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Varsity College Multisport Series #2

[image] 28 January 2015

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BANG! The Cowboys rounded the troops, a perfect morning at a stunning setting, a record field of over six hundred athletes and this was the second event in the Varsity College Multisport Series presented by Best 4.

Multi-sport was the very essence of this event; entrants could choose to trail run, or mountain bike or both in the Multi-X or paddle as in the Multisport events. The biggest growth was seen in the trail runs where over one hundred participants were recorded in the 5km trail run while those more daring took on the 12.5km version. The terrain at Shongweni Dam is unforgiving; surrounded by hills and defined by it's rocky, sandy tracks adds to the challenge. Pat Dammann and Michael Cooper were the respective winners of the 5km while Alexia Loizou and Sizwe Mkhasile claimed the 12.5km.

The canoe version returned and with it came the big players. Dusi champion Andy Birkett may be in his off-season but he was not about to tarnish his record and notched another win in the long course over a 5km trail run, 20km mountain bike and 5km paddle. Less than two minutes back the dice was on for second with Change-A-Life athlete Eric Zondi just edging out Trevor Hellens. Fresh off claiming the SA Youth Women's MTB title in Mpumalanga the previous day, young Bianca Haw gave an indication of her talent as she won the women's race ahead of Carmen Blakeney and Alyson Scheepers. Heading up the short course were Bryan le Roux and Jordan Peek, who placed third overall.

The long course Multi-X was won by Daniel Carleton ahead of two new names on the podium; Robert Baxter in second and Benjamin Kilian in third. Sarah Gray continued to dominate the women's podium with the welcome return of Landy Puddu in second place and Karen Thomson third. The short course version over a 2.5km trail run, 10km mountain bike and 1km trail run was won by Gareth Marquiss and Eleanor Glaum respectively.

Racing was tight at the front of the 40km mountain bike race with Leeroy Emslie claiming the honours in a sprint finish ahead of Hilton Frost with Mark Malherbe just a few seconds back in third place. Kimberley le Court de Billot was a worthy winner of the women's race. Matthew Ellis and Bronwyn Brigg led home the 20km race.

Fun and games ended the day with the Varsity College Games Challenge which involved teams of six competing over various obstacles and games, including the mechanical bull courtesy of host campus the Westville Cowboys.
The third and final event takes place at Albert Falls Dam on Sunday 19th August.

MultiX Long, Men overall:
D Carleton 1h26.52, R Baxter 1h34.37, B Wayne Kilian 1h34.44 Women overall: S Gray 1h52.42, L Puddu 2h00.40, K Thomson 2h04.14.
Multisport Long, Men overall: A Birkett 1h36.48, E Zondi 1h38.40, T Hellens 1h38.41. Women: B Haw 2h10.28, C Blakeney 2h13.14, A Scheepers 2h26.03.
MultiX Short, Men overall: G Marquiss 49.55, D Marquiss 52.13, S Wilmans 1h01.43. Women overall: E Glaum 1h14.03, T Meier 1h16.02, H Muir 1h20.03.
Multisport Short, Men overall: B le Roux 1h08.45, B Sharp 1h12.45, Emmanual 1h14.50. Women: J Peek 1h13.52.
MTB 40km, Men: L Emslie 1h42.50, H Frost 1h42.51, M Malherbe 1h43.07. Women: K le Court de Billot 2h22.08, K Marshall 2h37.24, G Ryan 2h40.35.
MTB 20km, Men: M Ellis 1h03.47. Women: B Brigg 1h29.25
Trail Run, 12.5km - Men overall: S Mkhasile 47.55, J Ntuli 48.23, D Wassenfall 50.48. Women overall: A Loizou 1h00.09, N Zaloumis 1h01.47, J Bomford 1h04.15.
Trail Run 5km, Men: M Cooper 25.48. Women: P Dammann 30.47.

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