JOHANNESBURG – Jeep Team’s Thomas van Tonder and Carina Marx dominated the toughest Beast OCR Challenge yet, with both athletes claiming the respective Men’s and Women’s titles at the event, which took place on Saturday, 11 June, at The Wedge in Muldersdrift, Gauteng.
Van Tonder remains unbeaten, having now won all five of The Beast Challenges since the series launched in 2015, while Marx was the only female competitor who managed to finish the extreme Savage Beast Elite course (30 challenging obstacles over a 15km trail run).
The Men’s race began with a fast sprint to the first obstacle, a rope climb, which was then followed by a water crossing through a freezing pool. Van Tonder and Michael Joubert reached the water first, closely followed by Marius Smith and Bradley Claase.
Van Tonder and Joubert raced alongside each other for most of the race, until reaching the final game-changing obstacle – a 50m-long sequence of ropes, nets, rings, chains and monkey bars, which was very similar to Jeep Warrior’s Breaking Point, only much longer and tougher.
Van Tonder got through the obstacle on first attempt, and then on to the finish to claim the Men’s title in 1h23m. Joubert finished 2nd in 1h26m, followed by Smith in 3rd (1h29m) and Claase 4th in 1h31m.
Only four female athletes competed in the Women’s elite race, which presented the same course as the Men’s event. Marx led from the start, managing to also get through the last 50m obstacle on her first attempt. She was the only elite female competitor to finish, in a time of 3h19m.
Said Marx, “Comparing this race to the very first Beast Challenge, I have to give the team a big applause. The route was marked clearly and the obstacles were of a high standard. Course designer, Jason Friedman, designed a very tough course. He combined a whole lot of tough obstacles, from rope swings, to tyres, to a long net climb, body weaver and finally handle swings. Thankfully I wasn’t under any pressure when it came to that last monster of an obstacle and could take my time on every section. After getting through two thirds, the true test came. I was fighting my mind and my tired muscles. I started shaking uncontrollably, but with the help of a few friends and a crowd chanting my name, I had no other option but to finish this race. So I did just that and conquered The Beast.”
THE BEAST CHALLENGE RESULTS:
MEN SAVAGE ELITE BEAST:
1. Thomas van Tonder – 1:23:39
2. Michael Joubert – 1:26:51
3. Marius Smith – 1:29:02
4. Bradley Claase – 1:31:06
5. Willem Erasmus – 1:43:05
WOMEN SAVAGE ELITE BEAST:
1. Carina Marx – 3:19:20