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AJ and Bernard race to AfricanX title

AJ Calitz and Bernard Rakudza (Contego K-Way) secured the coveted title of men’s team champions at South Africa’s premier three-day stage trail run, the 2014 ProNutro AfricanX Trailrun presented by New Balance on Sunday.

The duo completed the three stages in the Grabouw region of the Western Cape in an impressive combined time of 6hr 32min 04sec. Sunday’s stage was the shortest of the three stages, a 21-kilometre dash with an elevation of 650 metres.

ÔÇ£Today was awesome, with lots of ups and downs,ÔÇØ said Calitz, pictured right with his team-mate.┬áÔÇ£Bernie and I were communicating all the time.┬áOur plan was to race defensively, but then the best form of defence is attack.┬áToday’s route was perfect and featured a bit of everything.┬á It was interesting starting a stage in reverse though.┬áWe started on a downhill and finished on a climb.

“This is the only event where road runners and trail runners just might be on equal terms.┬áThere are times where the route is flat and fast, while there are times that you get to experience real mountain runningÔÇØ.

Michael Bailey and Ben Brimble (Nedbank/The North Face) claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Thabang Madiba and Kane Reilly (Salomon Men) claimed the final spot on the podium.

Katya Soggot and Chantel Nienaber (ProNutro Ladies) claimed gold in the women’s team category in a combined time of 8:11:58. ÔÇ£Today was fun.┬áAlthough midway through the stage we were running with the second ladies team, we knew we had a good lead so we felt no pressure,” said a happy Soggot.

“I really enjoyed the uphills, I love it.┬áThe course was absolutely amazing.┬á t felt like we were in the middle of heaven.┬á We really didn’t expect it, but it was fantastic to win.┬áThe AfricanX Trailrun literally goes from strength to strength each year.”

Robyn Kime and Su Don-Wauchope (The North Face) claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Danette Smith and Helene Roux (Team Mizuno) finished third.

Meg Mackenzie and Andrew Erasmus (Team Salomon) claimed victory in the mixed team category (7:39:57).

According to Mackenzie she and Erasmus will most definitely be back in 2015 to defend their title.┬áÔÇ£Today was amazing, so much fun.┬áFor the first 10km we ran with Landie and Christiaan Greyling, after which we slowly broke away.

“The route suited us.┬áWe absolutely love the AfricanX Trailrun.┬áThe stages are so different and feature a good variety of terrain.┬á We’ll definitely team up again next yearÔÇØ.

Landie and Christiaan Greyling (Salomon Mixed) claimed the second spot on the podium after three days of racing, while Marie Wessels and Eddie Lambert (Contego Mixed) claimed the final spot on the podium.

Pictures: Jetline Action Photo