Underberg hills will come alive with the sound of trail runners

Underberg hills will come alive with the sound of trail runners

Underberg – The hills around Underberg will once again be alive with of over 700 trail runners taking part in the Euro Steel Run the Rivers event on Saturday and Sunday as they enjoy being part of an action-packed sporting jamboree in the foothills of the Drakensberg.

The Run the Rivers trail run combines with the country’s biggest canoeing event (in terms of race entrants), the two-day N3TC Drak Challenge and two-stage Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB race to make Underberg the centre of the country’s participation sports at the weekend.

The trail run has this year attracted a massive entry of over 700 entrants over the longer event and the shorter Run the Rivers Lite half-distance race, once again making it one of the country’s biggest trail runs.

Heading the strong trail run field will be Philip Shezi who will be aiming for an incredible sixth win. The Underberg resident has become something of a legend at the race and will once again be cheered on by the locals looking for their hero to make it six of the best.

“I am preparing for this year’s Comrades which is an up run where I want to finish with another silver medal, under six-and-a-half hours,” said the 40-year-old tractor driver this week. “I will have to work hard but I think I will have a good run with the training I am doing. I am getting used to running far.”

And what is Shezi’s secret to his success in the Euro Steel Run the Rivers race? While most athletes keep a sharp eye on their diet, supplements and liquid intake, Shezi sticks to one of his traditional staple diets, good old mielie meal or phutu.

“I don’t use supplements or powder. I stopped because I developed a kidney problem,” said Shezi. “Mielie meal gives me strength and power and it is what my body is used to.”

In the women’s race, Janneke Leask will be defending her title over the longer 21km and 18km distances on Saturday and Sunday.

This year the Sani Spoors team has ensured there is something of a new-look to both their events with improved routes and an exciting upgraded race village, packed with loads of entertainment to keep entrants, family and friends happy after the on-course action is finished.

The action starts on Saturday morning with the trail runners setting off from the Race Village at The Olde Duck just outside Underberg at 6.30am and both the long and short run entrants will enjoy out-and-back routes that start and finish at the same place on both days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Us On FacebookVisit Us On Instagram