Madikwa takes Duzi Trail Run win

Madikwa takes Duzi Trail Run win

Before dawn on Friday June 18th sixteen runners lined up just outside Durban, their goal, a gruelling 85km trail finishing in Pietermaritzburg. The second annual Duzi run has doubled its number of competitors since its inaugural year.

The route takes participants up the course of the stunning Umngeni and Umsunduzi Rivers and through the Valley of 1000 hills.  This race allows the runners to enjoy an off-road experience from Durban to Pietermaritzburg which has previously been the preserve of the paddlers in the annual Dusi Canoe Marathon.  

The race began with an early split in the competitors as they ran through to Molweni causeway.  As the sun started to light the trail the field quickly spread. The lead pack of runners included Muzi Madikwa.  Madikwa, three weeks ago competed in the Comrades Marathon finishing in the top 100 in a very competitive six and a half hours. The other early frontrunners challenging Madikwa were Hylton Dunn, Xolani Mtshali, and Andrew Barnes.  

The lead group stayed together past the Inanda Dam, up to Mfula and Mbetje stores and on to Geoff’s Road, all familiar markers to Dusi paddlers.  The excitement of the race was in the last few kilometres. Leaving Geoff’s Road Hylton Dunn was looking strong and opened up a lead on the following group which he held until he missed a marker 5kms from the finish line. This allowed Muzi Madikwa to take the lead and win in a time of 9:29 with a two minute margin of victory.

Two women successfully completed the race this year. Di Reitz finished in an impressive 12 hours. In second place for the women was Karen Nel in 14 hpurs.

Having enjoyed the day running through the beautiful valleys of KZN most runners completed this epic trail race in 11 hours. Impressively 3 of these runners had also completed the Comrades marathon 3 weeks earlier.  

Mtshali and Barnes are previous finishers in the 2400 km Freedom Challenge mountain bike Race Across South Africa. On Saturday morning, having completed the run on Friday, Barnes set off to ride to Cape Town as part of the 2010 Freedom Challenge (retired from the race) with a view to then participating in the Berg River Canoe Marathon.

Final positions:

MEN

1. Muzi Madikwa  9 hrs 29 min
2. Hylton Dunn 9 hrs 31 min
3. Xolani Mtshali 10hrs 30min
4. Andrew Barnes 10h35m

WOMEN

1. Di Reitz  12 hrs 00
2. Karen Nel 14 hrs 00

Next year’s event will take place on Saturday June 18. Runners can anticipate further improvements to the race route to include yet more off-road and trail sections, there will be fixed water stations every 10 kms and race marshals and route markers to prevent too many detours. Duzi Trail Run 2011 will be limited to 100 runners on a first come basis.

The Duzi Trail run is a joint venture between The Duzi-Umngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT) and The Freedom Challenge.

For more information:
Andrew Booth 033 345 7571.
Duzi-Umngeni Conservation Trust   www.duct.org.za
David Waddilove 084 567 4152
The Freedom Challenge  www.freedomchallenge.org.za

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