3 April 2014, Pietermaritzburg – Headline sponsor, Columbia Sportswear, is excited to announce that some of South Africa’s greatest multisport athletes – including Eric Zondi, Lance Kime, John Ntuli and Brand du Plessis – will be competing in the Columbia Triple Challenge on Sunday, 6 April 2014.
Now in its twelfth year, the Columbia Triple Challenge engages athletes across three sports disciplines – trail running, mountain biking and canoeing – and takes them on a gruelling off-road adventure through the heart of KwaZulu-Natal.
The annual Columbia Triple Challenge is unique in the fact that most of the route, from Pietermaritzburg to Inanda Dam, takes athletes through privately-owned land, including 6 private game reserves.
A top contender in the Elite Men’s category for this year’s featured event – the Individual Multisport Challenge – is Eric Zondi, back-to-back winner of both the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon (with partner Andrew Birkett) and the Non-stop Dusi Canoe Marathon (with partner Hank McGregor).
The 93.6km Multisport Challenge includes a 20.6km Trail Run from Maritzburg to Camperdown, a 53km mountain bike race from Camperdown to Inanda Dam, and an 18km canoe paddle on the Inanda Dam with two portages of 130m and 1.7km respectively. Only the toughest will survive this.
Zondi will be competing against 2013 Dusi Canoe Marathon Singles winner, Lance Kime, who will be taking part in his first Columbia Triple Challenge, as well as Nhlanhla Cele, who’s hungry for a third victory after winning both the 2011 and 2012 Multisport Triple Challenge.
Add into the mix Comrades Marathon winner Nick Bester, who is back for more after winning the event in 2003, and the race to the podium, promises to be excruciating but exciting.
Competing in the 80.6km (20.6kms Trail Run / 53km MTB /7km Trail Run) Multicross event is John Ntuli (the 2011 Multicross winner), Brand du Plessis (Multiple South African Duathlon champion), Daniel Carleton (Xterra age group World Champion), Justin Porteous (2010 Multicross winner ) and another Change a Life athlete, Sizwe Mkhasibe.
Individual Multisport winners can look forward to an impressive prize package this year, including R15 000, a 5-star getaway courtesy of Dream Hotels and Resorts, and the opportunity to compete in Speight’s Coast to Coast multisport event in New Zealand, with all expenses paid.
The Multicross winner will receive R 10 000 plus a 5-star holiday, courtesy of Dream Hotels and Resorts.
About the Columbia Triple Challenge
The race takes place on Sunday, 6 April 2014.
The Columbia Triple Challenge is designed to appeal to both entry-level athletes and professionals, which means there are race options to choose from to suit everyone.
The main feature of the Triple Challenge is the 93.6km Individual Multisport Challenge that sees athletes take on a 20km trail run from Pietermaritzburg to Durban, a 53km mountain bike race from Camperdown through the valley of a 1000 Hills towards Inanda Dam, and finally a 20km canoe race around Inanda Dam (which includes two portages).
For those athletes not wanting to canoe there is also the 80.6km Individual Multicross Challenge that follows the same format of the Multisport, but instead of the paddle around Inanda Dam, participants must tackle a final 7km trail run in and around the Msinsi Inanda Dam Reserve.
Teams are also able to enter both these events.
MTB lovers can take on the Challenge Mountain Bike – a 53km race starting in Camperdown and ending at Inanda Dam.
The Challenge Trail Run offers athletes two options: 20km from the Polly Shortts Shopping Centre in Pietermaritzburg to Camperdown, or a shorter 10km race.
The Challenge SUP is a 4km or 8km stand up paddle race that takes athletes in and around the Inanda Dam on flat water, with one portage.