Race winner, Johardt van Heerden smashed the previous race record by nearly 2hours.
The 5th running of the Kruger2Canyon Challenge saw spectacular conditions over the three days from 5-7 July 2019 that participants were in residence in the race village at Franklyn Park, near Kampersrus, Limpopo.
Day 1 sees trail runners shed blood, sweat and tears climbing Mariepskop mountain, exploring this incredible floral hotspot that boasts many endemic plant and animal species. In running terms, the 42km course on day 1 (there is also a 26km option) is considered one of the hardest in the country, thanks to its 2800m of climbing and very technical terrain. Day 2 is a lot more moderate, but no less spectacular as runners traverse sections of the Blue Canyon Conservancy, taking in Big 4 habitat over 28km or 18km route options.
While the emphasis at this event is on the challenge that it poses and the experience, the racing has never been as fierce as it was in the 2019 K2C! Nelspruit local, Johardt van Heerden put in record-smashing performances on both days of the Ultra course, finishing the two days in a combined time of 6:54:44, some 110min under the previous record for this race! Second man Jacques Buys also put in an incredible performance, finishing in 7:24:23 – also 70min under the previous record. Jack Davis rounded out the podium in 8:55:59. The ladies race was a one-horse affair, with Karine Bezuidenhout (ex-pupil of Laerskool Mariepskop) bettering her own previous record on this course to finish in 8:48:49, placing her third overall! Second and third places went to Ritza Fouche and Karien Booyse in 9:57:22 and 10:12:11, respectively.
Day 2 took runners through the Blue Canyon Conservancy, flat terrain compared to the brutal climbing on Day 1 up Mariepskop.
- Roger Mortlock 5:13:42
- Wano Katjiri 5:50:33
- Francois Steyn 6:06:31
- Megan Loftie-Eaton 6:55:07
- Karin Joubert 7:04:26
- Mary Pieterse 7:08:32
- Johardt van Heerden 6:54:44
- Jacques Buys 7:24:23
- Jack Davis 8:55:59
- Karine Bezuidenhout 8:48:49
- Rizta Fouche 9:57:22
- Karien Booyse 10:12:11
For Full Results:
The enchanted forests of Mariepskop harbour many endemic plant species and wickedly tricky terrain for runners to navigate.
Karine Bezuidenhout broke her own record at K2C and finished 3rd overall.
The introduction of a KidZone saw a boom in the family atmosphere at the event this year, something that we are sure will continue to grow as trail running families make the most of the Lowveld offerings. Dates for the 2020 event will be release shortly on the event website.