CAPE TOWN – Givemore Mudzinganyama and Edwin Sesipi have held sway in the Sanlam Cape Town Peace Trail 22km race since its inception in 2014, and the Johannesburg-based pair will be looking to keep it that way in Saturday’s trail action.
A prelude to Sunday’s marathon road action, the 22km and 12km races over the traditional routes on Lion’s Head and Signal Hill in the off-road discipline have again attracted top fields.
Somewhat less technical than some of the Cape’s tougher trail challenges, the Peace Trails have attracted several top road athletes over the years.
When Mudzinganyama narrowly lost out to experienced trail athlete, Lucky Miya, in 2014, the 25-year-old could boast little experience of trail, but he bounced back to take line honours ahead of fellow ‘roadie’, Sesipi, the following year.
By spring of 2016 the Johannesburg friends, who had teamed up for trail action in the three-day African X Trailrun at Houw Hoek for the previous two years, had learnt the trail ropes and again dominated last year’s run, with Sesipi turning the tables on his teammate, winning by 22 seconds.
Sesipi will start as the favourite to defend his title ahead of Mudzinganyama and the experienced Gauteng trail athletes, Miya and Thabang Madiba, with the younger Andre Afrika and Raydon Balie the most likely Cape runners to challenge.
Fourth-year Stellenbosch medical student Annamart Laubscher surprised the more favoured Landie Greyling, Meg Mackenzie and Kerry-Anne Marshall to take line honours last year. On Saturday a Laubscher victory, even in the absence of these three trail stars, will surprise no one.
The Matie has proved herself to be one of the most talented trail athletes in the country, and can be expected to have the edge over triathletes Vicky van der Merwe and Carla van Huysteen.