CAPE TOWN – Johannesburg athlete, Givemore Mudzinganyama, never misses the Peace Trail 22km, nor a podium position, and he will be out to retain his impressive record when the 2018 edition gets underway on Saturday.
The race which again tracks the traditional course and commands superb views over the City bowl and Atlantic seaboard, is based on a figure of eight loop around Signal Hill and Lion’s Head and contains one long climb from the bottom of the Glen to three quarters of the way up Lion’s Head.
Coming from a road running background, the trail greenhorn, Mudzinganyama, was beaten into second position in the inaugural Peace Trail race in 2014 by experienced trail runner, Lucky Miya. But he learned his lesson well, training on more challenging technical terrain, and won the 2015 race ahead of his AfricaX teammate, Edwin Sesipi, with trail legend, Thabang Madiba, third.
The following year Sesipi turned the tables on Mudzinganyama, taking the win by just 20 seconds while the presence of top Lesotho athlete, Noosi Teboho, decided the outcome last year. Sesipi and Mudzinganyama took the minor podium places.
Mudzinganyama has signed up for his fifth Peace Trail and will be looking to retain his 100% podium record on Saturday, and preferably his second win, while leading local and upcountry athletes will be planning to stop him.
Bernie Rukadza, who finished third at the 2016 Peace Trail, has been in good form this year, finishing in second to Kane Reilly at the Whale of Trail and taking line honours at the Table Mountain Challenge over 44km, and if he can get a late entry is determined to push Mudzinganyama to the finish, while UCT’s Jonathan Black and Eerste River’s Raydon Balie are also likely to be in close contention.
Twice champion, Annamart Laubscher, is unlikely to defend her title, leaving Katya Soggot as favourite for the title following her impressive year. Second in 2015 and fourth last year, the veteran Soggot will be looking to put one over her younger rivals this time around. Bianca Tarboton, winner of the Southern Cross title in the Southern Cape last year, could challenge for a podium position.