Mnweni Marathon

15 May 2017 19:14 #71608 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Mnweni Marathon
Congrats to all! Looks like it was a good day out in the hills.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
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16 May 2017 08:40 #71611 by GriffBaker
Replied by GriffBaker on topic Mnweni Marathon
I hope this race never changes! Big up to Bruce for letting the race run no matter what.

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16 May 2017 08:55 #71612 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Mnweni Marathon
A blizzard? Someone is making things sound rather serious. There was wind and falling snow, but I am reasonably certain that the wind has to be more than a light breeze before one would call it a blizzard. Ok, it was quite windy on Mnweni Pass - but no more than 20km/h.

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16 May 2017 09:13 #71613 by WarrenM
Replied by WarrenM on topic Mnweni Marathon
Totally agree Griff

Ghaz - agreed a bit dramatised, but each to their own, and having said that, it was dramatic up front with Bruce debating with us about calling it off (I would have never thought that Bruce would ever get to that point) as well as the fact that there were guys turning round.

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16 May 2017 09:17 #71614 by Dewrance
Replied by Dewrance on topic Mnweni Marathon
So I'll add my experience...

I started (road) running in July last year having always loathed it... I had done a bit of hiking but nothing major (except a go at the DGT which was way beyond my capabilities - and failed).

After running a couple of half marathons last year I decided to try and build up to marathon distance. My training program happened to coincide with Om Die Dam ultra. So I did that. What a suffer fest!!! But it was a worthwhile experience! From then on my shoes were done so I had a decision to make - road or trail as I couldn't afford both, so I decided trail.

I got a last minute entry from a friend for the Mnweni, so my training basically consisted of 8 weeks of tapering after Om Die Dam and growing a beard! The latter eventually proving to be very useful on this years edition!

I had decided I was going to be slow and run my own race, which meant navigating myself for the first time with my Suunto watch, in a part of the berg I've never been to in weather I've never experienced nor have the gear for... Sounds fun!

So as we set off it was dark and cold and extremely muddy - fortunately the pace was not hot in the middle of the pack. I made some navigation wins which kept me popping out ahead of those who were faster than me! I think one group of 3 people passed me 4 times! Which was funny (for me at least).

Once we got onto the steeper bits the trekking poles I had been carrying proved to be worth their weight in gold (which was quite a bit - they're not the super light carbon fibre ones...)

Up the Mnweni pass it got colder and colder.I only had glove liners which were soaking wet and not doing much good at all! Running shorts were no match for the snow which kept building up in my shoes every time i stepped off track and my rain jacket was wet through! Fortunately I managed to find some good company in Macc on the pass and we stayed together from there to the end.

Macc across the top in stunning but cold and difficult conditions!

This dude was in a farmers hat and had no gloves - so I didn't feel too bad!

Going down rockeries in the snow with folks attempting to play ten pin bowling by sliding into others was an interesting experience...

The run/walk to the finish from the bottom of rockeries was fun and muddy but seemed to go on for ever!
Coming into the finish with folks cheering and clapping forced the last obligatory run out of us as we crossed the finish line in 9H55min. Pretty happy to get in under 10hours on a first go with very little training and no knowledge of what to expect!
Thanks to Macc for the constant chat and keeping the morale up!
I will definitely try and get back next year! I love the lack of sponsors, medals, and fanfare around the event! Truly one of a kind!!!

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16 May 2017 10:01 #71615 by ruthtbl
Replied by ruthtbl on topic Mnweni Marathon
So awesome to hear everyone's stories! I cannot wait to do this marathon again! It was super tough for me, and there was definitely a point where I wondered whether I was going to make it off the mountain, but overall such an INCREDIBLE experience! I'll have a video up of my run next week on my YouTube channel :) Well done to Ralph (pfoj) on his tenth place finish! By the way, does anyone perhaps know if the times get published online somewhere? In all the excitement of finishing I forgot to note mine down (I think it was somewhere around 10 and a half hours).
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16 May 2017 10:12 #71616 by Rhinoandhedgehog
Replied by Rhinoandhedgehog on topic Mnweni Marathon
An open letter to David...about why I did not go to mweni this year after his kind offer of a ticket.

Hi There
I did not go, I made a call on the weather. I am well aware of Bruce's attitude to berg safety and well my level is far lower. The deciding factor was "do I want to be caught ill prepared by myself".
I wondered a few times about my decision over the weekend and reading the stories after I still would have liked to be there but I also would not liked to be there if something had gone wrong.
At the end of the day I am married and prefer to stay that way - there will always be another time to do it. There are plenty of places that I still have to take my wife in the berg so those have to a be priority - I don't want her ever to believe that I will make a risky call while in the berg. I hope you understand. Looking forward to next year.

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16 May 2017 11:25 - 16 May 2017 11:48 #71617 by tonymarshall
Replied by tonymarshall on topic Mnweni Marathon
Thanks for everyone's stories and pictures.

WarrenM, Dillon and Griff it was great to meet you.

ghaz, it would have been good to see you again, glad you finished, but you don't seem to have had a happy time at all.

Dewrance and Macc, sorry I didn't get to see or meet you. I was also in shorts, no gloves, no beanie and a hat, but I didn't feel nearly as cold as that guy in your photo looks.

Ruth, I was hoping to meet you, but wasn't sure if you were running or just supporting. When I spoke to Bruce (and took the photos of the finish book), he apologised for not sending out results last year due to some mix up with the book, but assured me that this years times would be published or emailed to all entrants.

Rhinoandhedgehog, your view and decision are totally respected and understood, in the context that you yourself felt that you were ill prepared. I can totally understand how you would have liked to be there, as well as your concern about something going wrong. I trust in turn that you also respect and understand the views of all of us who participated, feeling/knowing that we (or at least most of us) were adequately prepared and experienced to deal with what ever the weather and route dished up. No disrespect or ridicule meant in my remarks, each to their own, live and let live. I will cherish my 2017 Mnweni Marathon in the snow experience for many years to come. I hope you will be at the start line (and finish line) next year.

Wonder what happened to Riaang and supertramp?

Seems like most people had an absolute blast, including coachneville, so hope to see and meet some more of you next year.
Last edit: 16 May 2017 11:48 by tonymarshall.
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16 May 2017 11:51 - 16 May 2017 12:01 #71619 by Dillon
Replied by Dillon on topic Mnweni Marathon
Loved reading all the stories and different experiences everyone had. I'm already getting excited for next year!

A little video clip I put together from the race:

"Mountains are not fair or unfair, they are just dangerous."
Last edit: 16 May 2017 12:01 by Dillon.
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