This year’s Merrell Whale of Trail has attracted a number of the country’s top trail runners. With the backing of PSG Rosebank, both men and women will be racing for a generous prize purse of R80k. On top of that, De Hoop Collection, have put up an additional R10k bonus for the first man and woman if they break the record!
Christiaan Greyling, AJ Calitz and Melakhaya Msizi, who came second, third and fourth last year respectively, will have the distinct advantage of knowing what to expect over the tough 54km route. Lucky Miya, Thabang Madiba, Robert Rorich and Bernard Rukadza will be lining up for the first time at the event.
The women’s field sees the return of 2015 winner, Katya Saggot who will be pushed hard by race novices Karine Bezuidenhout, Naomi Brand, Annalise Scholtz and Toni McCann.
The first male and female over the line of the 53km trail race will each take home R25k respectively, while second place finishers will pocket R10k each and third place, R5k each.
The current men’s record is held by 2017 winner, Rory Scheffer, and is 04:49:46, while the women’s record to beat is 2017 winner Nicolette Griffioen’s and is 05:37:51. Neither Scheffer or Griffioen will be back this year to defend their titles and records due to calendar clashes, so the race is wide open.
Who do you think will take the win?