SA take first steps at World Trail meet

2011-07-08 00:00

SU and Ian Don-Wauchope are expected to provide the cornerstone of South Africa’s first venture into the IAU World Trail Championships to be held tomorrow in Connemara, Ireland.

Ian will combine with William Robinson and Bruce Arnett in the men’s event that has attracted 84 individuals from 20 countries.

The South African trio will face another 15 teams in the search for honours and, as is standard IAAF practice, the results are based on the best three times from a team of six runners from each country.

As there are few South African trail events specifically aimed at preparation for the World Championships, the team selection looked at a wide diversity of performances, including multi-day events.

This makes the performances hard to predict over the 70 km course that encompasses mountains, grassland trails, compacted gravel trails, hard packed trails, bog, loose rock trails and open countryside.

The route is undoubtedly a tough one that could well suit 100 km runners, long distance mountain runners and 24-hour runners with sufficient off road experience.

Runners face three major climbs, the first early in the race at 442 metres and the last two, each 729 metres, takes them to the top of Benbaun.

The ladies make use of the same course with Jeanie Bomford and Katya Soggot joining Don-Wauchope in their bid for podium places.

There are 38 women from 11 countries forming nine teams in the ladies event.

Although the Chesterville Spar Ladies 10 km is listed as being this weekend, the race was taken over and run under the auspices of KZN Athletics and held early in June.

This means that there are no road races for local runners this weekend.

Track and field runners will be in action at Kings Park Track tomorrow, where the youth athletes have the opportunity of posting performances as part of their preparation for the SA Games later this month.

The first event commences at 12 pm and carries through the afternoon. The KZN office can provide more details of the programme on 031 312 9374.

After the cancellation of several of this year’s Cross Country Leagues, the off road brigade will be looking forward to next Saturday when PDAC host the eighth league at Lahee Park in Pinetown.

This will follow the normal league programme commencing at 12 noon. June Watson has more details on 082 421 3037.

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