multisport: Newbies and juniors fill up the podiums

2011-07-02 00:00

Enduro wrap

THE first event in the Time Freight Multisport Series was held on a crisp, clear winter’s morning, which gave way to ideal racing conditions as an energetic field of over 300 multisporters embarked on the four events at Albert Falls Dam last weekend.

Dusi champion Andrew Birkett, who has dominated the Multisport Series for the past three seasons, stayed ahead of the pack to win the long course multisport race (five-kilometre trail run, 20 km mountain bike and five-kilometre paddle) in 1:33:20. Derrin Smith, a new name in the game, took a surprise second place ahead of up-and-coming junior talent Murray Starr.

Among the women the ever-consistent Jean Hackland broke the tape in 1:50:48 with Retha Shaw coming second just over two minutes later and promising junior talent Bianca Haw close behind in third place.

The multisport short course event, which is targeted at the younger age groups and novices, produced some exciting racing with Craig Jarrett and Jesse Dreyer showing top form to claim the men’s and women’s titles.

The MultiX option entered its third season as part of the multisport series and has grown to become the preferred (non-paddle) option for many athletes, offering a trail run, mountain bike, trail run format.

Competitive racing was produced over the MultiX long course, in which a 2,5km trail run replaced the five-kilometre paddle of the multisport equivalent, with many of KZN’s top multisport athletes vying for podium positions. After a race-long tussle between Jean-Pierre ten Napel and Tyronne White, it was Ladysmith’s Ten Napel whose running strength saw him take the lead on the final testing trail run, and he powered to a deserved win in 1:18:51. White placed second less than two minutes back with Gareth Harrington claiming third in the men’s field.

The women’s race unfolded in a similar fashion, with Kerry Koen, ninth women overall at this year’s Comrades, leading over the first run, but on the mountain bike leg it was talented all-rounder Sarah Gray (who also ran Comrades) who moved into the lead and managed to hold off a strong challenge from Koen over the final run to take the win in 1:34:31. Koen came in second 19 seconds later. Junior Gena Loftstrand, a strong cross-country runner, showed up the rest of the strong women’s field, to claim third place overall.

Junior Gareth Marquiss won the short course in 49 minutes, while Eleanor Glaum was first woman home in 59:42. The Time Freight Multisport Series is all about promoting a healthy lifestyle while having fun and exercise in beautiful surroundings, catering to young and old alike regardless of abilities.

The tranquil surrounds at Albert Falls Dam provide an ideal setting for such an event and it was encouraging to see families and friends enjoying the vibe and energy of multisport. Participants should diarise the dates for the next two events: Sunday, August 21, at Shongweni Dam and a full weekend of multisport on the weekend of October 7-9 at Albert Falls Dam.

Full results, photos and videos available at


MOUNTAIN bikers can look forward to a great classic close to home tomorrow morning with the Safire MTB Classic at Baynesfield Estate. Registration opens from 7 to 9 am. The events are the 45 km Classic, 25 km Intermediate and 12 km Fun Ride. Timing by Elite Timing. Further details at

The John Dory’s Golovane MTB Classic looks set to attract a top field with a generous prize purse on offer. The event takes place at Holla Trails, Collisheen Estate (near Ballito), on Sunday, July 10. Register on Saturday, July 9, at the Ballito Lifestyle Centre from 2 to 5 pm or on race day at Holla Trails from 6 to 8.30  am. The six-kilometre Kiddies Ride goes off first at 8 am followed by the 50 km Classic at 9 am and the 20 km race at 9.45 am. More details on

T-shirts to early entries, medals to all finishers and great give-aways.

RESULTS: Multisport Long Course — Men: Andrew Birkett 1:33:20, Derrin Smith 1:36:45, Murray Starr 1:37:37. Women: Jean Hackland 1:50:48, Retha Shaw 1:52:31, Bianca Haw 1:55:35. Multisport Short Course – Men: Craig Jarrett 52:57, Devon Smith 59:29, Jordan Pilkington 1:00:49. Women: Jesse Dreyer 1:07:44, Jenna Starr 1:10:13, Courtney Smith 1:17:04.

MultiX Long Course – Men: Jean-Pierre ten Napel 1:18:51, Tyronne White 1:20:12, Gareth Harrington 1:23:39. Women: Sarah Gray 1:34:31, Kerry Koen 1:34:50, Gena Lofstrand 1:45:55. MultiX Short Course – Men: Gareth Marquiss 49:00, Darren Marquiss 50:53, Dustin Starr 51:21. Women: Eleanor Glaum 59:42, Lindsay Everson 1:00:53, Lauren Holder 1:04:13.

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