Sunday, 28 May 2017, saw South Africa’s top OCR athlete, Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team) and Jay Jay Deysel (Jeep Team) take on Race #4 of the Toyota Warrior Series, powered by Reebok, at the hilly Kwanyoni Lodge in Mpumalanga. The event attracted just over 1500 competitors into Nelspruit.
For Jay Jay Deysel (Jeep Team), the racing started on the Saturday with the Individual Reebok Sprint Race, a short, fast and highly-intensity race, covering 400m and featuring 10 obstacles. Deysel finished the Individual Sprint final in 4th place.
On the Sunday, Deysel and van Tonder partnered with Hanneke Dannhauser, to take on the Reebok Team Sprint race. With more than 10 years OCR experience between them, they were always going to be the team to beat and unsurprisingly, they took the win, but not without a fight in a very tight field of teams. Deysel, van Tonder and Dannhauser finish the race in first place.
Jeep Team’s Thomas “BeastMode” van Tonder and Jay Jay Deysel, also both competed in the Black Ops Elite race, the toughest of them all, featuring some 30 obstacles over a 17km trail, designed to challenge endurance, strength and agility.
Says van Tonder on his performance, “We had a massive climb in the first half of the race, which is good prep work for World Champs, but racing up a mountain is never easy. I had a steady start to the race, running in the front with Claude Eksteen and Louis Smit next to me.
“The first obstacle to settle positions was the monster net climb, then to the top of Tower of Rage. This obstacle is easier without water coming down as you are climbing up, and I left this obstacle in first place, but the huge climb was yet to come. I enjoyed the lead for maybe 1 km before Claude came pacing by me. The Concrete Carry and Log Buster had our legs work extra hard to get to the top. The load was not too heavy, but all of them had a very technical loop, so you had to watch your step.
“There was not a lot of position changing going on at this stage. Behind me, Bradley Claase passed Louis Smit and kept a steady gap of 30 to 40 metres behind me all the way up the climb. The good thing about having a course with such a huge climb, is that the second half of the course is downhill, although there is the occasional sharp climb, and I used these long legs of mine to put in some massive down-strides. Greg Avierinos is a very good downhill runner and I knew he would be coming down fast as well.
“I actually made up a good amount of time on Claude with those downhills, with Louis Smit behind me also putting in a hard downhill and chasing me again. This is something I noticed in prep for OCR World Championships last year. If you can run a strong uphill, it does not mean that you are a good downhill runner. I took most of my positions at OCR World Champs last year on a rig or on a downhill.”
Van Tonder says he has learnt the importance of keeping up the intensity when reaching obstacles, as most people tend to slow down.
He continues “I was not far from the race venue, and came upon Breaking Point obstacle, and about a minute or 2 behind Claude. I was too focused on where Claude was missed the bell on the Chain Reactor obstacle, relying on the fact that in previous Warrior races, this obstacle didn’t have bell finishes. So, I missed the bell. A silly mistake that possible cost me a close finish with Claude. Doing this obstacle again, probably cost me about 30 seconds.”
Van Tonder got through the iron rig and tyre flip leaving something in the tank for Breaking Point.
Eksteen completed Breaking Point as Thomas started it, settling first and second positions overall, and Van Tonder missing his 12th Warrior win.
Van Tonder finished the Men’s Black Ops Elite race in a time of 01:29:59, 47 seconds behind race-winner Claude Eksteen. Third place went to Louis Smit in 01:32:11. Jay Jay Deysel crossed the line in 10th place in 01:38:50.
The final race of the weekend was the Team Sprint. ‘JeepTeamBok’ comprised Van Tonder, Deysel and the unstoppable, Hanneké Dannhauser.
Concludes Van Tonder, “A weekend of hard and fast OCR racing with a 2nd in the Black Ops Elite and a Jeep Team sprint win. Thank you to Toyota Warrior for an epic weekend.”
Results – Black Ops Elite
- Claude Eksteen 01:29:12
- Thomas van Tonder 01:29:59
- Louis Smit 01:32:11
- Trish Bahlmann 01:56:56
- Hanneke Dannhauser 01:59:14
- Samantha Gilchrist 02:11:44
OTHER JEEP TEAM NEWS
TRAIL RUNNING – Hollard JURA
Jeep Team OCR athlete, Joshua Masudi, took part in the Hollard JURA (Jozi Urban Run Adventure) on Saturday 27 May at Marks Park, Emmarentia Dam in Randburg.
Masudi competed in the longest race of the day, the 18km Adventure race, featuring 15 obstacles as well as natural obstacles and challenging terrain. The race included rock clambering, storm-water drain crawl, hill slides, rivers and ravines, and a floating bridge.
Masudi finished in third place, crossing the line in a time of 01:22:11. First place went to Givemore Mudzinganyama in 01:12:20, and second place to Nkosibongiwe Maketa in 01:18:20.
Results – Hollard JURA 18km Adventure
- Givemore Mudzinganyama 01:12:20
- Nkosibongiwe Maketa 01:18:20
- Joshua Masudi 01:22:11
- Robyn van Niekerk 01:48:26
- Sasha Mc Gregor 01:51:26
- Catherine Kretzmann 01:55:26
TRAIL NIGHT RUNNING – Boschendal Night Trail Run #2
On Thursday 25 May, Boschendal Wine Estate in Stellenbosch hosted their second Boschendal Night Trail Run.
The race, with two distance options, 5km and 10km, started at the Boschendal food garden, continuing along trails through the renowned Boschendal Wine Estate, and finished at the estate’s beautiful Deli restaurant.
Jeep Team Multisport athlete Michael Lord finished the 10km race in third place in a time of 00:31:21. The race winner, Peter Tsaeayo, crossed the line in 00:28:31, and second-place finisher, Jean-Paul Burger, completed the race in 00:29:34.
Says Lord, “It was bizarre running in the dark – the race had quite an eerie feel once the field had split up. Trying to figure out how to run with a torch was a challenge. It weighed a ton by the end of the race. Well done to Peter and Jean-Paul. And a big thank you to Amoija Events for an awesome night run! I’m really looking forward to the next one.”
Results – 10km Boschendal Night Trail Run
- Peter Tsawayo 00:28:31
- Jean-Paul Burger 00:29:34
- Michael Lord 00:31:21
- Carla Beyers 00:46:08
- Janine Visser 00:46:33
- Shirley du Plessis 00:48:41