Namaqua Daisies, giving athletes a run for their money
As with all trail running events, the terrain and scenery are essential for choosing which one to do. The Namaqua Quest Trail Run was no different in what it provided for the athletes with daisies galore and some brilliant technical sections. Then the weather also just threw in its two cents worth to keep the race exciting.
Day 1 gave the athletes a taste of the scenery and what they would see for the next few days. 25kms of running on Jakkalswater farm where the race village was also set up for the 4 days. The challenge facing the athletes on this run was “klipbank”, as the locals call it. It was all made worth it as runners were rewarded with beautiful views of the farm and surrounding area from the mountain top. Bennie Roux took top honours on day 1 for the men and Katya Soggot for the ladies.
If you thought rain was a blessing you should have spoken to the athletes competing in day 2, as it came down in bucket loads. It did open up enough for them to appreciate the views that Skaap River Canyon boasts. This is something no one else gets to see as it is located on private property and runners could be heard speaking about the amazing scenary at the end of the day. Bennie Roux increased his lead over Dirk Cloete on this stage and Katya Soggot took the honours for the ladies again.
Goegap Nature Reserve on stage 3 delivered great weather and amazing flowers for the athletes. They fought it out in the beginning with a single track climb up the mountain. And then to end it off Dirk fought hard to keep on Bennie’s heels, finishing only 10 seconds behind him on stage 3. Katya came in all sparkly looking like she had not run the 30kms designated for the day.
Day 4 saw another change in the weather with gale force winds at the camp grounds, fortunately calmer conditions were experienced on route. All athletes started and had their heads bowed low against the frontal onslaught of dust. The last route took them up Toringberg and around the Nababeep area, to give them brilliant single track mountain running. Some steep ascents and descents kept everyone on their toes. First to cross the line was Bennie Roux with Dirk Cloete right behind him and Mark Pikker 3rd for this stage. Mark a cape boy said the wind worked in his favour as he is used to running in windy conditions. Marcelle Coetzee was the first female to cross the line with Katya Soggot behind her on this stage.
Top honours went to Bennie Roux (10:02:43) winning the overall male category, second Dirk Cloete (10:33:26), who also won the Vet Category, third Mazu Ndandani (11:02:35). In the ladies category Katya Soggot (11:46:06) won the 4 day stage race, second Marcelle Coetzee (12:17) and third Georgina Ayre (13:24:48) from Australia who ran this race as a training race for herself.
Trisport organisers, Hano and Sonja Otto, and Wild Trail organiser, Debbie Agenbag, are very excited about the future of this event based on the year-on-year growth it has experienced. The Namaqua Quest 4 day Trail Run updates, photos, videos and feedback can be seen on www.facebook.com/NamaquaQuest. For more information go to www.namaquaquest.co.za.