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> Mnweni Mountain Marathon!

Sunday, 16 May 2010 - 11:04

Day 227  -  Sat 15 May ~ 19,269km, Mnweni cultural centre, Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa 

Taking a detour up into the Drakensberg Mountains to check out the Mnweni Mountain Marathon, I had decided to do the sensible thing and rest my foot injury until I got totally caught up in the pre-race excitement and cameraderie from camping with the 80 other runners. Being around other athletes who appreciate a good sporting challenge I'd given everyone the low down on my trip, and with such spectacular surroundings I couldn't bare to miss out, so scrounging together the necessary survival gear (I gave my compass away weeks ago as a gift to a confused Angolan village chieftan!) I found myself nervously gathered round in darkness for the 6am roll call this morning. Little did the other competitors know that I had a distinctly unfair advantage in the form of not only a malt loaf but also a slab of kendal mint cake I had been saving for just such an occassion. 

Still intending to only run a bit and turn back I soon found myself battling along rocky trails, negotiating river beds and stumbling after distant figures who I hoped knew where they were going. Climbing to the source of the Orange river at over 3000m in Lesotho, it was one challenging but beautiful run\hike that I managed to complete in just under 6hrs in 9th place! Despite stubbing my clowns feet on just about every rock on the mountain I thankfully took it fairly steady across the punishing terrain so with a bit of rest and a lot of binge eating I should be all good for comrades in two weeks even if I turn up with a few less nails at the start line!

P.S Special thanks to the Mnweni Cultural Centre who insisted on letting me camp for free. It's well worth a visit - www.mnweni.org

Comment Count: 2 Comments

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Comments:

Mountain High!


Fantastic, Rob! It'll be down hill to PMB - so rest your injured foot, mate!  

News of a slightly less arduous athletic feat, but still worth while mentioning:  On Saturday Andrew's daughter Charlotte (aged 5 years) received the trophy and certificate for being her soccer team's 'player of the day'.  She'll be looking to you for some coaching tips when you opt for a rest cure in the South Pacific!  You've no doubt also discovered your compatriots have won the 20/20 Cricket Competition; whilst our Kiwi women's team were pipped by those folk who inhabit a land mass to the west! 

Be sure to visit 'Maritzburg Boys' High - as your grandfather Les is an alumnus, and if I remember correctly was also dux of his year.

Travel safely to your destination!  Aroha from your Kiwi cuzzies!

Mweni Marathon


Lovely to meet you. Good luck with Comrades. You're going to surprise a lot of top runners!

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