Mnweni Marathon

13 May 2017 11:15 #71588 by DesPorter
Replied by DesPorter on topic Mnweni Marathon
Heavy snow at Sani, snow at Champagne and Amphitheatre. Probably Mnweni wil be about the same as 2013 Looking at the pictures the snow is down to about the same level as it was in 2013.

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13 May 2017 16:55 #71590 by Papa Dragon
Replied by Papa Dragon on topic Mnweni Marathon
Second hand news, but won by Pierre Jordaan at about 6:10ish..
50cm snow on the escarpment, no dramas known so far..
Well done all!!

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13 May 2017 17:56 #71591 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Marathon
11:01:39 - story to follow...

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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13 May 2017 18:41 - 13 May 2017 20:25 #71592 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Mnweni Marathon
Got in under 20 min after Pierre. As we were heading up mnweni Bruce almost called off the event and start turning people around but after chatting to a couple of the guys everyone pushed on, some guys started heading back down the pass they looked very close and shivering.
Last edit: 13 May 2017 20:25 by WarrenM. Reason: Removed a the

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13 May 2017 20:48 - 14 May 2017 07:58 #71594 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mnweni Marathon
Well done WarrenM, 7th place is excellent and it was great to meet you at the finish. I also saw in the book that Ralph (pfoj) finished in 10th position.

It was also super to meet a lot of other forum members, and again VE members did themselves proud. Well done to everyone who ran and finished.

I finished in 7hr31, right on schedule, and although it was a bit of an ordeal at the time going up Mnweni Pass in 30 cm of snow, and crossing the summit in 40 - 50 cm of snow, looking back it was an awesome experience.





I left the MCC just after 3 o'clock, so apologies for not seeing members who finished after that.

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Last edit: 14 May 2017 07:58 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Christine, JonWells, ghaznavid, pfoj, GriffBaker, WarrenM

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14 May 2017 14:33 #71596 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mnweni Marathon
I finished in 7:47, which I was pretty happy with considering the lack of running training in the last 2 years. Well done to everyone who took part, it was a truly epic day out!

Just about to start the descent down Rockeries.

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

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14 May 2017 15:52 #71597 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Marathon
One of the reasons I had previously never backed myself to enter Mnweni Marathon was that I was uncertain that I could make the Shepard's Cave by 5 hours cut-off. So, as it happens, the year I enter, due to weather, the cutoff was moved to the base of Mnweni Pass in 4h30. Go figure!

At the start of the race, everyone ran off. I walked the road section with an individual who had never been to the top of the Berg before. It is semi-disconcerting when the sweeper is ahead of you, but I never planned to start fast.

By the time we left the road, the sweeper and I were holding the last spot - but as I predicted, hitting the first hills, I began to pass people. From how the sweeper talked to me, he seemed pretty convinced that I would never make it - which is understandable when you consider that a sizeable chunk of the entries have never even been to the top of the Berg before.

Around the time that I passed roughly 10 people (yay - I was no longer dead-last) - the skies opened to reveal a white dragon


My pace had been very good, and I was still feeling fresh, but caught in traffic, I was getting a bit frustrated. I was also aware that I was cutting it fine for the cutoff.



I took my first break at the base of Mnweni Pass. Filled up my bottle, put my waterproof pants back on (to prepare for the snow), stretched my ITB, and soon head off.

As I started the pass, it began to snow quite heavily.

As we got higher on the pass, the snow continued to fall, although higher up it wasn't clear if this was due to wind blowing snow at us, or fresh snow falling.

When it briefly cleared, I stopped to get photos.


Marianne and Ingrid joined me for the pass. One individual put his crampons on and motored up the pass - I bet his friends laughed at him for carrying them, but that was a really good idea.

The pass was slow going due to the fact that over 100 people ahead of us had compacted the snow into hard ice. Traction was very limited and slips were common. Higher up, as the fresh snow covered the trail, it actually became easier to walk.

By the top of the pass I was getting quite cold. If I had any sense, I would have bailed when it started snowing - but how do you know it will continue to snow for over an hour? Due to wearing gloves, I had eaten basically nothing for a few hours (actually, I had only eaten a muffin and one PVM bar by this point). Absolute rookie error - and I rate this mistake easily cost me over an hour by the end.

On hitting the top, we motored it on a very nice snow trail to the top of Rockeries. Descending Rockeries entailed trying to control your sliding, rather than actually walking down the pass. I would love to know how much damage has been done to the pass as a result of yesterday.

About half way down the pass, below the snow line, we stopped for some food - which made me feel nauseous. We were well on track for sub-10h, but my energy levels were very low due to the lack of eating.



Once we finished the pass, the ladies gave me some biltong and decided to go ahead for a faster finish - which I had been suggesting they do for a while.

I rate hiking to be a social sport, so hiking alone doesn't appeal to me - but there wasn't much option here, so I just went along slowly. I eventually realised that I wasn't on track to make sub-12, but as the biltong kicked in, and my energy returned, I started to motor it again.


11km to go, and 3h to go - I had to push hard, but under 11h was still on.

I looked at my GPS just in time to realise that I was on 4999km of Drakensberg hiking (I knew I would pass 5000km a few km before hitting the road), and at 5000km I stopped for a quick selfie (with no one in sight in either direction)

From there I pushed as hard as I could, upon hitting the road I did a bit of running on the downhills (my only running for the entire event). At 300m to go, I decided to run to the finish. I probably ran 1km in total.

My time was 11h01m39 and I placed 150th out of 183 finishers (not counting the 5 who finished after 12h).

Mistakes I made:
1) Debatable as I only made the cut-off at Mnweni Pass by 10 minutes, but I started too fast, which cost me later.
2) Didn't eat enough
3) Wearing my waterproof pants for too much of the initial distance - resulting in wet pants due to sweat not drying

Overall I doubt I'll do it again - simply because I can go and do a big day hike any time. But when I start earlier and finish later, I have more time to take photos and enjoy the view. This felt rather rushed and as a result, I didn't get to take in much of what I call the Dragon's Christmas Cake (i.e. the basalt fruit cake covered in snow icing). But happy I did it. And if I knew the weather was going to be how it was, I would have definitely bailed before the race!

Getting to the top is nothing, the way you do it is everything – Royal Robins

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The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Stijn, JonWells, tonymarshall, Coeta, GriffBaker, WarrenM

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14 May 2017 17:21 - 14 May 2017 17:23 #71598 by GriffBaker
Replied by GriffBaker on topic Mnweni Marathon
I finished around 7:40 I think. Did not have a watch.

Thoroughly enjoyed the run.

Only got to meet one of the VE members. Great ti meet you Tony M.

Well done to all!

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Last edit: 14 May 2017 17:23 by GriffBaker.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, Stijn, JonWells, ghaznavid, tonymarshall, pfoj, WarrenM

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14 May 2017 21:17 - 15 May 2017 08:34 #71599 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mnweni Marathon
According to the finish records, Rory Scheffer won the 2017 Mnweni Marathon in 6hr 15 : 48. I am not sure why other sources have indicated that Pierre Jordaan was the winner, as according to the finish book he was second.





The snow on the surrounding berg was spectacular, and my wife Mia took some photos when the mist briefly cleared.





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Last edit: 15 May 2017 08:34 by tonymarshall.
The following user(s) said Thank You: diverian, elinda, Christine, ghaznavid, pfoj, Dewrance, Papa Dragon, GriffBaker, WarrenM

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15 May 2017 08:13 #71601 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Mnweni Marathon
Well done to all that took part, it was a fantastic day. I will be back next year I'm glad I did it in those conditions, but I don't think that I would readily stand at that start line again if conditions like that are predicted for future events.

I was great to meet a couple of the guys, Tony, Macc, Ghaz.

Here are some pics from my side.

Coming out of Mnweni pass


On the top


Heading down Rockeries


One of the Pics my wife took heading to the base of the pass

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The following user(s) said Thank You: Christine, JonWells, ghaznavid, tonymarshall, pfoj, Captain, Macc, GriffBaker

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