uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve delivers a morning of thrilling trail running!

On a morning that was forecast to be gloomy and wet, Mother Nature smiled on the 400 strong field of trail runners and walkers who turned out to take part in the KZN Trail Running hosted WESSA Trail Run on Sunday 15 April at uMngeni Valley Nature Reserve. Participants were awed by the well-maintained trails and spectacular scenery, including jaw dropping views of the Howick Falls in all their glory. For some, it is a rare privilege to run amongst large game and there were excited reports of zebra and blesbok sightings!

For most of the trail lovers who took part, the morning was about personal challenges, getting outdoors and enjoying some relaxing activity. But the elite athletes in the field provided exciting entertainment and fast and furious racing. In the 24km event, the men’s race was won by David Wood in a very quick time of 2:01:28, hot on heels in second and third respectively were Owen Bengo in 2:01:39 and Donovan Boshoff in 2:01:30. In the women’s race, Kim Westbrook took line honours in 2:14:05, in 2nd place was Zoe Papadakis in 2:17:24 and 3rdwas Fran Diesel in 2:26:43.

The shorter distance events were just as hotly contested and blistering winning times were set in the men’s and women’s races. Canoeing stars dominated the 12km event: the first man home was Hank McGregor in 51:29 and ladies winner was Jordan Peek in 1:06:48. In the 5km event, regular podium finisher 11 year old Johathan Werth raced home in 21:23 to win the men’s event. The women’s race was won by Marie-Sophie Vervoort in 28:38.

After their trail outings, participants took advantage of a fully equipped race village, refuelling on mouth-watering food and drink, and indulging in some lifestyle-focused retail therapy. A fortunate few walked away with awesome lucky draw prizes, courtesy of incredible race partners and sponsors.