Race Report: Michael Joubert – Wolkberg Trail Run Stage Race

Day 1: 35,4 km and 1600m ascent

 

The first day formed part of the Sky running series – thus we knew we were definitely going to be doing a lot of climbing.

 

The day started easy until we started climbing until around kilometer 17, arriving at the top of Iron Crown (highest point in Limpopo). I had a quick stop at the water table and started racing down again. Unfortunately, Thabang Madiba and I made a mistake and did Iron Crown for a second time, losing precious time overall. I had to push hard to close the gap and ended 8th on the first day.

Day 2: 27 km and 700m ascent

 

Day two started with a non-racing start for the first kilometer until we went underneath a bridge, over a water crossing. The pace quickly picked up and we got into a good rhythm around the beautiful dams in Magoebaskloof.  Myself, Beniamino Pellegrini and Iain ran most of the second day together in 4th, 5th and 6th place. At around kilometer 14 I started falling behind on every climb but luckily caught up with them every time on the flat and downhill sections.

 

Zwakala brewery had a beer table en route and I just had to stop for a quick beer. During the last few kilometers, Iain started to pull away from us. Up front in the distance, I saw Iain was very close to Pieter who was in 3rd at that time and I started to close the gap. I started pushing very hard knowing we are not too far from the finish. Soon after I was on their heels and a podium finish was in sight. I passed them with around 1.5 to 2 kilometers to go and gave everything I had, looking over my shoulder to ensure that I keep the gap between us.

 

I finished 3rd for the day, with 4th 5th and 6th place all finishing less than a minute apart from each other – clearly, this was a proper race to the end. I finished 6th overall after the 2 days of tough racing.

 

Thanks to our sponsors for making it possible to do these races. #TeamNevarest #Keyhealth #Toyota