Golden light illuminated the ‘Springbok Flats’ and moody blue clouds provided a stunning contrast to the opening miles of day 3 of the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.
It was a stunning start to the day. As the runners progressed across the flats, they were spotlit as they worked their way to one of the key highlights not only of the day but the whole Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun – the Tattasberg Boulders.
Race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com
Huge balls of rock, some the size of houses, leave an impression on the mind and eyes. Following a line of markers (the only section of the race to be marked for safety reasons) the runners weaved a route up, over and around the huge marbles of stone and at the top they then worked their way down to the valley and a downhill run to the Orange River. Across the water, Namibia and stage 4 of the race.
But first, 10km’s of sandy trails would lead in to camp and the stunning setting on the banks of the river.
As per day 2, the race had several start times, the first starting 1hour earlier than day 2 – 0700, 0730, 0800 and 0830.
David Kaswarie, Tobias Mews and Jo Williams dictated the earlier pace to cp1 and then David pulled away and opened up a gap. At one point he had gained 15 minutes but after the Tattasberg boulders, the flat running allowed Tobias and Jo to close the gap to 10 minutes at the Orange River and below 5 minutes at the finish line. David finished in 4:08 and Tobias and Jo 4:10. David must really be kicking himself with his error on day 1, he would now be leading the race…
Elisabet Barnes found her legs today and after the run she said, “I had a great day today, I was worried about the boulders but I loved the section and once we got into the final 15km i could run, I love to run and it was great to open up my stride and gain some time!”
Linda Doke by contrast had a less successful day, “There was too much running today, I prefer the more technical stuff.” Linda lost time to Elisabet Barnes but her 2nd place is still secure.
In the men’s race, Tobias Mews still holds a convincing lead as does Jo Williams in the ladies race.
Tomorrow, the runners go ‘transfrontier’ and cross into Namibia and the Fish River Canyon.
Stage Results day three:
David Kaswarie 4:08:11
Tobias Mews and Jo Williams 4:10:04
Daniel Meyes 4:42:48
Elisabet Barnes 4:46:41
John Cuff 4:53:09
Sue Peterkin 5:11:52
Linda Doke 5:12:37
Ryno Bakkes 5:18:34
Christiaan Vorster 5:21:54
Ranking after stage 3
- Jo Williams 12:44:00
- Tobias Mews 13:03:02
- Dawid Kaswarie 13:29:29
- Daniel Meyes 1`4:46:48
- Stephen Cunliffe 14:52:07
- Linda Doke 14:54:10
- Elisabet Barnes 15:43:38
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Ian. Love your commentary and the photos. I look forward to meeting you Elisabet in Birdsville next wèek. We need to talk about your tapering strategy. Clearly I’m doing it all wrong. Regards. Shane
Thanks Shane, see you down under 😉
seems to be amazing terrain