Gameplan Media
3 minute read
11 Oct 2021
06:04

Home rider Marais ‘stoked’ with first Karkloof Classic triumph

Gameplan Media

In a win for the locals, Howick’s Stuart Marais won his maiden Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival 45km marathon title on Sunday, while Rouxda Grobler took home the women’s honours.

In a win for the locals, Howick’s Stuart Marais won his maiden Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival 45km marathon title on Sunday, while Rouxda Grobler took home the women’s honours.

Karkloof is set as one of the most prestigious one-day marathon races in the country and with its rich history and long list of prominent winners, Team TypeDev NanoTime’s Marais was over the moon to have won the title.

“I’ve been trying to win this race ever since I started racing competitively. To finally win after 10 years of trying is awesome especially after finishing in every other spot on the podium.”
Stuart Marais

“I’ve been trying to win this race ever since I started racing competitively,” Marais said. “To finally win after 10 years of trying is awesome especially after finishing in every other spot on the podium.

“I’ve finished from fourth to second, I’ve fractured my shoulder here, there’ve been a lot of memories and to finally get this win — I’m so stoked.”

Marais expected conditions to be more difficult given the overnight rain; however things didn’t pan out like that in a race that was full gas from the gun. “When I lay in bed last night and heard the rain I thought we were going to have a serious day today. It wasn’t as muddy as I thought but it was slick! And the pace was quick from the start with Brendan Van Eeden) at the front setting a fast pace.”

Van Eeden couldn’t defend his title from last year but finished just under a minute behind Marais in second, while it was Michael Foster who rounded out the podium in the overall race.

In the women’s race it was Grobler who was the strongest rider on the day as she dominated the field to win by two minutes over Hayley Smith, with Karyn Southgate finishing in third.

Grobler got herself in the lead early on in the piece and didn’t look back from there as she powered her way to victory.

“The single track was pretty slippery but it was a lot of fun!”

SUMMARY OF RESULTS

45km Marathon

Overall

1. Stuart Marais 1:53:23

2. Brendan van Eeden 1:54:05

3. Michael Foster 1:54:28

Women

1. Rouxda Grobler 2:21:28

2. Hayley Smith 2:23:29

3. Karyn Southgate 2:40:47

20km Half Marathon

Overall

1. Seth Aszalos 47:54

2. Errin Mackridge 48:31

3. Joshua Johnson 51:51

Women

1. Errin Mackridge 48:31

2. Madison Bateson 53:41

3. Jodi Mackinnon 53:44

9km Trail Run

Overall

1. Bongani Hlongwane 37:39

2. Thulani Skhakhane 37:43

3. Kai Broom 38:52

Women

1. Jolene Els 53:35

2. Diane Hope 55:11

3. Hana Newlands 57:17

21km Trail Run

Overall

1. Ayanda Ngcobo 1:29:51

2. Thobani Nzuza 1:29:57

3. Nomore Mandivengerei 1:30:24

Women

1. Nokukhanya Memela 1:56:50

2. Sarah Gray 2:00:29

3. Sarah Dancer 2:08:54

Stihl Enduro

Overall

1. Kira Duncan 12:24

2. Ross Kew 13:24

3. Cameron Morewood 14:05

Women

1. Sabine Thies 16:22

2. Teah Gundry 19:03

3. Chloe Allison 20:00

Earlier in the morning it was the chance for the trail runners to take on the famous Karkloof trails and Ayanda Ngcobo was the strongest runner in the 21km race finishing just ahead of his Merchants Change a Life Academy team mate Thobani Nzuza Nomore Mandivengerei was the third fastest over the 21km, finishing thirty seconds behind second placed Nzuza.

Nokhukhanya Memela was the fastest women runner when she coasted home in eighth place overall and nearly four minutes ahead of Sarah Gray who finished in second while Sarah Dancer rounded out the podium.