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Race Report: Royal Drak MTB & Trail Run Challenge 7 April 2018

Although officially a race day, the atmosphere at All Out Adventures on Saturday was ridiculously relaxed, with just a hint of trepidation as participants of the aHa Alpine Heath 50km MTB considered the task that lay before them. This year we reverted to the original route with the brutal Greenfire Climb and brilliant Grotto route to finish. As it turned out, it was the 20km Trail Runners who should have been worried, with a marshal hiccup resulting in an extra 6kms being added to the route…

The day dawned brilliant and sunny – quite a relief from the late rains that had showered us on the previous 2 weekends. The program for the day was the 20km Trail Run, 10km Trail Run, followed by the aHa Alpine Heath 50km MTB, Montusi Mountain Lodge 25km MTB and the Cavern Drakensberg Resort& Spa 10km Family Fun Ride / Run, and finally the 1km Kiddies Race at 11:30.

The 20km Trail Run got underway promptly at 7:30, and after the muddle up at the first intersection, the runners go underway properly, and impressed us all with their perseverance and speed – the winner coming in under 2 hours! The first man home was Mlunguis Mazibuko from Mazizini in 1:58:54, followed by Mondli Madonsela in 2:03:01 with Meketsi Dlamini in 2:04:34. First lady home was Soul Robertson from Doha in 3:13:54, followed by Lindsay Du Plessis in 3:30:12 and Ansa Human in 3:30:24. We half expected to be met by a lynch mob when they got back, but maybe they were too tired! One of the participants wrote to us after the race, and her feedback embodies a really powerful concept – that our hardships are actually just opportunities to grow.

Thanks to you guys for a fabulous event. At first, I was so upset about the extra 5,8km loop but then changed my mind… I  am very proud that my body managed such a long distance… and so now I am GRATEFUL for the extra loop – it’s my new personal record (my longest race was 15km, that was about 20 years ago!!). I have broken my mental barrier!! Plus, the Berg scenery is so beautiful, it was easy to be happy and enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air.

Thank you Soul! 

Happily the 10km Trail Run got underway without incident, and the runners blazed around the course, with the first finishers coming in in under 35 minutes! The winner was Mxolisi Ndlovu in 33:04, followed by Bonga Moloi in 34:09 and Thabisang Nyabi in 34:57. The first lady home was Cynthia Bekker in 44:38, followed by Tracey Ollerman in 50:19 and Jean Lynne van Heerden in 59:00.

The small group of die hards who lined up for the aHa Alpine Heath 50km MTB Challenge comprised mostly of past participants who had returned to test themselves against the mountain once again. Our 9:00 starting time was probably a bit late in view of the temperatures that were rapidly rising with the sunshine, but this route is a brilliant tour of the area, and fortunately the resorts on the route provided excellent seconding tables, so the participants were well fed and watered on their arduous trek. We’re not sure that the winners actually ever stopped though if you consider that they came in just under the 3 hour mark. The winner was Nick Lockelt in 2:54:35, followed by Michael- John Acres in2:56:56 and Charl Marais in 3:01:49. Charl was followed closely by the first lady home – our 2016 ladies winner – Andrea Deboer in 3:30:52.

The Montusi Mountain Lodge 25km MTB Intermediate always attracts a varied field of young and old, and this year was no different. The downhill Berm start set the tone for fast and fun riding, which was carried through the new S- bends down the Windmill Trail and Forbidden Pass. The first rider home was Ralph Gilbert in 1:20:53, followed closely by Andrew Headley in 1:21:55. In third place – one of our local farmers and most eligible bachelors in the district – JP Van Reenen! We didn’t even know that JP owned a bike! The first youngster (13 years and under) home was Christian Naude – he finished 8th overall in a fantastic time of 1:36:41. The first lady home was Ronel Ten Napel in 1:37:23, followed by Cynthia Bekker in 1:43:47 and Camilla Moll in 1:47:03

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa 10km Family Fun Ride / Run actually turned out to be the most eventful race of the day. One forgets how fast some of these little people ride, and a couple got in with the 25km leaders, and missed the 10 /25km split. One little guy even missed the left turn at Montusi Lodge, and ended up on our neighbours farm! Next year we will pinch the chevrons off the N3 to mark the turns so these speedy kids wont miss them! This race is always a testament to these children’s determination, and it’s actually humbling. The little guy who visited our neighbours returned triumphantly with enough gas in the tank for a bungee bounce, and the youngest rider to complete the whole 10km route was 4 years old. We take our hats off to the Mums and Dads who encourage these little riders, and look forward to see them grow in the sport.

The 1km Kiddies Race around the Adventure Centre was delightful! It took a while to lure the kids out of the amazing Kids Zone hosted by the staff of Royal Drakensberg Primary School, but pretty soon the start line was crowded with strider bikes and runners in tutus. We were fortunate to have at our disposal a small army of big brothers and sisters who ably herded the littlies around the track, and the paparazzi was out in full force, and the kids had a blast.

It was a fantastic family day all around. The chefs form Aha Alpine Heath did a marvellous job in keeping everybody fed with delicious egg & bacon rolls for breakfast and wors rolls for lunch, and the N3TC Chill Zone was a huge hit with all the tired participants. The weekend wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing support of all the sponsors – N3TC, Aha Alpine Heath, Montusi Mountain Lodge, and The Cavern Drakensberg Resort and Spa, and the tireless efforts of the surrounding businesses who worked together to prepare the tracks, man the registration and ensure that the marshals were transported and fed! We are ever appreciative of our landowners generosity in allowing access to the trails through their properties, and we would also like to thank our spot prize and goodie bag sponsors whose contribution make the event so special. Well done to all the participants who came out to play in support of a wonderful cause.

We look forward to seeing you in 2019!

2018 Results 10km Fun ride

Race No
Name
Sex
Age Cat Name
Race Time
Overall Pos
Age Pos
376
DANIE COETZER
M
Senior/Elite
0:40:41
1
1
374
JEAN CARTE
F
Grand Master
0:42:23
1
1
372
CHARLIE ROBERTSON
F
Sub Junior
0:45:11
2
1
361
JUDE MECKLENBORG
F
Sprog
0:50:57
3
1
375
LISA OELLERMANN
F
Sprog
0:51:00
4
2
360
GUETTE SHEPHERD
F
Sprog
0:53:41
5
3
359
ANERA SHEPHERD
F
Veteran
0:53:44
6
1
373
MAX ROBERTSON
M
Nipper
0:55:16
2
1
353
ARMAND VIVIER
M
Nipper
0:58:59
3
2
834
CHRISTINE VIVIER
F
Veteran
0:59:04
7
2
920
WILL MACDONALD
M
Youth
1:12:35
4
1
358
ANDREW DUFF
M
Veteran
1:19:21
5
1
357
JAMESON DUFF
M
Nipper
1:19:24
6
3
371
JULIA ROBERTSON
F
Sub Junior
1:19:38
8
2
363
ANIKA JEAN VAN HEERDEN
F
Nipper
1:22:00
9
1
364
JOHAN VAN HEERDEN
M
Senior/Elite
1:22:03
7
2
355
STEPHEN VAN RENSBURG
M
Nipper
1:26:47
8
4
366
RHONA CARTE
F
Senior/Elite
1:33:56
10
1
351
RYAN COOPER
Senior/Elite
1:52:21
1
1
362
HUGO PRETORIUS
M
Senior/Elite
1:58:48
9
3
 

2018 Results 10km Trail run

Race No
Name
Sex
Age Cat Name
Race Time
Overall Pos
Age Pos
816
NDLOVU MXOLISI
M
20 to 29
0:33:04
1
1
817
BONGA MOLOI
M
20 to 29
0:34:09
2
2
818
THABISANG NYABI
M
50 to 59
0:34:57
3
1
823
MBEKEEL HADEBE
M
10 to 19
0:35:48
4
1
819
MTHOBISI NGWENYA
M
20 to 29
0:40:24
5
3
807
CYANDA BEKKER
F
10 to 19
0:44:38
1
1
863
BRETT OELLERMANN
M
10 to 19
0:45:05
6
2
865
BRAD DICKIN
M
40 to 49
0:47:50
7
1
861
TRACEY OELLERMANN
F
10 to 19
0:50:19
2
2
810
WILL MACDONALD
M
10 to 19
0:50:47
8
3
803
BRIGHTON CLARK
M
20 to 29
0:53:38
9
4
868
R.HUGO PRETORIUS
M
40 to 49
0:54:36
10
2
826
KOOS VIVIER
M
40 to 49
0:56:24
11
3
859
BEN JORDINE
M
10 to 19
0:56:28
12
4
811
TREVOR WILLIAMS-ROS
M
40 to 49
0:57:01
13
4
822
DAVID MITCHELL
M
30 to 39
0:58:33
14
1
860
ROBERT JARDINE
M
40 to 49
0:58:51
15
5
825
JEAN LYNN VAN HEERDEN
F
30 to 39
0:59:00
3
1
824
JOHAN VAN HEERDEN
M
30 to 39
0:59:02
16
2
809
ANTON VAN ROOIJEN
M
30 to 39
1:03:27
17
3
820
JABULILE RADEBE
F
30 to 39
1:03:40
4
2
821
NICCI MITCHELL
F
30 to 39
1:04:42
5
3
827
CHRISTINE VIVIER
F
40 to 49
1:06:32
6
1
804
NOAH BEDINGHAM
M
10 to 19
1:07:37
18
5
802
GRAYDON LESLIE
M
10 to 19
1:07:38
19
6
832
TOREN MECKLENBERG
M
10 to 19
1:07:42
20
7
864
EMMA SMYTHE
F
10 to 19
1:07:44
7
3
808
DANIEKA BEKKER
F
10 to 19
1:10:17
8
4
813
DINEO OLIPHANT
F
40 to 49
1:11:39
9
2
862
LAUREN OELLERMANN
F
40 to 49
1:12:16
10
3
867
HENRI MULLER
M
U10
1:12:56
21
1
866
MIA MULLER
F
10 to 19
1:13:01
11
5
830
ROZELLE VAN RENZBURG
F
50 to 59
1:28:30
12
1
829
WERNE VAN RERBY
M
1:28:31
22
1
857
KATIE MOORE
F
10 to 19
1:49:16
13
6
806
ISABELLA BEDINGHAM
F
10 to 19
1:49:21
14
7
855
SIDNEY VBOWLES
F
10 to 19
1:49:25
15
8
856
PAIGE MAYER
F
10 to 19
1:49:31
16
9
829
WERNE VAN RERBY
M
3:11:25
23
2
815
RACHAEL CHIPETA
F
30 to 39
3:15:58
17
4
814
LEDWINA GONDE
F
10 to 19
3:15:59
18
10
 

2018 Results 20km Trail run

Race No
Name
Sex
Age Cat Name
Race Time
Overall Pos
Age Pos
708
MLUNGISI DORMINIC MAZIBUKO
M
20 to 29
01:58:54
1
1
716
MONDLI MADONSELA
M
30 to 39
02:03:01
2
1
712
MEKETSI DLAMINI
M
40 to 49
02:04:34
3
1
713
LUCKY MTHABELA
M
30 to 39
02:15:53
4
2
701
ADRIAAN ROBERTSON
M
50 to 59
02:41:57
5
1
723
DAVID STEVENSON
M
30 to 39
02:44:49
6
3
717
MBEKEZELI MOLOI
M
20 to 29
02:56:13
7
2
705
ROSS LESLIE
M
10 to 19
03:07:19
8
1
710
DAVID DU PREEZ
M
30 to 39
03:09:19
9
4
700
SOUL ROBERTSON
F
40 to 49
03:13:52
1
1
721
STUART SCHABRAM
M
30 to 39
03:13:54
10
5
711
LLOYD LORD GONDE
M
40 to 49
03:21:27
11
2
707
LINDSAY DU PLESSIS
F
30 to 39
03:30:12
2
1
725
ANSA HUMAN
F
50 to 59
03:30:24
3
1
722
BENJAMIN SMOLOWITZ
M
40 to 49
03:31:38
12
3
703
JAN-NICO COETZEE
M
30 to 39
03:47:02
13
6
754
TARRYN GOENENDYK
F
20 to 29
03:51:16
4
1
714
PHUMELELE HLATSHWAYO
F
30 to 39
03:54:09
5
2
715
MIA JOYCE
F
40 to 49
04:17:49
6
2
709
CATHERINE EBERLE
F
50 to 59
04:20:14
7
2
719
ANDREW SPENCE
M
40 to 49
04:25:02
14
4
720
BELINDA SPENCE
F
40 to 49
04:25:24
8
3
718
LESLEY CARTE
F
40 to 49
04:32:13
9
4
706
MEGAN BEDINGHAM
F
40 to 49
04:32:16
10
5
755
MELISNA GROBLER
F
30 to 39
04:32:17
11
3
724
CATH DUFF
F
30 to 39
04:32:19
12
4
 

2018 Results 30km Classic

Race No
Name
Sex
Age Cat Name
Race Time
Overall Pos
Age Pos
282
RALPH GILBERT
M
Master
01:20:53
1
1
213
ANDREW HEADLEY
M
Master
01:21:55
2
2
288
JP VAN REENAN
M
Sub Veteran
01:29:16
3
1
211
DYLAN LAMB
M
Youth
01:34:01
4
1
212
JEAN SWANEPOEL
M
Senior/Elite
01:34:31
5
1
200
RIAAN BUYS
M
Veteran
01:36:09
6
1
277
ANDRE NAUDE
M
Veteran
01:36:31
7
2
278
CHRISTIAN NAUDE
M
Sub Junior
01:36:41
8
1
289
JEAN PIERRE TEN NAPEL
M
Sub Veteran
01:37:21
9
2
290
RONEL TEN NAPEL
F
Veteran
01:37:23
1
1
201
HILTON BEDINGHAM
M
Veteran
01:37:46
10
3
281
DANIE MULLER
M
Sub Junior
01:41:10
11
2
203
KOBUS BEKKER
M
Master
01:42:40
12
3
202
CYNTHIA BEKKER
F
Veteran
01:43:47
2
2
205
ROLAND EBERLE
M
Master
01:45:09
13
4
292
CAMILLA MOLL
F
Sub Veteran
01:47:03
3
1
280
PETER CATRTE
M
Grand Master
01:47:55
14
1
209
ROBERT JARDINE
M
Veteran
01:57:36
15
4
210
BEVERLEY JARDINE
F
Sub Veteran
01:57:37
4
2
285
NATELLIE MEYER
M
Master
02:00:13
16
5
284
STEPHEN MEYER
M
Master
02:00:16
17
6
283
MARK HARTON
M
Veteran
02:00:19
18
5
214
GAVIN GERBER
M
Veteran
02:00:20
19
6
207
ANDREW GRAY
M
Grand Master
02:00:29
20
2
208
BONGANI SHELEMBE
M
Veteran
02:02:15
21
7
291
PETER DICKS
M
Sub Veteran
02:08:40
22
3
279
ANDRE COOPER
M
Veteran
02:40:59
23
8
204
JACOMINE GROBLER
F
Sub Veteran
03:08:43
5
3
 

2018 Results 50km Extreme

Race No
Name
Sex
Age Cat Name
Race Time
Overall Pos
Age Pos
179
NICK LOCKELT
M
Veteran
02:54:35
1
1
175
ACRES MICHAEL-JOHN
M
Sub Veteran
02:56:56
2
1
100
CHARL MARAIS
M
Veteran
03:01:49
3
2
177
ANDREA DE-BOER
F
Senior/Elite
03:03:52
1
1
173
FRANCIS BRADFORD
M
Master
03:11:12
4
1
105
DOUG RETIEF
M
Grand Master
03:24:51
5
1
176
HARKO DE-BOER
M
Grand Master
03:44:06
6
2
199
IVAN DE KOCK
M
Sub Veteran
03:54:57
7
2
180
DEN REITZ
M
Sub Veteran
03:57:18
8
3
106
THORSTEN RAUCH
M
Veteran
03:59:20
9
3
124
ROBYN LESLIE
F
Veteran
04:00:06
2
1
174
GRACE DAWEE
M
Veteran
04:00:08
10
4
103
ADRIAN KORNER
M
Senior/Elite
04:30:05
11
1
102
BRENT KORNER
M
Master
04:30:07
12
2
 

My name is Idah Khumalo

My name is Idah Khumalo. I grew up in a village called Amazizi in the Drakensberg Mountains called Amazizi village, which is where I have grown up from. I really enjoy working at the Royal Drakensberg Primary School which is a small school situated in Northern Drakensberg.

I have worked at RDP for over ten years and I have really treasured my time at the school. During the ten years of my teaching I have experienced some challenges but the learning’s have made everything worthwhile. Having to work with different types of people who have absolute different backgrounds with me was one of the challenges but has turned out to be a good experience. 

Teachers come and go, young vibrant teachers who are still building up their experience. It is always good to get to know new people especially those who know their job. I really appreciate the knowledge that is constantly being given to us by different teachers that I got to work with in our school.

In a school full of young children, as teachers we need to keep on helping each other and working together in order to build up a happier environment, so listening to each other is very important.

After everything there is nothing that brings me joy than seeing the children that used to be in our school during their foundation phase doing their best and excelling in their school work in the school that they are currently in. Seeing them makes me so proud and motivated to keep on doing my best in investing in their bright future. 

A Hug – One Size Fits All

A Hug……One size fits all! And there is nothing like the hugs that are freely given by the children at Royal Drakensberg Primary School!
Wednesdays are a highlight of my week. This is the day I go to school! I have the privilege of welcoming the children into the library for their weekly choosing of books to take home to read.

The little ones are wide eyed and as they choose books and gaze intently at the bright pictures, I have such hope that they will grow to love reading.
They are so eager to participate in stories, especially counting tales and colour stories. There are the favourite books and as a result some books have pages which are patched with tape,grey and dog-eared. But sought after nevertheless!

I have witnessed such pleasing progress as children who have graduated from the pre-primary to the early grades. Recognition of words and the ability to read and comprehend the stories brings joy to us all.

If these young people have the encouragement from home to read, read, read, the world can be theirs to explore. Sometimes I wish that everyday was “Wednesday” as I experience the hugs and enthusiasm of these precious little people. Their imaginations are stimulated, their enquiring minds are excited! If they learn just one new word, or are exposed to a previously unknown insect, animal, place or historical person or event, then the seed of knowledge will open opportunities for their success.

How grateful we are to all those who have donated books!
Understanding is progress!
Guidance is essential!
Success is the goal!

Jean Carte

The only two seniors

I finished my time at Royal Drakensberg Primary School (RDPS) in 2009 at the end of grade three with one other boy in my grade, a good friend, Sanele Ngwenya. Royal Drakensberg started with us in 2007, in our grade 1 year. At that time the school only went up to grade three with only sixteen students in total, it wasn’t worth making a senior primary for just two naughty boys. Our parents decided the best thing to do with us was send us off to boarding school in the midlands at Clifton Nottingham Road to do grade four to seven.

As you can imagine it was a bit of a shock to the system being away from home for so long never mind the fact that there was now 48 more kids in your grade to deal with but actually we thrived and it turns out RDP had prepared us perfectly for big school. Once we got used to the 20 other kids in our class, it was a blast. The young and small school really did put us in good stead, with Sanele constantly finishing near the top of the class and although academics wasn’t my strongest point, Zulu was a breeze due to my good base of being one of the only English speaking pupils at RDPS. Most of the kids came from the local community without any English and from very poor beginnings – this school and the teachers really gave each of us a special amount of attention to ensure that we were reaching our full potential and more.

Returning to Royal Drakensberg each year has really touched me to see how far it is coming, with the number of pupils now being in the eighties, another three buildings for class rooms and more staff accommodation etc. Out of the teachers that were there during my time, one remains – Idah Khumalo – and even my most awesome current Zulu teacher’s skill doesn’t compare to Idah’s incredible teaching skills.

Having said that the school has come a long way, there is still a long way to go, with a need for a more developed sports programme and facilities as well as funding for a lot of the pupils who can’t afford the full fees. The school always tries to give financial assistance to as many promising students as possible but it can only go so far with what it’s got. Raising money for the event really makes an impact and will allow more young children to experience the schooling that I was so blessed to have.

Torin Mecklenborg

An incredible adventure

“It’s not the mountains we conquer it’s ourselves” Edmund Hillary.

Living and teaching up in the Northern Drakensberg is no easy feat. You are miles away from the towns, social life and general convenience. “You will never” last they said. But here I am a year into my journey and still absolutely loving every second of it. It may be an extremely different life style that I am use to in the city, but I would not change a thing about my year.

Living up in the mountains you learn a lot about yourself at lighting speed. Things that you never thought you were capable of you now succeed in. Why is this? Simply because you have to! In the city you live a sheltered life where your every need is met without you having to worry about how, where, when and why. Things just work. Out here you have to solve your own problems, no electricity? Go check the DB board and if that is not the problem you get on with your day and work around it. You have to plan for everything so that in any situation you are prepared and ready if need be.

Teaching at the Royal Drakensberg Primary school has been an incredible adventure. I have grown beyond measure and I am extremely proud of the achievements I have made throughout the year. Teaching these little children have humbled me immensely and I am grateful to each and every one of the little life’s I have had the pleasure of meeting and teaching. It brings such joy to one when you are able to help grown and develop the minds of tomorrow.

I have made friendships that will last a life time. We have become a very close group of friends that we have all used to help us through our low times. We have enjoyed our time together and look forward to spending more time hiking around these mountains again next year.

Coming up to teach in the berg will live in my memories for a lifetime. It is definitely something that everyone should try their hand at least once. The growth and development as a person spiritually and physically is boundless which you will never find living in the city.

I will be forever grateful to all those that have made my year up here possible and enjoyable.