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Molweni Race Report by Etienne Muller

Molweni Race Report by Etienne Muller

About Etienne…

I have been trail running for about 2 and half years. I enjoy breaking away from city life by hitting the trails. The two biggest races I want to run is The Otter and 100km Skyrun. Trail running is a truly amazing sport.

2015 Molweni Race Report….

Molweni is a two-day trail run in Kwa-Zulu Natal, over tough and technical terrain, along existing Reserve paths, community paths and open veld.  With some of the most spectacular views and experiences a runner could expect to find in other large mountain ranges, you will be amazed at the views, landscapes and terrain that await runners.  Climbing over 2000m vertical metres over 30km, athletes run through forests, across rivers, in open grassland and along community paths.

On the 2nd of May we had to run a prologue to determine what time you will start the next day for the main race.

You start the 8km prologue with a 1km run on the road to the nature reserve. As you pass through the gate, there’s a steep descent with twisting patches through the forest, over and under waterfalls.  The forest is breathtakingly beautiful. You don’t have time to stop and take in the beauty. There is only one thing on your mind… to finish the prologue as fast as possible to ensure an early start for the next day!

The next day…. is the BIG day. The day I have been training for. My reason for rising at 4am in the mornings and on weekends to train, for a couple of months. I started in group 5. As they counted down, my heartbeat drives me crazy, and I know…. there is no turning back. This is it.

We all ran a nice steady pace on the road, and then onto private land, and the gaps in the group increased. We were deep in the nature reserve now. For the next 4km we ran on single track.  As the track twisted with small inclines and easy downhill section, we had to keep focus with every step. Few of us stayed together until the first steep hill. It took us a few minutes to get to the top of this hill, as it is very rocky and nearly impossible to run.  At last… the first aid station. Quick pit-stop and we are off again.  Keeping focus on the slippery descent…. If you don’t focus this will be the end of your race. A nice flat part to run and then another zig-zag hill.  This was such a hard mental uphill section for me…. Just when you think you are done with that hill… around the corner lurks another one!  My legs are sooo tired by now… but I keep pushing forward.  Nice flat section to the second aid station.  I add some ice to my hydration pack… nice and refreshing.  Oh my… one mammoth hill ahead.  400m vertical incline over 1.5km.  Power-walk and monkey climbing time… Every few seconds I stop and turn back to admire the climb I had done already! I see everyone behind me suffering, pacing themselves to the top.  It took me more than 30 mins to reach the top of that hill!  A nice part of grassland ahead to aid station 3.

A quick refuel and I’m on my way again.  The last 6km Ivan and I decided to stick together… our legs were so tired… but our minds were strong. A technical forest section awaits… descending to a waterfall.  This means we are nearly home… just one more hill awaits.  Your mind knows that the race finish is near… so you keep pushing… with renewed energy.  At the top of this hill we stopped, looked back, and admired what we had achieved!  What an adventure it has been!

Only 1km to go… we set a nice easy pace and then saw the Forest Hills Sport Club… we made it… all the hard work paid off.   We picked up the pace and had a great finish!

Molweni was such an amazing adventure for me. This is race everyone should do at least once. The race was very well organized. I could have left half of my race food at home as the aid stations were very well stocked. Thank you to everyone who supported and believed in me to complete this tough race.

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Zelda Coetzee

Media Manager & Blogger at UltraRunner ZA
Really crazy lady with a passion for trail running and photography. She is often referred to as the "Ultra Mommy" because she takes good care of everyone on the team.
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About The Author

Really crazy lady with a passion for trail running and photography. She is often referred to as the "Ultra Mommy" because she takes good care of everyone on the team.

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