Mnweni Marathon

18 Dec 2019 11:52 #75555 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Mnweni Marathon
Sad news for the Mnweni Marathon as we knew it....From next year it will form part of the Mountain Marathon series hosted by KZN trailrunning. This will most probably mean that the route will be marked, water tables added and the entry fee increased substantially (TBC). 

It was fun while it lasted...now it will just form part of the overpriced, overcrowded, "I bought these tekkies for my first trail race this weekend" kind of setup. 

"To those who are enthralled by mountains, their wonder is beyond all dispute. To those who are not, their allure is a kind of madness." - Mountain
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18 Dec 2019 12:14 #75556 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Mnweni Marathon
Vivo101

Why don't you have your own MM, or something similar? Seeing that the route is not marked and no water or refreshments are provided, just put out a post and invite a bunch of people along :-) If I remember correctly, this is how the MM originally started. 
This way you can still have a race (or lekker training run) alongside some like minded trail runners in the berg. All you would really need is somebody at the finish line with a timer. 

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18 Dec 2019 16:04 #75559 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Mnweni Marathon
RiaanG, I have done the route countless times on my own for training runs, and will continue to do so. But thanks for the note. 

So it's more a sense of loosing a layed back race that was an annual pilgrimage for many (including myself), to a more stiff well organised race. I know that many won't share my sentiment, but to those that do, this race was truly special. 

For instance, the snow mnweni of 2017 would never have taken place under a more formal race organisation, as safety is considered a top priority.

"To those who are enthralled by mountains, their wonder is beyond all dispute. To those who are not, their allure is a kind of madness." - Mountain
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19 Dec 2019 10:37 #75560 by Clark
Replied by Clark on topic Mnweni Marathon
Hi All
Confirmation through the @mountainmarathonseries Instagram account that the cost for the 2020 May Mnweni will be R650 excl accommodation. Sept will be kept "old school" style and cost R200. Entries will still open in early Feb.
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19 Dec 2019 12:31 #75561 by vivo101
Replied by vivo101 on topic Mnweni Marathon
Thanks for the info Clark,could not find it  anywhere. I'm glad to see they are catering for both styles now. 

"To those who are enthralled by mountains, their wonder is beyond all dispute. To those who are not, their allure is a kind of madness." - Mountain

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20 Dec 2019 20:12 #75567 by AndrewP
Replied by AndrewP on topic Mnweni Marathon
Very sad news. 

In 2016, I had a really good Mnweni marathon and ever since have been wanting to break the record. Various reasons such as stitches in my knee or a badly timed illness have kept me from setting out. 

I am now fitter than ever. At least for something like the Mnweni. And yet, sadly I will not compete in 2020 either. There is now a prize of R4000 for first place. All of my reasons for running the race will be lost. 

So, back to basics. I will make my own runs in the mountains. 
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23 Dec 2019 14:29 #75570 by Martin85
Replied by Martin85 on topic Mnweni Marathon
Hi vVvo101 and Andrew, 

I am organising both the May and September (aka Spring) Mnweni Marathon events in 2020. The idea behind the Mountain Marathon Series came about because of years of hard work by KZN Trail Running as well as some recent opportunities that came about quite unexpectantly. In my opinion, the spirit behind changing the May event to form part of the Mountain Marathon Series is not to take away from the event but rather to add to it and to make the Drakensberg more accessible to the trail running/hiking community at an event style race.

The September event will be the "OG" and the entry fee won't change from the R200 that was on offer in 2019. There will also not be any prize money on offer at the September event - rather just a campfire on the Friday and Saturday evenings and mountain souls.

Mnweni Marathon was my first trail event I ever ran. I've loved this event over the years and appreciate where it stands in the community. I will strive to honour what Bruce had established over the years and to grow the trail community together. 

I realise that I may be putting myself out for scrutiny, but I am here to grow the community and because of a admiration and love for the Drakensberg! I want to protect what has been created and see it grow. I honestly believe we have spectacular mountains and amazing running talent in Southern Africa. I personally don't feel like this is "sad" for the race but rather an opportunity to celebrate the mountains and to showcase our local running talent! I will be hosting an event on 2 May 2020 and 5 September 2020 from the Mnweni Cultural and Hiking Centre, but the route has been, is and always will be accessible for anyone to run/hike throughout the year. I hope to see you at either one of these events - else, let's just have a coffee/beer sometime. 

Please send me any comments/suggestions to me directly on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin
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06 Jan 2020 12:32 #75575 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mnweni Marathon

Martin85 wrote: Hi vVvo101 and Andrew, 

I am organising both the May and September (aka Spring) Mnweni Marathon events in 2020. The idea behind the Mountain Marathon Series came about because of years of hard work by KZN Trail Running as well as some recent opportunities that came about quite unexpectantly. In my opinion, the spirit behind changing the May event to form part of the Mountain Marathon Series is not to take away from the event but rather to add to it and to make the Drakensberg more accessible to the trail running/hiking community at an event style race.

The September event will be the "OG" and the entry fee won't change from the R200 that was on offer in 2019. There will also not be any prize money on offer at the September event - rather just a campfire on the Friday and Saturday evenings and mountain souls.

Mnweni Marathon was my first trail event I ever ran. I've loved this event over the years and appreciate where it stands in the community. I will strive to honour what Bruce had established over the years and to grow the trail community together. 

I realise that I may be putting myself out for scrutiny, but I am here to grow the community and because of a admiration and love for the Drakensberg! I want to protect what has been created and see it grow. I honestly believe we have spectacular mountains and amazing running talent in Southern Africa. I personally don't feel like this is "sad" for the race but rather an opportunity to celebrate the mountains and to showcase our local running talent! I will be hosting an event on 2 May 2020 and 5 September 2020 from the Mnweni Cultural and Hiking Centre, but the route has been, is and always will be accessible for anyone to run/hike throughout the year. I hope to see you at either one of these events - else, let's just have a coffee/beer sometime. 

Please send me any comments/suggestions to me directly on: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Martin


No.
I don’t buy this “growing the community” nonsense. I stand by my comments made on your Instagram post. The May event has been fully subscribed for years. If it was indeed about growing the community, you would’ve experimented with the newly added September race, changed things up there and grown that event. Make no mistake, I think the May event will probably still be sold out, but you’ve changed the spirit of the original event completely, made it about profits and ruined it for many people who have supported it for years. Personally, the event in September doesn’t work for me, so sadly I won’t be able to take part any more.

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."

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06 Jan 2020 14:04 - 06 Jan 2020 14:08 #75576 by Nicolaas
Replied by Nicolaas on topic Mnweni Marathon
Many times I have wondered why the country's top and sponsored trail runners never pitch for a Mnweni, with the exception of a few (Johardt, Meg, I can think of). It had to be the under-the-radar tag that the Mnweni carried. Bruce sending you on your way and saying "see you tonight, have fun". For me, that was special. I suspect now it will be a race for the finish and Series points. I truly hope the runners will this year still appreciate the essence of the mountain and the ruggedness that it brings, and not just fly past it down Rockeries!

Edit: You can drink water at the source of the Orange river. Why the need for a water table?
Last edit: 06 Jan 2020 14:08 by Nicolaas.

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07 Jan 2020 16:53 #75585 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Marathon
@Martin: thanks for providing us with the opportunity to discuss this with you.

Seeing as my opinions are generally unpopular anyway - let me provide some thoughts on this:
1) While the water tables are unnecessary, remember that if KZNRT says that runners must drink river water and someone gets sick, they could be liable. Consider that some participants might not know which rivers are safe and which aren't and fill up at the stream where you leave the road, or might be thinking about their race and not notice the 20 cattle upstream of their refilling spot on the Nceda River. Also remember that this will create jobs in an area with very high unemployment. While it isn't a long term job, it will still be better than nothing for the members of the local community who benefit from this.
2) I have seen people littering on the route in the past. If KZNTR will be ensuring there is a proper clean up crew, hopefully this won't be an issue going forward.
3) The R200 entrance fee model was great while it lasted. The fact is that liability is a risk, and I assume the event previously wasn't insured. Bruce was very lucky to not have any major incidents, but if one happens, it could have had very serious consequences.

What I am really hoping to see is KZNTR taking this a step further and helping the local community with some trail maintenance and donga work (which will also create a few more local jobs). If they do this, these will be benefits that we will see year round and will make hiking in the area better. My biggest complaint about the event in the past is that 200 people running these trails on the same day does huge damage to the route.

As much as it would be sad to see the spirit of the old event die, I suspect that this change could be beneficial to the sustainability of the event in the long run.

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