On the hilly Stage 2 of the 2016 Fairview Dryland Traverse, on Saturday 5 November, the Team 1 combination of John April and Francois Maquassa ran to victory to extend their general classification lead. Behind them Robert Rorich was the first solo runner home, followed by leading solo lady Danette Smith, mixed category leaders Landie and Christiaan Greyling, and the women’s category leaders Chantel Nienaber and Katja Sogot.
April and Maquassa set the pace from the off, establishing a comfortable buffer over the chasing teams – Obey Mtetwa and Mvuyisi Gcogco, of Raidlight/Free Spirit, and Niel Swanepoel and Morné van Greunen, running for Team EnduroHub – by the time they past the Raubenheimer Dam near the 7km mark. The close battle of the day would be for second position in the men’s team category as the EnduroHub guys clung desperately to the coattails of the Raidlight/Free Spirit team.
At water point two, with 7km remaining Swanepoel looked to capitalise on his stage racing experience and flew through the water point only grabbing a cup of water as he raced by. EnduroHub’s stronger member, van Greunen, took his time refuelling alongside Mtetwa and Gcogco in the hope of bridging across to Swanepoel on the tough climb ahead. But the tactic did not pay off as Mtetwa and Gcogco were simply too strong, catching Swanepoel with van Greunen and then dropping them both on the singletrack descent towards the De Hoek race village.
Up the road meanwhile April and Maquassa crossed the finish line in an impressive time of one hour, forty one minutes and twenty five seconds. The leading solo man, Rorich, was not far behind finishing the 23km stage in one hour, forty two minutes and forty seven seconds. The leading woman, Smith, broke the two hour barrier too, stopping the clock two minutes and one second shy of the 120 minute mark. Behing Smith, Gail Willimot beat a tiring Yolandi de Villiers to the finish to claim second on the stage and in the general classification from the Oudtshoorn local.
After a relaxed morning on the trails the Greylings trotted home to extend their mixed category lead over Su and Iain Don-Wauchope, but neither of the star teams were perturbed about the results. The Greylings stopped to take photos, while the Don-Wauchopes stopped for hugs with their kids who were supporting them from the water points and even ran the last 500m to the finish line, through the Fairview Dryland Traverse race village, hand-in-hand with their young son and daughter.
In the women’s team category Chantel Neinaber and Katja Sogot made it three from three by adding Stage 2 to their victories on the Fairview Dryland Traverse Prologue and Stage 1. They too enjoyed their time out on the trails especially as the cool and overcast conditions made for perfect trail running weather.
With the two longest stages of the 2016 Fairview Dryland Traverse now completed the attention shifts to the famous Saturday night party. The Beach Party theme is sure to bring out the masks and snorkels, beach balls, board-shorts and bikinis as the trail runners get into the festive spirit. Fortunately Sunday’s final stage is a short 11km out and back route from the De Hoek race village, with a few obstacle course style features thrown in for good measure – just to test the resolve of those who had a little too much fun on Saturday night.
Fairview Dryland Traverse General Classification after Stage 2
- Robert Rorich 04:35:02
- Andrea Biffi + 28:25
- Daryl North + 44:47
- Danette Smitt 05:25:39
- Gail Willimott + 23:13
- Yolandi de Villiers + 28:32
- Francois Maquassa & John April (Team 1) 04:37:38
- Obey Mtetwa & Mvuyisi Gcogco (Raidlight/Free Spirit) + 16:15
- Warren Dickson & Jade Muller (Wolf Pack 1) + 26:58
- Landie Greyling & Christiaan Greyling (Salomon) 05:22:16
- Su Don-Wauchope & Iain Don-Wauchope (Over the Hill[billies]) + 21:19
- Rudolf van Rensburg Janie van Rensburg (Tortoise and the Hare) + 01:42:01
- Chantel Nienaber & Katja Sogot (Fairview Fairies) 06:21:30
- Rezani Scholtz & Zonia Scheffer (Grys Sweetpakbroeke) + 29:31
- Katherine van der Walt & Claire van der Nest (The Thunderbolts) + 42:49
Photo credits: Seamus Allardice & Oakpics.com