King clings on to Berg River Marathon lead | SASCOC - SASCOC

King clings on to Berg River Marathon lead

A game of cat and mouse was played throughout Friday’s third stage of the Berg River Canoe Marathon as those chasing race leader Lance King gave it their all to narrow the gap between themselves and the man in the yellow jersey.

However, the overnight leader maintained his control of the race whilst Jenna Ward powered into the lead of the women’s race.

Despite having everything thrown at him throughout the stage, King was up to the task and met every punch of his fellow competitors with an as equally powerful counterpunch of his own, not willing to give an inch.

ÔÇ£My main goal today was to make sure I didn’t lose any of my lead so I’m really pleased to have done that and that I still have a bit of a gap over the others going into day four,ÔÇØ said King.

ÔÇ£I tried to just get to Zoutkloof without any admin or issues, which I did, and just ate away at the miles left before the finish. I’m glad this stage is now behind us and that I’m still in the same position I was at the start of the day,ÔÇØ he added.

Despite remaining in yellow, it was in fact British former World Marathon champ Ben Brown who claimed a narrow stage victory as he edged out Graeme Solomon (Bamboo Warehouse), Ivan Kruger (Futurelife) and King in the final sprint for the line.

Not even a the mammoth 75-kilometre third stage could separate the four as Brown made his presence at the front of the field once more after a disappointing second stage on Thursday.

ÔÇ£My goal was always to try get ahead of three guys in front of me and to win the stage so I’m pretty stoked with how today went for me,ÔÇØ said Brown.

ÔÇ£I got my nutrition pretty much spot on today which meant I didn’t get tired at all and I also had a little bit left in the tank when it came down to the sprint at the end,ÔÇØ he added.

Solomon finished a narrow second, solidifying his second place overall, however did have small cause for celebration as he out sprinted Brown for the stage’s bridge prize. He will however now be forced to find a near three kilometer run in his legs after the sudden news of a compulsory portage shortly after the start of day four due to a hyacinth block.

The portage could well play an important role in the outcome of the race as few would have prepared themselves adequately for an obstacle of this nature.

Louw van Riet (A Q Rate), Pierre-Andre Rabie (Maties/Vibram Fivefingers) and Edgar Boehn Jnr. continued their ding dong battle for fourth position except this time they crossed the line without their partner in crime of the first two days, Lee McGregor, the 61-year-old managing to hold onto eighth position overall, behind Brown, despite suffering a third swim in as many days.

Stage three of this year’s race will be one Jenna Ward (Varsity College) will remember fondly for many years to come as she put in a remarkable performance to not only decimate the five minute gap between herself and overnight leader Kirsten Penderis (A Q Rate), but open up a close to two minute lead of her own.

ÔÇ£I got away early on but the group I was paddling with was flying so I decided to sit up a little and wait for the next group, which I paddled with across the dam,ÔÇØ said Ward.

ÔÇ£After the put-in I dug deep and just tried to push as hard as I could and every time I wanted to go a little easier I thought about the fact that any seconds I lost today may just be the seconds that cost me the race tomorrow.

ÔÇ£I decided to do Berg as good base training when I was selected for the SA marathon team going to Denmark so now to be in a position to possibly even win the race is amazing. Lots cvan still happen tomorrow though so we’ll have to just wait and see,ÔÇØ she added.

Computershare Change a Life Academy youngster Mthobisi Cele regained the lead in the under 18 boys category whilst men’s third placed Ivan Kruger and ladies’ race leader Jenna Ward still comfortably lead the under 23 men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Stage time/Overall time
1 Lance King 5:22.47, 12:58.22
2 Graeme Solomon 5:22.45 12:59.52
3 Ivan Kruger (U23) 5:22.46 13:10.53
4 Louw van Riet 5:29.32 13:18.29
5 Pierre-Andre Rabie 5:29.31 13:18.30
6 Edgar Boehm Jnr 5:29.32 13:18.36
7 Ben Brown 5:22.45 13:21.29
8 Lee McGregor 5:34.20 13:23.21
9 Gavin White 5:34.10 13:43.26
10 Sbonelo Zondi 5:34.17 13:43.38
11 Paul Marais 5:35.41 13:45.17
12 Joseph Williams (U23) 5:46.20 13:55.55
13 Greg van Heerden 5:46.41 14:09.02
14 Chris de Waal 5:46.43 14:09.04
15 John de Villiers 5:48.50 14:15.06
16 Luke Stowman (U23) 5:38.55 14:16.02
17 Mynhardt Marais 5:53.45 14:16.08
18 Mthobisi Cele (U18) 5:48.43 14:21.25
19 Pieter Theron 5:53:47 14:24.42
20 Michael Farringer (U18) 6:07.52 14:30.15

1 Jenna Ward (U23) 6:14.13 15:22.16
2 Kirsten Penderis 6:17.10 15:24.05
3 Joritha Prins 6:40.55 16:30.35

U23 Men
1 Ivan Kruger 5:22.46 13:10.53
2 Joseph Williams 5:46.20 13:55.55
3 Luke Stowman 5:38.55 14:16.02

U23 Women
1 Jenna Ward 6:14.13 15:22.16

Junior Boys
1 Mthobisi Cele 5:48.43 14:21.25
2 Michael Farringer 6:07.52 14:30.15
3 Michael Pretorius 6:12.12 15:00.37