CAPE TOWN – Marketing professional Daniel Claassen, ran the race of his life to take the honours at the inaugural MaXiRace Cape Winelands 68km in the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek mountains on Saturday, turning the tables on his close rival Matt Healy and edging out MaXiRace c-owner, French athlete, Cyril Cointre.
The MaXiRace is one of the world’s top trail races, with the testing 86km route around Lake Annecy in the French Alps hosting the World Trail Championships in 2015. The MaXiRace brand began an outreach programme some years back and now hosts rive races around the world, the Cape Winelands version being the latest.
“It was a tough race and the hot conditions were pretty sapping in the second half of the race. I drank about eight litres and was still dehydrated,” Claassen admitted. “But I’m delighted with the win and hope I can build on this success.
“I was pretty keen on triathlon at school and then sport fell away while I was at university. About two years’ ago I was started trail running and fell in love with the sport!”
Green Point-based Claassen hit early success with a third position in last year’s Table Mountain Challenge before taking second to Healy at the Bastille Day 50km, but it was Claassen’s day in the sun, as Healy struggled with a stomach complaint and could not retain nutrition.