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School of Management Sciences

15/11/2012

On the 8th to the 11th November 2012 two lecturers from the Department of Marketing Management 2nd Avenue Campus, Dr Marle van Eyk and Mr Andrew Marriott, took part in the Fairview Dryland Traverse.

The Fairview Dryland Traverse is a multi-stage trail run that exposes contestants to all the Klein Karoo (Oudtshoorn) can offer. A prologue stage that starts underground in the world famous Cango Caves, a traverse of the majestic Swartberg mountain range, the ascent of the world heritage site of the Swartberg Mountain pass and a valley run along the Raubenheimer dam . A total 4 Stages over 4 days, totaling 83.8km with a vertical ascent of 3001m.

Marle teamed up with husband Dewald, as team “Van Eyk Mix”, while Andrew teamed up with fiancée Claudia Weetman as team “Crazy Noobs”. For both teams this would be the first of such an event, but their performance was to prove exceptional. 

                       Above: The Cango Caves, Prologue stage.

Below is Andrew’s account of the race…..

“After having completed the very unique prologue stage through the famous Cango Caves the previous day, it was time to get the real racing underway with Stage 1 taking us straight onto the scenic and somewhat technical single track of the old Gouekrans trail that is now closed to the public.”

“With the size of the field (190 compared to 60 last year), competitors were seeded into 3 starting batches according to prologue time trial, giving the main contenders a clean trail ahead.”

                       Above: Swartberg Mountain Range, Stage 1.                            

“We were immediately hit by single track and the start of a long climb, a vertical ascent of almost 1000m to the first water station 10km away, with many of the leading teams taking almost 2 hours.”

“With sunny and clear conditions prevailing from the get go the thermometer rose sharply with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius! Both teams “Van Eyk Mix” and “Crazy Noobs” spent over 5 hours on the mountainous trail. It was really grueling.”

“After a hard day of climbing on Stage 1, Stage 2 saw all runners being shuttled in the early hours of the morning up the beautiful Swartberg mountain pass. The starting point would be the old Toll house just over the summit. Shortly after the start, we were running past one of the most famous lookout points along the pass. A challenging single track section track took us back to the top of the pass, before the downhill run of a lifetime started.”

                       Above: Swartberg mountain pass, Stage 2.

“The 9.7km of dusty, winding, historic Swartberg pass took us all the way to the foothills of this beautiful mountain range. From there we headed back to base camp crisscrossing the farmlands of this valley. It was another blazing day in the Western Cape with temperatures once again well over the 30 degree Celsius mark, maxing at 42 Celsius at some points.”

“Stage 3 celebrated the start of a new era in trail running in the Klein Karoo. Once again the we were shuttled to the start, this time to the top of the Raubenheimer dam wall, and thanks to the friendly and willing staff of Oudtshoorn Municipality, runners were allowed to tread on forbidden territory.”

Competitors made their way around the dam before they enter the secret valley of  “die Kombuis” were people have been farming for centuries. The friendly locals were out in force welcoming all runners onto their land and as they traversed this ancient agricultural site before making their way past the Cango Caves and to the finish line at the race village in De Hoek.”

Total finishing times: “Van Eyk Mix” with 13hr 5min; and “Crazy Noobs” 13hr 55min. Positioning 11th and 13th in the open mixed teams respectively.

                       Above: Team “Crazy Noobs” Andrew Marriott & Claudia Weetman.

                       Above: Team “Van Eyk Mix” Dewald and Marle van Eyk

Both Marle and Andrew have committed to do the 2013 Dryland Travers in 2013. For further pictures go to the website below:

http://www.drylandtraverse.co.za/

For those looking for a similar challenge in 2013 check out “The Southern Cross 3 day Trail Run - the ultimate Mountain, Forest & Coastal Challenge”:

http://www.southerncrossadventure.co.za/calendar.html