Eric blitzes his way to victory

Eric Ngubane (front) blitzed his way to victory in the 18km run. PHOTO: Anthony Grote
Eric Ngubane (front) blitzed his way to victory in the 18km run. PHOTO: Anthony Grote

BLITZING his way to an incredible finish, Eric Ngubane showed his fine form in his final event of the year as he claimed top honours in the uMhlanga Trail Run on Sunday (18 December) at the uMhlanga Summer Festival. Crossing the line after flying through the 18km trail, Ngubane stopped the clock in a time of 1:13.00.

“I managed to keep my time under 4 minutes for a lot of the race but the final 4km stretch on the sand was hard,” the very fit and wiry Ngubane said after he cruised through the line. “I ran 29km yesterday to loosen the muscles. I am feeling strong but will be taking a well-deserved break after this race. I won the Lesotho Ultra Trail 50km three weeks ago. My focus is now shifting from trails to road in the build-up for the Comrades Marathon, after that I will be back on the trails.”

Amy Burger took line honours in the 18km race women’s race, finishing with 30 seconds to spare ahead of second placed Lisa Collett.

At the prize giving, Burger simply said: “It was epic. The last section on the beach was not a glamorous ending, I wiped out, getting knocked over by the surf. But I love trail running, and the challenges that go with running off road. I did Comrades this year and it took forever for my body to recover. Running on the trails is far easier on the body.”
A familiar face in running events, both road and trail, Durban Central’s Zoe Papadakis claimed third spot in the women’s 18km event.

“It was great out there, hot, but good. I’ve done about five of these uMhlanga runs and I love the spirit, everyone is having a great time.”

Race Director for the event, Vaughn Smit from Riverside Trails said after the race, “I think each and every single competitor enjoyed themselves out there.

“We had a star-studded field with the likes of marathon man, Eric taking the gold in the main event, and of course we were joined by Mr Trail Running South Africa, Ryan Sandes who cruised on his first uMhlanga run.”

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