What does it take to win the Toughest Race On Earth, three times in a row?
Ask Bennie Roux, he’s just won The Munga Trail for the third consecutive year. In fact, he’s the only person to ever grace the top podium to date.
All encompassing the Mpumalanga Region, the 365.8 kilometre race started near Belfast on Wednesday April 10 at midday, and finished at Forever Resort, Mount Sheba.
Participants had five days, or 120 hours to complete the event.
The Munga Trail, now in its third year, was supposed to finish at The Three Rondavels area, Blyde River Canyon, but had to be changed due to heated political activity occurring while the race took place.
This finish line change subsequently made the race 6km shorter, but the testing weather made up for this distance shortfall.
Conditions were not great this year, with those four days on the trails dishing out high winds, cold temperatures and heavy rain.
“The route was way tougher; wet and cold , it was hard, it was tough….I don’t want to go back there!” said Bennie, in good spirits when he reached the finish line just after 5.30am on Sunday.
With 89 hours and 35 minutes of running and hiking in his legs, he said it was the toughest Munga he’s done, and for the first time had someone on his tail for much of the race.
“I think I was in control. I was leading and waiting. I got a tip through from a friend in the second half, he said rather make a break now, and break them. So I did!”
Bennie ended up crossing the finish line a convincing seven hours ahead of second place getter Eben Van Wyk, with a distance lead of more than 20 kilometres.
From Belfast through to the Blyde River Canyon, via GPS, participants navigated, ran and trekked through indigenous forests and plantations, deep valleys and grassland, which took them over private land, forestry areas and nature reserves.
They climbed to an altitude of nearly 2000 metres.
Five race villages along the way provided locations to eat and sleep, if they chose; the only outside assistance allowed, aside from water stations.
There were 19 participants taking part in The Munga Trail 2019, eight completed it within the allocated time.

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