New faces lead pack in trail run and walk race

2013-12-19 00:00

TWO new faces won the Umhlanga Liberty Trail Run and Walk on Monday as they defeated a field of over 650 runners. Visiting runner Al Lesli from the UK and Pinetown’s Cary-Ann Smith were the leading man and woman in the testing 18 km run.

Fresh off the plane, Lesli found out about the run and decided to enter the race at the morning’s registration. The unknown runner who was unfamiliar with the route and conditions trounced the competitive field that included several Comrades Marathon runners and experienced trail runners. Lesli had a 38-second gap on Durban’s Glen Gore, winning the race in one hour and 22 minutes.

Pinetown’s Smith was clear by a minute over second-placed Keren Worlock.

In the 12 km run, Derek Wasserfall from Kloof added yet another victory to his winning streak in trail running.

“This was one of the best runs I have competed in in recent times,” a tired but enthusiastic Wasserfall said after the run.

The new route kept the runners’ concentration up as they traversed over a multitude of terrains, “The 12 km run had three water crossings, a river, lagoon and river mouth crossing while the 18 km race had two water crossings, a river and river mouth crossing. It was less severe than the last one,” race organiser Buzz Bolton said.

“It was a technical run, but nothing too crazy. In the cane breaks, the guys had to concentrate on their footing as they landed on tufty grass in the sugar cane section. We also had a bit of a jungle gym section, where everyone had to clamber over roots and tree stumps, which made the race more adventurous. It caused a bit of a traffic jam, but everyone took it as an opportunity to catch their breath and chat to the other people,” a delighted Bolton said.

“We had a record field of 653 athletes. We are very happy as the race just grows all the time.”

Chairperson for Umhlanga Tourism Peter Rose was delighted with the success of the race. “I am continuously amazed by the enthusiasm shown by all of the people, waking up early and all so eager to run through our wonderful surrounds. Congratulations to everyone for participating and we look forward to welcoming everyone back for our next race next year.”


Men 18 km: 1 Al Lesli 1.22:00, 2 Glen Gore 1.22:38, 3 Andrew Erasmus 1.23:06

Women 18 km: 1 Cary-Ann Smith 1.33:13, 2 Keren Worlock 1.34:28, 3 Patricia Dammann 1.36:16

Men 12 km Run: 1 Derek Wasserfall 52:56, 2 Joseph Mangewangele 54:30, 3 Brent Chiazzari 57:31

Women 12 km Run: 1 Kim Watchurst 1.08:12, 2 Kylie Griffin 1.12:07, 3 Natasha Stannin 1.13:24

Men 12 km Walk: 1 Michael Mostert 2.07:22

Women 12 km Walk: 1 Colleen McCann 2.04:32

Men 5 km Run: 1 Naren Sunker, 2 Darren Till, 3 Lloyd Uren

Women 5 km Run: 1 Jenna O’Brien, 2 Nana Sigubudu, 3 Jenna van der Merwe

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