Last Saturday, 100 runners took on the exciting new Helderberg Mountain Challenge and Mountain run in the most beautiful sunny and calm conditions. This new route, organised by Wildrunner Events, is destined to be one of the great mountain trail challenges in years to come, with records being set by top runners such as Michael Bailey and Alae Brand. But one thing is for sure, these records will be hard to beat!
Michael Bailey was the first to the top of the mountain, earning himself not only the prestigious title of ‘King of the Mountain’ and the Rockjumper trophy, but R2000 in the bank as well, in just a 47 minute jaunt up the ‘hill’ … all in a days work! But it gets better … Nicolas Rupanga didn’t have the best climb up the mountain, but found his legs on the way down and caught Michael in the descent. The two seemed to stick together for this section of the race, promising a spectacular racing finish. And spectacular it was. As the two rounded the very last corner, it was still anyone’s race but right at the last minute, it was Michael Bailey’s head that surged through the finish line first, earning him another R4000 in the bank and setting the time to beat at 01:26:42. Third place Piet Jacobs was about 9 minutes behind, having also blitzed the course.
The ladies also had an exciting race, although not quite a close as the men’s. Alae Brand finished in 01:48:48, with Puffer 2010 winner Karoline Hanks just 5 minutes behind. But then there was a big gap between second and third, with third place coming in over half an hour later.
Andrew Steele and Caitlin Lewis took honours in their respective Veteran categories, with Garry Wilford coming in as top Master Male, in a time of 02:07:06.
In the ‘short course’ Helderberg Mountain Run, it was Michael, Michael and Michael that took top honors in the Open Men’s category – Michael Bailie, Michael Dumaresq and Michael Peacock that is. However, beating them all to the finish line was Jarred Brown – first across the line overall and first junior, in a time of 52:41, another excellent time for this 11km route. Helen Crichton was the first lady in, with second place Taryn Rose-Innes just over a minute behind.
The Helderberg Mountain Challenge was held on the 50th Anniversary of the Friends of Helderberg and so was a special occasion for the marshals and crew that helped out on the day, all of whom work for the Helderberg Nature Reserve.
We’d like to say a special thanks to adidas, for supporting another Wildrunner Event with such great spot and category prizes.