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Miya, Mthimkulu take Day 3, Contego win overall

Team Contego

Team Contego

The third and final day of this year’s Southern Cross 3-day trail event was won by Gauteng runners Lucky Miya and Johannes Mthimkulu of Team Saucony in 1:27:14, followed closely by Dion Middlekoop and Bernard Rakadaz of Team Contego in 1:27:56 and veterans Noel Ernstzen and Derrick Baard of Team Hammer Nutrition in 1:28:18.

The final day saw the runners start on the coastal trails above Victoria Bay and finish 20km later after running along disused railway lines, through tunnels and along trails to finish at the SAN Parks resort Ebb and Flow on the Wilderness lagoon.

The trail took runners across the Kaaimans Bridge and onto the beach at Wilderness.  It included part of the Kingfisher trail and a water crossing where they had the choice to swim or take the pontoon, depending on who got there first and which was quicker option.

Day 3 was the shortest and fastest of the three trails and the pace from the gun was quick as the top teams jostled for positions through the narrow single track at the start.  Team Saucony hit the beach first but took the wrong line in the soft sand which allowed Teams Contego and Hammer Nutrition to catch them at the boardwalk section.

“Bernard called it the previous night and said that the Gautengers wouldn’t be strong on the beach.  We chose the harder sand which was easier to run on and narrowed the gap,” said Middlekoop.

Miya and Mthimkulu were first to the kings of the mountain point, with only 5 seconds between the top three teams.  After a short but steep and slippery descent and novel river crossing, the flatter road sections favoured the Gautengers and they pulled away from the other teams to win the stage.

Middlekoop and Rakadaz of Team Contego, who had an eleven minute lead on the field after their incredible run on day 1, were the overall winners (6:45:02) and Miya and Mthimkulu had to settle for second place (6:52:28), despite making up some time on day 2 and 3.  Jan Ham and Cornell de Jongh of Team Columbia were third in the open category (8:05:07).  Ernstzen and Baard were overall winners in the veteran category (6:57:04).

Landie Greyling and Su Don Wouchope of Team Trail Queens had a comfortable lead on their nearest rivals and crossed the finish line in 1:39:27, winning overall in 7:49:44.

First mixed team on day 3 was Team Contego (Katya Soggot and Jacques Botes) in 1:40:15 with Team Hammer Nutrition (Caitlin Lewis and Cobus van den Berg) winning the mixed veteran category in 1:47:22.

This year’s afb Southern Cross 3-day trail event took place from 9 to 11 August and offered the 300 participants three unique routes starting with a mountain stage on day 1 in the Outeniqua Mountains, beautiful trails through indigenous forest on day 2 and finished off with rugged coastline run on day 3.

image credit: Jeff Ayliffe

Overall results:
Open Men:
Team Contego 6:45:02
Team Saucony 6:52:28
Team Columbia 8:05:07
Veteran Men:
Team Hammer Nutrition 6:57:04
Team afb Striders 8:29:33
Team Rugged Runners 9:04:09

Open Women:
Team Trail Queens 7:49:44
Team One Run 10:13:21
Team Sole Sisters 10:25:53

Veteran Women:
Team November 12:27:24
Team If Not, Why Not 12:38:55
Team LVCC No 1 13:19:57

Open Mixed:
Team Contego 8:30:44
Team Cool Runnings 8:34:21
Team Thom Thom 9:02:37

Veteran Mixed
Team Hammer Nutrition 8:25:04
Team Merrell Mixed 9:18:49
Team Gruesome Twosome 10:21:23

Open Men:
Vernon Visser 7:48:43
David Del Fonte 8:07:32
Lenka Ramothello 8:25:26

Open Women:
Olivia Read 8:59:54
Alisha Myers 9:31:21
Gerda Henn 9:47:17

Veteran Men:
Justin Fenn 7:46:25
Julius Oosthuizen 8:39:37
Mark Debhardt 9:22:56

Veteran Women:
Jacqueline Haasbrook 7:50:39
Miema Murray 9:21:53
Anna-Lucia Steven 10:21:19

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