Church and Withaar win inaugural Dube Dirt Challenge
Jackie Church and Jan Withaar managed to secure a well deserved 1st place podium position in a tough and challenging Dube Dirt Challenge 45km race on Sunday.

With the excessive rain in the area over the past 5 weeks, race organisers has to cut 2 kilometres new grass track routes on Saturday, so as not to make the event a mud-bath. "Some of the planned routes were still over 50cm deep in water on Friday" says race director Damian Bradley. "We had to find new routes at the last minute and get them cut after they failed to dry up in-time for the long weekend's race."

Over 650 competitors entered the inaugural trail run and mountain biking race, which was staged at the beautiful and scenic Dube City next to King Shaka Airport. The fantastic venue 29deg South, which is owned and run by Dube Tradeport was the featured start and finish venue for this exciting new event. Competitors were met with a beautiful summers day at the 6am 15km trail run start, however the wind soon crept up and soon the athletes were battling 40km/hr cross winds during their events.

Claude Eksteen took the line honours in the 15km Trail run, just beating fellow runner VUKANI MAPHUMULO. Debbie Ivins won the ladies 15km race, just ahead of Jane Brewer. The 7km trail run took the athletes through some beautiful but tough single track routes, but it wasn't too tough for ALLAN HARMS and STEPHANIE WILLS who won the men's and ladies events.

In the 20km MTB event, NJABULO CELE won in a time of 58min 42sec , leaving PHILLIP MARAIS to claim 2nd place. The ladies race was won by LIEZEL GERBER with CAROL BOSWELL claiming a well deserved 2nd place.

Pic : Jackie Church