25 May 2015
by Stephen Granger
BERNARD RUKADZA raced to a narrow victory over Christiaan Greyling in the inaugural 48km Old Mutual Two Oceans ‘The Beast’ Trail Race over Table Mountain yesterday, completing the tough circuit in 5 hr 41 min 25 sec. Christiaan Greyling finished in second spot.
Strong favourite, Landie Greyling, overcame fatigue to take honours in the women’s competition, crossing the finish line at the old zoo site in 6 hr 37 min 29 sec to win by half an hour over back-to-racing former Puffer record holder, Sylvie Scherzinger.
Just on 100 hardened trail athletes took on the challenging circuit, run in ideal conditions along some of the best trail racing routes in the country.
Most athletes could not resist pausing at times on the Table Top, simply to take in the breathtaking views over the City and Peninsula as the early morning mist gradually lifted to reveal stunning Cape beauty.
‘I’m really glad to have won the first Beast race,’ Rukadza beamed at the finish. ‘It’s a tough race and Christiaan and I had quite a contest. I didn’t know if I could beat him on such a long race.
‘I took it easy for the first part and was happy to run behind Dion (Middelkoop) who knows the mountain paths so well. Only after we passed the dams on the Back Table, on the concrete road, did we start pushing the pace. And then I had to work hard to shake off Christiaan just before the finish.’
Many of the top runners, although exhausted, were full of praise for the new event. ‘Perhaps I should not have run so hard last week at the Helderberg Challenge,’ admitted Middelkoop. ‘I cramped quite a bit on the second half. But what an amazing route – it has everything. ItÂs a course which could host a world championship event.’
Craig Burns was a runaway winner in the ‘Minii-Beast’ over 22km with Gauteng visitor, Takalani Nthulane-Ndandani triumphing in the women’s competition.