On what was a sloshy day one of the Euro Steel Run the Rivers, in partnership with FNB, Underberg local Philip Shezi and Kerry-Ann Walton will hold the lead in the men’s and women’s races respectively going into Sunday’s final stage.
Shezi made the most of the tough conditions on Saturday to carve out a lead of exactly seventeen minutes over second placed Brett Green while Murray Waldeck finished just a second behind Green in third.
Talking about his run after he dominated the day, Shezi was satisfied with his efforts but is looking to build on his lead on day two on Sunday.
“I had a lot of fun out there today and although it was a hard run I really enjoyed it and I am looking forward to tomorrow,” Shezi said.
“I was a bit unhappy with my time but it was difficult to run with all the water that was around. I am excited for tomorrow because I think it might be a bit drier for us.”
The two-time defending champion carried on from where he left off in 2020 and holds a significant lead going into Sunday but wants to continue his dominance on day two.
“I have a good lead but I want to run better on Sunday and try and make the gap bigger if I can.
“It is going to be tough two days in a row in difficult conditions but I am looking forward to getting back on the trails,” he added.
Another defending champion Kerry-Ann Walton also kicked off from where she finished in 2020 with a strong display to lead the women’s race after she finished ninth overall on Saturday.
“It went really well, I can’t complain about anything really,” Walton said. “I don’t think the mud was bad and it’s one of those things you get being a trail runner.
“I am feeling comfortable but we’ll just have to see if I’ve got enough in the legs on Sunday but I don’t think there is as much climbing.”
For Walton, who won in 2020, getting out and running in the Southern Drakensberg is where she feels at home.
“I think Underberg is my favourite place to run and when I get a gap at work I always try and get up here.
“This is also such a great weekend and I look forward to every year,” she added.
Amy Mathew is second in the women’s race just over two minutes behind Walton while Sarah Kirk is in third position.
More information can be found at www.drakadventure.co.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – Euro Steel Run the Rivers in partnership with FNB (Stage One)
Run the Rivers
- Philip Shezi 01:27:20
- Brett Green 01:44:20
- Murray Waldeck 01:44:21
- Sihle Ngcobo 01:47:27
- Urshwin Ullbricht 01:47:52
- James Mayer 01:48:38
- David Lamont 01:49:49
- Simphiwe Ndingi 01:49:56
- Kerry-Ann Walton 01:50:43
- Greg Carter-Brown 01:52:25
- Kerry-Ann Walton 01:50:43
- Amy Mathew 01:52:54
- Sarah Kirk 02:01:39
- Mandy Belbin 02:02:40
- Kate Birkett 02:02:55
Run the Rivers Lite
- Sphamandle Mtolo 01:14:25
- Tristan Sebire 01:14:42
- Paige Mackenzie 01:15:01
- Scot Arnold 01:15:11
- Kyran Kraupner 01:15:27