Hundreds take on challenge
On Saturday the sun shone (perhaps too brightly) on the more than 400 mountain bikers and trail runners who lined up at the start of the 16th annual Thomas River Mountain Bike Challenge.
The experienced riders revelled in the new routes, which were a good mix of farm roads and single track with a minimum of district roads. At the same time the shorter distances were all “doable” by the less experienced.
On offer were a 56km marathon and a 40km half marathon, and for the younger (or older) and less experienced a 19km, a 12km, a 4km and, especially for those champions of tomorrow, a race for those on their plastic scooters – the chocolate race with suitable prizes for everyone.
For the trail runners there were 20km, 11km and 5km events using the same routes as the cyclists.
A feature of the race is the Thomas River hospitality where every entry received a midday feast of farm mutton and venison.
The main prizes for the three longer races were packs of farm mutton while the shorter race winners received suitable prizes and the runners received cash prizes. Thanks to sponsors, there were scads of lucky draw prizes available to everyone.
The events ended off with a Round Table motorcycle ride for the “petrol heads” over the 60km and 40km courses once all the other competitors were safely back home.
The whole day had a very festive atmosphere that was enjoyed by all with lots to do and see.
Results – 60km ride, men: 1 Jason Reed (2.28.34), 2 Jason Peach (2.32.32), 3 Donovan O’Reilly (2.37.01); women: 1 Lara-Ann van de Venter (3.14.27), 2 Liesel Prentis (3.31.45), 3 Shannon Kirkhoff (4.06.15). 40km, men: 1 Kenny Dewing (2.16.40), 2 Sabro Atakligan (2.31.17), 3 Greg Vincent (2.32.19); women:
1 Ingrid Krummeck (3.06.22), 2 Sophia Warren (3.10.04), 3 Nina Chambers (3.11.10). 19km, men: 1 Jason Miller (00.57.01), 2 Brett Bursey (00.57.24), 3 Angus Spence (00.57.53); women: 1 Anya Nash (01.08.31), 2 Madison Mann (1.16.50), 3 Denise Norris (1.19.51). 12km: 1 Callum Reed (00.22.49), Aiden Reed (00.53.26), 3 Devon Reed
(00.53.28); women: 1 Cayleigh Wanckel (1.07.06), 2 Shirley Bond (1.11.18), 3 Kristen Potter
(1.12.44). 4km: men: 1 Bosazza Jack (00.13.07), 2 Ernst Schutte
(00.16.53), 3 David Whettan
(00.20.11); women: 1 Claire Wardle (00.15.42), Emily Reed
(00.19.00), Suzaan Schutte
Trail run, 20km, men: 1 Pieter Swanepoel (1.38.48), 2 Martin Smith (1.39.36), 3 Malixole Kalideni
(1.41.22); women: 1 Andrea Ranger
(1.50.09), 2 Rebekah Anderson
(1.54.14), 3 Debbie Gee (1.57.01).
10km, men: 1 Brian Schwulst
(1.28.01), 2 David Emslie (1.34.11), 3 Johan Kriel (1.34.54); women: 1 (and first overall): Elsabe Owen
(1.21.27), 2 Terri Schwulst (1.24.06),
3 Sue Jackelman (1.31.20).
READY, SET, GO! Participants in the 20km ride of the Thomas River MTB Challenge prepare for the start