Hill climbs to another Sharks Trail Adventure win

Submitted by Rolina Vorster on Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:44
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Photo: Andrew Hill rode away to claim his sixth title in the 40km MTB Marathon at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday 2 December. Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media.

Hillcrest, KwaZulu-Natal local Andrew Hill romped to a sixth title in seven years with his empathic win in the 40km MTB marathon at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure at the Summerveld Estate, Durban on Sunday.

Riding on trails that he regularly trains on, the TIB Insurance ace was able to assert himself early on in the race, climbing away alone in the first quarter of the tough outing through the Shongweni farmlands to win by almost four minutes.

His power on the hills and his speed on the single-track and roads through the sugar cane fields were pleasing for him as he has come off a gruelling week of long distance training and intense hill climbing in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.

"I have just come back from a three day training camp where we did about 6 500 metres of climbing, so I was really feeling it! But it was encouraging to able to muster up some speed today," said Hill.

"The only year I haven't managed to win this race was when I was beaten by Alan Hatherley, but I can deal with that!" he added.

Hill heaped praise on course designer Ewan Cochrane, who made a lot of changes to the routes, taking the riders and runners to higher vantage points, and bringing them back on well-thought out contour roads that managed the necessary climbing on the return leg.

 

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Photo: Neil Hartmann (front) and  Mazwi Smimango chase hard to try and stay in contact with 40km MTB race winner Andrew Hill at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday 2 December. Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media.

 

"Ewan (Cochrane) really put a lot of effort and thought into this year's track," said Hill. "That brought in some climbing along the way but it  helped with the climb back to the finish at the end.

"He added in a lot of new sections, smoothed some out and actually added in some sections that I had never ridden before, which is unusual because I train here all the time," he added.

Shelley Higgo took the women's title from Nadine Nunes and Gisela Stephens.

The well supported 20km MTB ride was won by Nick Burczak, well clear of a scrap for second between Chad Smith and Justin Swanepoel.

A last minute decision to enter the 18km trail run panned out well for two Valley of a Thousand Hills athletes who are team mates in Martin Dreyer's Merchants Change A Life Academy.

 

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Photo: Merchants Change A Lifer Mthobisi Mzolo cantered away impressively to win the men's 18km trail run at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday 2 December. Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media.



26 year old Mthobiso Mzolo showed his class on the hilly run to take the overall line honours while just behind him Puseletsdo Dladla provided arguably the stand-out result of the day, winning the women's title and finishing second overall.

"I called him last night at five o'clock and we started making plans to get here to do this race. So we were a team before this race even started," said the bubbly Dladla.

"The route was fantastic and the weather was amazing, so it was a great day for my first time at this race," she added.

Mzolo was delighted with his win, which brings down the curtain on his competitive year.

"There was plenty of climbing, and I worked hard on the climbs and then kept the power going on the flatter sections. It was a superb route," said Mzolo.

Dladla has been enjoying success as the only woman in the Merchants Change A Life Warrior racing team, taking part in the Commando Elite races.

 

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Photo: The 10km Family Ride and the fun Sharkie Ride at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday 2 December gave every member of the family a chance to shine. Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media.



Kevin Shozi took the 9km title with Tracey Allison snaring the women's equivalent.

The festive day wrapped up, from an athletic point of view, with the easy 10km MTB ride before there signature Sharkie Kids race where youngsters, accompanied by their parents get to run or ride their own race with the Cell C Sharks mascot.

Members of the Cell C Sharks squad were kept bust all morning handing out cold aQuellés to every finisher and posing for photos with their fans.

Families then relaxed under the shady plane trees, browsed through the pop-up edition of the Shongweni Farmers Market while the Kickstands performed live on stage.

 

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Photo: The top three men in the 40km MTB Marathon (Neil Hartmann, Andrew Hill and Mazwi Smimango) are greeted at the finish line by members of the Cell C Sharks squad at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday 2 December. (from left) Ruben van Heerden, Andrew Evans,  Courtney Winnaar, Mzamo Majola and Hyron Andrews. Credit: Anthony Grote/Gameplan Media.

 

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
STIHL SHARKS TRAIL ADVENTURE
40km MTB
1.Andrew Hill 1:28:45
2.Neil Hartmann 1:32:27
3.Mazwi Smimango 1:32:57
4.Ndumiso Dontso 1:35:13
5.Hadrien Maingard 1:36:04
6.Grant Guerrin 1:37:34
7.Grant Underwood 1:37:46
8.Bongmusa Zikhali 1:38:14
9.Sipho Khupiso 1:38:18
10.Cayde Muldoon 1:39:27

Women
1.Shelley Higgo 1:53:23
2.Nadine Nunes 1:57:16
3.Gisela Stephens 2:02:52

20km MTB
1.Nicholas Burczak 53:28
2.Chadd Smith 57:49
3.Justin Swanepoel 57:55
4.Rupert Taljaard 1:00:10
5.Derek Morris 1:01:13
6.Shaun Bouwer 1:01:34
7.Emily van Heerden 1:04:35
8.Riley Smith 1:07:28
9.Kemsley Gobey1:08:03
10.Kyle Barrett 1:08:19

Women
1.Emily van Heerden 1:04:35
2.Riley Smith 1:07:28
3.Jodi Mackinnon 1:09:57

18km Trail Run
1.Mthobisi Mzolo 1:16:46
2.Puseletsdo Dladla 1:28:21
3.Grant Cummings 1:32:42
4.Aaron Engelbrecht 1:39:03
5.Hendrick de Beer 1:40:50
6.Michael Hind 1:43:15
7.Rupert Sebire 1:45:04
8.Anesh Rampaul 1:45"41
9.Kapel Engelbrecht 1:46:44
10.Carlo Traini 1:47:39

Women
1.Puseletsdo Dladla 1:28:21
2.Ekle Byrne 1:48:00
3.Patrricia Dammann 1:48:22

9km Trail Run
1.Kevin Shozi 35:54
2.Dumisane Hlongwane 36:40
3.Tristan Sebire 37:11
4.Roy Newlands 38:12
5.Samuel Haynes 38:52
6.Derek Wasserfall 38:59
7.Daryl Hefer 39:03
8.John Macartan 39:35
9.Douglas Bolton 40:30
10.Tracey Allison 41:32

Women
1.Tracey Allison 41:32
2.Shaen Macdevette 42:42
3.Nicole Grinaker 43:27

More information can be found at www.sharkstrailadventure.co.za.

 

Dave Macleod

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