uMhlanga Summer Festival
uMhlanga Trail Run
Sibaya: Sunday 17 December
A tough, challenging warm day greeted participants in the uMhlanga Summer Festival Trail Run hosted by uMhlanga Tourism and Talismen Hire.
A cheerful Anele Dlamini from Hammarsdale took the men’s honours in the main event. Running in the colours of Phantane AC, he finished the race in 1.09:37. This is his second win in the uMhlanga Trail running series, having taken top spot in this year’s July event. “I had a very good time today, it was a different route to July, but it was still lovely. The river crossing was fantastic, I jumped in. The cold water was a nice, quick recovery for the muscles.”
Dlamini who wrapped up his year with this run, is looking forward to the Christmas break. In the new year he is planning to concentrate on marathon distances in 2018. The experienced runner with three Comrades Marathons under his belt will kick start the year with speed work on the track and then he hopes to defend his title in the SA Marathon. Asked if he would be back to defend his UMhlanga title, he said, “Yes. Most definitely. It is a fantastic run, and good training for the legs.”
Following Dlamini, Prince Abel Chiposiwa also competed in his second uMhlanga Trail run, having been on the bottom step on the podium. The uMhlanga resident running in the Nedbank colours, shared Dlamini’s enthusiasm. “I enjoyed being off the road, it was great fun, a good challenge!”
The top lady in the main event was Jenna Challenor who took a break from the road. Challenor has had a quiet year on the roads, but she was impressive on the trail with a fabulous time of 1.18:48. She had an impressive lead over second placed lady Lisa Collett who finished in 1.31:34, just under four minutes ahead of third place Amy Burger.
Defending champion, Burger from Mtunzini simply said as she finished the race in third in the 18km, “It was really hard out there today!”
In the middle distance, Lisha van Onslen a varsity student residing in Amanzimtoti took line honours, a couple of seconds ahead of the first man, Ongezwe Moto. Second lady was another out of owner, Sandra Mansvelder from Empangeni. “It reminded me of running at home, going through all the sugar cane.” This was her first uMhlanga trail run, said that she loved the river crossing, and wished there had been more to cool off in.
No stranger to the uMhlanga trails, obstacle course enthusiast, Lisha Sookan from Mount Edgecombe finished her efforts in third place in the 12km race. “I usually do the 18km, but it was just too hot for the longer distance. I was really grateful that we didn’t have the long beach section! I didn’t miss that at all!”
“It is always wonderful to see all the trailers out supporting our event. Today’s race seemed to be a huge adventure, with a number of our runners getting lost and going the wrong way but everyone seemed to be in good spirits, even if they did run a few extra kilometres. Well done to all and we appreciate you coming out to participate!” stated uMhlanga Tourism’s Peter Rose.
18km Men
1 Anele Dlamini 1.09:37, 2 Prince Abel Chiposiwa 1.1532, 3 Menzi Mtolo 1.17:11
18km Women
1 Jenna Challenor 1.18:48, 2 Lisa Collett 1.31:34, 3 Amy Burger 1.35:34
12km Men
1 Ongeziwe Moto 1.03:38, 2 Wesley Cieverts 1.06:10, 3 Steve Cohen 1.09:50
12km Women
Lisha van Onselen 1.03.36, 2 Sandra Mansvelder 1.10:06, 3 Lisha Sookan 1.14:15