Guillon in gruelling win

Top finishers in the 100-mile Addo Elephant Trail Run were, from left, Eduan Adams, Rene Vollgraaff, Antoine Guillon, Sandra le Roux and Brad Hyman
Picture: Xavier Vriel

Hyman first South African in Addo 100-miler run in muddy conditions

Port Elizabeth trail runner Bradley Hyman did his city proud when he crossed the finish line as the first South African home in the Addo Elephant Trail Run 100-mile race at the weekend. Beaten to the line by Frenchman Antoine Guillon, who finished the race in 19h 48min 09sec, Hyman, of Richmond Hill, finished in 24:58.46.

Third place went to fellow Port Elizabeth runner Eduan Adams in 25:45.33.

“The weather [was] perfect for running, but with the rain we had, and the mud, it made things a bit difficult,” he said.

Hyman, in his third Addo Trail 100-mile event, said it was a challenge in itself, and to get to the podium was a great achievement.

Hyman said he needed to pace himself throughout the race, knowing he could not go too fast too soon.

“To have two local guys on the podium is a wonderful achievement.

“The most important thing for me was to keep moving and not spend too much time at the checkpoints.”

He said: “I started running to escape things, and over time it turned into a love for the mountains.

“Unlike in road running, your mind gets distracted on the trails, and the scenery is always changing.

Annelise Scholtz, of Woodlands, claimed third (08:24.32) in the hotly contested 76km race, finishing just behind the pair of Nicolette Griffioen (08:07.18) and Naomi Brand (08:23.18).

Scholtz said she did not expect a podium position, this being the longest trail run she had done.

“Nicolette and Naomi have raced in other trail runs across the country, so for me to finish behind those two was something I never expected, but I am very happy with the result.”

Kwazakhele’s Mvuyisi Gcogco added another trail-running feather to his hat, taking his third 44km title.

Finishing in a record time of 03:44.02, Gcogco was followed home by Melikhaya Msizi (03:54.44) and Jacques Mouton (04:16.48).

Asked how he had managed to pace himself during the race, Gcogco put it down to working to a pre-set strategy.

“My biggest focus was making sure my technique was sound.

“I had a bit of trouble with my calves in the final few kilometres of the race, but managed to hold on for the win.”

Asked whether he would consider taking on a longer distance, he said: “Perhaps in two or three years.

“Going from the 44km to the 76km is a major jump, and I won’t even know how to train for it,” he said.

Race director Sian O’Keefe said the rainy weather had added to the drama of the race and he was glad to have pulled off the event without a hitch.

Top three finishers by distance: 100 mile: Men: Antoine Guillon 19:48.09; Bradley Hyman 24:58.46 and Eduan Adams 25:45.33. Women: Sandra le Roux 32:15.39; Rene Vollgraaff 32:15.39 and Marie Ayton 33:33.14. 76km: Men: Stewart Chaperon 07:33.40; Christophe

le Saux 07:57.19 and Amadeus Witzemann 08:18.17.

Women: Nicolette Griffioen 08:07.18; Naomi Brand 08:23.18 and Annalise Scholtz 08:24.32. 44km:

Men: Mvuyisi Gcogco 03:44.02; Melikhaya Msizi 03:54.44 and Jacques Mouton 04:16.48.

Women: Melissa van Rensburg 04:28.34; Carine Gagiano 04:43.10 and Mia Uys 04:56.33.

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