The Powertraveller 4Peaks Mountain Challenge, presented by Bloemfontein Courant at the beautiful Moolmanshoek Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Free State, took place over the weekend and for a second year running, a record has fallen.
The 4Peaks debutant, Lucky Miya, shattered the record set by the legendary Ryan Sandes to claim the overall honours in a blistering time of 02:40:30.
Miya beat Bloemfontein’s Chabedi Nyedimane across the line by a minute and one second. Nyedimane, who has been dominating the Castle Lite Trail League in the City of Roses, crossed the line in an equally impressive time of 2:41:55, while the farmer labourer at Moolmanshoek and local hero, Sampie Makoekoe, took bronze in 2:47:51.
The three-time champion, Makoekoe, took the honours in the men’s veteran section.
In the women’s race, Estie Szoke took the honours by racing through the tough and demanding course in a time of 3:58:02 to beat her closest challenger, Jeanne Havenga, by nearly 18 minutes.
Havenga took the second place in 4:17:48 to edge Rizta Fouche by a minute and 7 seconds.
The 4Peaks is arguably the toughest 24km mountain run in South Africa and many of the competitors say even the toughest in the world. The race organiser, Michael de Haast, said he was delighted that Miya won the event in a record time.
“We are delighted that novice runner, Lucky Miya, has won this year’s race in a new record time.”
This year’s event was run in near perfect conditions, much to the delight of those who competed in the searing heat last year.
Not only was it in favour of the elite athletes, but the back markers as well. Of the 288 to have started the race, just 10 weren’t able to complete the gruelling course over the 4 mountain’s peaks encircling the farm in the shape of a horseshoe.
This year’s event was a so-called “down run” and in 2017 it will once again be a “reserve run”. Last year was the first ever reserve run and Thabang Madiba took the honours in a time of 2:40:54.
The reverse run is considered to be a lot tougher with the first major climb being Sikonyela’s Hat, which is also the highest peak on the course.
It will be interesting to see if Miya can beat Madiba’s time in 2017 to become the holder of both records.
The men’s overall top 10 are: 1 Lucky Miya, 2 Chabedi Nyedimane, 3 Sampie Makoekoe, 4 Thabang Madiba, 5 Tholo Maleba, 6 Joggie Rossouw, 7 Michael Nash, 8 Dustin Gower, 9 Russel York, 10 Trevor Gower.
Women’s overall top 10: 1 Estie Szoke, 2 Jeanne Havinga, 3 Rizta Fouche, 4 Natasha Kask, 5 Julia Pennington, 6 Janneke Leask, 7 Juandi van Sandwyk, 8 Martie Botes, 9 Caryn Phipson, 10 Amie Stewart.
For more information on the race and to find out how you can enter next year’s event, please visit www.4peaks.co.za. – MORGAN PIEK