After a 4year hiatus, the Ingeli Trail Run 2021 was eagerly awaited by the trail running community! There had been some uncertainty due to Covid Regulations, but the move to Level 3 and go-ahead for outdoor gatherings was received with joy by the event organisers (KZN Trail Running), host venue (ANEW Ingeli Forest Lodge) and participants alike.
Although part of the KZNTR Mountain Marathon Series, the Ingeli Mountain is relatively unknown in the trail community and so is often underestimated as a “proper” mountain trail run. But the record was quickly set straight on Saturday 31 July 2021 as 83 runners took to the trail! Tough climbing, gruelling descents and technical sections of “off-trail” running made it hard going even for the seasoned elites. “The route was tough – those climbs followed by such steep downhills punished the quads” said 40km winner Eric Ngubane. “But I looked back and saw I had a good lead, so I took it a bit easy on the tricky sections and it paid off. I really enjoyed the route, it was beautiful!”
It was a 1 horse race in the Women’s 40km field, with Jo Keppler winning comfortably. But the ladies dominated in the 18km event, claiming 3 of the top 4 positions with Ann Ashworth winning outright in 1:33:10!
The event includes a 10km and 5km trail, so there is something for everyone. Hosted at the ANEW Ingeli Forest Lodge, runners experienced warm local hospitality that makes the event an ideal weekend away for friends and families.
“It has been a tricky time for the events industry and trail runners as Covid Restrictions have limited events and opportunities to race” said Bruce Arnott of KZN Trail Running “The move to Level 3 came just in time and we are so grateful to both ANEW Ingeli and the runners for having faith that we could pull it off in short time frames. The trails were really gruelling, but the participants’ joy to be out in such a beautiful environment was awesome to see!”
The race is set to become an annual event once more – 2022 dates will be announced shortly!
1st – Eric Ngubane 3:39:07
2nd – Zothile Moto 4:00:28
3rd – Sinovuyo Ngcobo 4:02:40
1st – Jo Keppler 4:49:51
2nd – Angela Bunge 6:14:18
3rd – Zoe Ryan 6:42:43
Cover Image: Ladies 40km winner, Jo Keppler was all smiles to be back in the mountains and toeing the line at a race once more!
Bottom left: Mens 40km podium (from left): Sinovuyo Ngcobo (3rd), Eric Ngubane (1st) and Zothile Moto (2nd).
Bottom right: Lucky Molefe soaking up the sunrise from the climb up Ingeli Mountain.
Photo Credits: Mountain Room Media.