Press release: The Kwa-Ximba trail run proved to be a resounding success over the weekend, with close to 300 runners taking on the unrelenting terrain in support of this fundraising campaign. The event featured a strong showing of local athletes, who delivered solid performances in the three routes.
The 22km course was set to be a tough race with steep climbs and treacherous descents and the humidity and muddy conditions added to the technicality of the race.
In the men’s division, Spha Nzama managed to bag first place in a new record time, with Sizwe Mkhize in second and Nathi Luthuli in third.
Meanwhile, the women’s division was hotly contested with Puseletso Dladla, who crossed the finish in first place, and Zoe Papadakis, who placed second, both beating the 2015 women’s winning time. Wendy Morgan rounded the podium off in an impressive third.
Speaking about the event, Dladla, who is a top athlete, was happy to have set a new record.
“It was one of the toughest trails I have ever done but yeah I enjoyed,” she said, adding that she was happy to have broken the record by over ten minutes.
Papadakis added that, although it was a tough event, she had fun exploring the trail.
“The community were so supportive and it really helped to have them egging us on,” said the Fry’s Brand ambassador and plant based athlete. “At one point, after a tough climb, I was exhausted, but then a whole group of kids decided to run with me. It was so amazing.“
The 16km men’s division saw Gift Mlotshwa home in first place, with Clinton Hunter of RacePace Coaching in JHB hot on his heels in second and Mitchell Harty in third. In the women’s division it was Donnee Standeaven in first place, with Megan Wassung in second and Amanda Emmott in third.
The Kwa-Ximba trail run took place at Durban Green Corridor’s isiThumba Cultural Village on the Umgeni River, forms part of the Kloof Conservancy’s outreach programme and is run each year in partnership with Kwa-Ximba Conservancy. Bruce Crouch, Vice Chairman of Kloof Conservancy, said that they were working hard to try to find ways of combining beneficial use of natural resources and at the same time protect those resources.
“Kwa-Ximba is currently rural, but housing development is spreading rapidly with only a small beautiful part being left relatively untouched. Unless there is an intervention soon then even the last remaining ‘natural area’ will be converted into housing within a few years.”
Crouch added that they have been helping form the Kwa-Ximba Conservancy with the goal of educating the residents on the value of the natural resources and the need to protect the environment.
“Together with eThekwini Municipality we have embarked on a process to first create a stewardship area and, in the longer term, we hope we can convert this into a proclaimed nature reserve with all the legal protection that goes with it.“