Ninth Addo Trail Run winners qualify for World Ultra Trail Championships
The first three men and first three women from the Addo Elephant Trail Run, which took place on Saturday, the 2nd of March 2013, have qualified for the World Ultra Trail Championships to take place in Wales on 6 and 7 July 2013. This was the local trail run chosen as the qualifying event for the team to be sent to the international championships.
Hosted in Addo Elephant National Park, the weather was kind to the runners – with a cool start in the morning and clear skies and moderate temperatures during the course of the day as the 226 participants in both the 44 (158 starters) and 76km (68 starters) events, hit the dirt.
The run covered mostly tracks within the Park itself, as well as some stretches of gravel roads – a true experience of running in the wild. The 44km route wound its way over the Zuurberg mountains, and finished at the Zuurberg Mountain Village, while the 76km route made its way into the Sundays River Valley and then across the escarpment of the mountains to finish at the Park’s Main Rest Camp.
The climb out of Kirkwood to Check Point 4 at the top of the mountain was grueling, but worth it as when the runners got to the top, they enjoyed the spectacular scenery that the trail run offered.
All finishers in the 44km event received a commemorative bracelet or necklace as they crossed the finish lines, while those who finished the 76km race received a miniature hand-blown glass elephant serviette ring from Ngwenya Glass.
The front runners achieved record breaking times. The top three men going through to the World Trail Champs are Nic de Beer (6:29:16), while Will Robinson and Charl Souma finished in second and third place respectively. In the women’s race, Tracy Zunckel crossed the line first in a time of 7:29:32, followed by Landie Greyling and Chantel Nienaber.
Of the seven entrants co-sponsored by Extreme Marathons , Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees and Addo Elephant National Park this year, two finished in the top three in the 44km event. Michael Hendricks finished second and Ndyebo Qwaranisa came in shortly afterwards. They were beaten to the finish line by Jacques Mouton who finished in a time of 3:55:42.
Event organisers, Extreme Marathons, thanked the main sponsors – Aquelle, GU, and SANParks for their support, as well as the SANParks Honorary Rangers for their assistance at the Check Points.
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