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Epic inaugural Old Mutual Wild Series Kruger2Canyon Challenge

The inaugural Old Mutual Wild Series Kruger2Canyon (K2C) Challenge took place this past weekend 2 – 4 October. The 73km challenge was held over two days where the first day covered 28km of bushveld terrain and 45km of mountainous terrain with grueling climbs up to the escarpment on Day two. Runners started in Kampersrus (Limpopo) before running over the escarpment and into the Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world.

“This trail running challenge forms part of the unique Wild Series challenges that were established by Wildlands to profile South Africa’s spectacular natural heritage while raising funds for key conservation projects. These events provide participants with the opportunity of running through some of the most beautiful wilderness locations taking place in the most pristine and protected reserves in South Africa,” commented Wildlands CEO, Dr Andrew Venter.

The first day proved to be an amazing wildlife experience with some lucky runners sighting rhino crossing the track ahead of them! The hot temperatures played a role on both days with only 81 of the 106 starters finishing the entire course of 73km.

The men’s category was highly competitive and was won by Pedro Calderon who came in from behind to clench the win in 7:34:41. “This was a beautiful race. The trails were challenging but I was prepared and took it easy from the start and pushed hard at the end,” Calderon commented. Quintin Honey came in second at 7:37:27 and third place was Old Mutual’s Samuel Makamu in a time of 8:27:16.

The leading lady that excelled throughout was Cecilia Raath who took poll position in a time of 10:23:02. Elsa De Beer was second in a time of 11:10:43 and third place was taken by Carine De Jaager in a time of 11:39:04.

Frank Brooks, Sponsorship and Events Manager of Old Mutual commented, “Thanks to the support staff of Wildlands and Wild Series, without you this event would not have happened. Thank you for the hard work out there in the heat and being there for the runners. Thank you to the runners, you are such special people and as Old Mutual, we will continue to support you and do great things.”

A special mention also went to the masters who took part in and completed the fierce yet exciting challenge – George Enslin, Theo Bohnen, Trudie Gibson, Carina Coetzer and Theo Moller. This was a clear demonstration that the K2C challenge is suitable for all ages!

Wild Series Race Director, Andrew Booth, said, “The inaugural K2C challenge was epic. It stood up to the incredibly tough challenge it had been pinned as, and was underestimated by many. The feedback from the participants was fantastic. The first time event was not without its teething problems but the future of this epic challenge looks bright.”

Thank you to our co-sponsors Radox, Jonssons, Stihl and Kruger to Canyons Biosphere for their continued support.

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