GEORGE NEWS - Two local athletes, Lloyd Bosman (George) and Etienne Plaatjies (Oudtshoorn), will put their off-road prowess to the test when they take on South Africa's premier three-day stage trail run, the AfricanX Trailrun, at the Houw Hoek Hotel in the Overberg from 26 to 28 March.
All twelve elite athletes are from six Nedbank Running Club teams across South Africa.
"Trail running does not form part of my training, but I have competed in a few events," confirms Plaatjies. "AfricanX is one of the best stage races in the country. It will be tough and challenging. I am really looking forward to the aspect of participating as a team. Our goal will be to do our best and be on the podium."
Bosman says he entered AfricanX because he loves running in nature and trail running brings the best out of a person. "A three-day stage race is going to be tough, but we will bring it on. We have speed and endurance. It will be a good challenge for us. I'm looking forward to experiencing the route. I think it will be challenging but not boring."
National manager of the Nedbank Running Club Nick Bester says it's not clear at the moment when road races will start again in South Africa. "It's been nearly a year since SA went into lockdown. Our athletes are hungry to race. There have been virtual races, which have been great, but nothing beats the thrill of an actual race. We are excited to enter six strong teams (twelve runners each) into the AfricanX Trailrun. Although they predominantly focus on road races, some of our runners do enter the occasional trail race. They are all, however, fit, strong, fast and extremely competitive. We guarantee that they will give the trail runners a run for their money."
Combined, the twelve athletes boast a long list of impressive achievements, including 6th in the 1 500m at the 2008 Olympics, 1st at Om die Dam 50km in 2020, 1st at Om die Dam Ultra in 2017, 1st at Comrades Marathon in 2012, seven consecutive gold medallists at Comrades Marathon, ASA u.23 800m champion, u.23 X-Country champion, numerous top finishers at Two Oceans, 1st at the Oxpecker Trail Run 32km 2-day Stage Race in 2018, 1st at the Mauritius 2-day Stage Race in 2019 and 1st at the Sky Run 65km in 2020 (and record holder).
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