FREE STATE90 – Toyota WARRIOR saw approximately one thousand Obstacle Racers from the Free State and around the country pull into Bloemfontein’s Maselspoort Resort this past weekend to compete in the Free State’s first-ever Toyota WARRIOR, powered by Reebok. Already well-established in Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN, attracting thousands per event, Obstacle Racing is poised to take off in Free State.
WARRIOR Race #2 course was built around the Maselspoort Resort by Warrior course designer, Jono Hart. Heavy rains prior to the event forced event organisers, Advendurance, to change the course and create a lap race, which shortened the running element, but doubled the number of obstacles athletes had to do. As it turned out, this version made this race more spectator-friendly, which is always a key factor for this type of sport.
Course designer, Jono Hart, said “Toyota WARRIOR Maselspoort was outstanding. The venue was green and fresh with a totally different terrain, but unfortunately, heavy rains over a number of days prior to the event forced us to change the route. This created the lap version for the 2 longer races – Commando and Black Ops, which slightly shortened the running element but drastically increased the obstacles. In the end, Commandos had 40 obstacles over 9km and Black Ops Elite had 54 obstacles over 13km.”
The massive monster-slide, Slippery Dip Super-Tube, will be remembered as the highlight of the weekend for every athlete that was faced with it.
Toyota Warrior #2 Maselspoort attracted all the top-ranked OCR athletes in the country. The Men’s Black Ops Elite winner and ranked 1st in OCR South Africa, was Claude Eksteen (Supa Mama); Race #1 winner and ranked 2nd in the country, Thomas van Tonder (Jeep Team SA) came second, with Team Nevarest’s Greg Avierinos, in 3rd, Armin Botha in 4th and Trevor Lagerway in 5th.
Said Eksteen, “Today, as in the past 3 years, was an awesome but tough battle between Thomas van Tonder and myself and to get the win is a sweet victory. I loved the venue and the lap version, which made it very interesting. Second time round you get better at it. I’m very chuffed to have the win.”
Winner of Women’s Black Ops Elite Gold medal was physiotherapist from KZN, Carla van Huyssteen (Team Nevarest), who is also an accomplished hockey player, mountain biker and trail runner with many stage and ultra-trail podiums under her belt. Sabrina Daolio (BattleRush) took Silver, with Race #1 winner, Trish Eksteen (Supa Mama) taking Bronze.
Said van Huyssteen after the race, “I enjoyed the venue. The lap racing was very exciting, and mentally tough. I quite enjoyed the lap setup. I got better and learned from my previous lap. The trail was fun and technical with a bit of varied terrain around the resort, so all in all it was a momentous day for me taking the win against the OCR greats! And the Monster Slide was awesome!”
In addition to the honours and the R10 000 prize purse, the two Black Ops Elite winners, Van Huyssteen and Eksteen, each get to drive a WARRIOR-branded Toyota RAV4 until the next event in Tierpoort on the 17th of March 2018.
In the Commando Elite race, also affected by the rain, the course ended up being just under 2 laps – 45 obstacles over a 9km trail. In the men’s race, Anrich Zimmerman took the gold medal, with Kelvin van Wyk taking the silver medal, and Calen Hastie taking the bronze. In the women’s Commando Elite race, Tate Stewart took 1st place, Kaelee Lushington took 2nd, and Sammy Nel 3rd place.
Unaffected by the course changes, the Rookie Elites ran a 5km trail lap with 15 obstacles and saw Nick Oberholzer, Cayde de Waal and Casper de Villiers take 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in the Men’s. In the women’s, Monique Els came 1st with Megan McLuckie in 2nd and Megan van Tonder in 3rd.
The high-intensity Sprint Race and Sprint Team Race is a leg- and lung-busting 200m dash over 10 obstacles. The Sprint Race saw Dominque D’Oliveria take the win beating 2nd placed Cindy Wills and 3rd placed Sabrina Daolio. In the men’s, Juan-Pierre Mare took the win with Trevor Lagerway in 2nd and Tom Basson in 3rd.
The Sprint Teams was won by Kaapse Klopse with Team Nevarest in 2nd and Liquid Salt/BattleRush in 3rd.
Says Fritz Pienaar, CEO of Advendurance, “This is the Free State’s first Toyota WARRIOR and what a fantastic venue and hospitality we received from everyone. We will be back. Having to change the course last minute is just how it goes. By doing this, we introduced lap racing, which ended up being awesome. The spectators loved it and the athletes did what they do best and raced whatever was in front of them. That’s the sign of true champions. We can’t wait to get back to the Free State!”
Results – Toyota Warrior #1
Black Ops Elite
- Claude Eksteen 01:29:16
- Thomas van Tonder 01:30:39
- Greg Avierinos 01:31:52
- Carla van Huyssteen 01:38:34
- Sabrina Daolio 01:49:06
- Trish Eksteen 01:50:01
- Anrich Zimmerman 01:06:50
- Kelvin van Wyk 01:06:54
- Calen Hastie 01:11:10
- Tate Stewart 02:02:34
- Kaelee Lushington 02:04:29
- Sammy Nel 02:10:08
- Nick Oberholzer 00:32:03
- Cayde de Waal 00:32:05
- Casper de Villiers 00:32:54
- Monique Els 00:34:34
- Megan McLuckie 00:36:06
- Megan van Tonder 00:39:01