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Calitz, Rukadza romp home to defend AfricanX title
- Updated: March 17, 2015
Top trail runners AJ Calitz and Bernard Rukadza of Team KWAY successfully defended their AfricanX trail run title in Grabouw, Western Cape at the weekend.
The two blitzed the course to claim their second stage victory for the weekend in a lightning fast time of 1hr 30min 45sec.
The final of three stages was contested over 22 kilometres with 670 metres of climbing.
‘Today’s stage was very tactical,’ says Calitz. ‘It was hard to tell whether the other teams wanted to go for the stage win or for the overall win.
‘Bernie and I just sat behind Eric [Ngubane] and Thabang [Madiba], letting them work upfront. Every time they slowed down, we would slow down. It is war out there, but we’re all still friends afterwards. Bernie and I are definitely better friends now than ever before.’
Team KWAY completed the 2015 ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance in a combined time of 6:46:18. Ngubane and Madiba of Team Salomon came in second, while Edwin Sesipi and Johardt Van Heerden of Team 32gi Gauteng finished third.
Nicolette Griffioen and Carla Van Huyssteen of Team ProNutro Timefreight shook things up in the women’s race. Although they claimed the stage three victory in an impressive 1:49:05, it just wasn’t enough to grab the overall victory from race leaders Meg Mackenzie and Landie Greyling of Team Salomon Blondies.
‘We are really happy with the overall win,’ says Mackenzie. ‘Landie woke up with a sore throat again. So we just gave as much as we could, while trying to take it easy at the same time. It is amazing to win the overall title.’
Team Salomon Blondies completed the three stages in a combined time of 8:06:26. Griffioen and Van Huyssteen came in second, while Inge Visser and Liesbeth Van Der Merwe of Team Ganbei finished third.
Yolande Maclean and Nic De Beer of Team CW-X Ultraspire claimed their hat-trick win of the weekend, securing the overall mixed team title in an impressive combined time of 7:40:46.
‘It is really awesome winning the overall title, especially with this being my first AfricanX,’ says Maclean. ‘I loved taking part. I still have a lot of improving to do, but this was perfect training for the upcoming Two Oceans.’
Kerry-Ann Marshall and Morne Van Greunen of Team Enduro Hub came in second, while Natia and Antoine Van Heerden of Team Twinning finished third.
Picture of Calitz and Rukadza in action on the final day, courtesy of Volume Photography