Hackland Bags Sani Stagger Title

The iconic Sani Stagger marathon took place on Saturday, 23 November 2019, as the title fell to Julia Hackland in a 4:38 for the gruelling 42,2km outing, showing her trail running and endurance pedigree in the tough conditions.

In the 21,1km half marathon that started at the summit of the pass at 8:30am, Maria Bendana won the title in an excellent sub-two hour time.

“This is a very famous race and one that you have to do if you live in South Africa,” said the veteran Bendana, who runs for Morningside in Johannesburg.

“It was really  difficult on the first four or five kilometres on the descent,” she added. “The heat was the biggest challenge but there were beautiful views and it was really well organised,” she added.

On the trails a big field took to the 38km and 21km trail run options, enjoying the superb weather and fabled trails at the foot of Sani Pass.

A regular visitor to the Giants Cup trail events Tracey Zunkel won the 38km event, and produced one of the day’s stand-out results by finishing fourth overall.

The Bergville athlete Zunckel said she jumped at chances to run the Southern Drakensberg trails “The Gxalingwenya Gorge is one of favourites part of the Berg, it is stunning!”

The 21km trail run was won Jolene Els, who was good enough to beat Mary Murray by three minutes.

With the region basking in fine weather, many social runners and hikers enjoyed the Southern Lodestar Foundation Fun Run/Walk before soaking the sights, sounds and flavours at the food and craft market at the finish.


Summary Of Results:
Sani Stagger 42.2km Marathon:
1 Julia Hackland 4:38:30
2 Anja Heenop 4:44:23
3 Apiwe Gaga 4:54:05
4 Sizile Dimba 5:00:07
5 Mbali Ngcobo 5:00:12

Sani Stagger 21.1km Down Run:
1 Maria Bendana 1:57:03
2 Nicole Wiggill 2:08:42
3 Marizel Huyser 2:08:42
4 Odette Geertshuis 2:08:54
5 Lana Dyer 2:10:26
6 Rosanne Kinder 2:14:33

Trail 38km:
1 Tracy Zunckel 4:55:13
2 Sunet Slabbert 4:58:03
3 Ashleigh White 5:23:04
4 Tina van der Vyver 5:48:18
5 Barbs Neal 6:02:09

Sani Stagger Trail 21km:
1 Jolene Els 3:14:59
2 Mary Murray 3:18:11
3 Isabel Wolf-Gillespie 3:20:03
4 Kim Green 3:20:49
5 Dushanka Andjelopolj 3:24:20



Photo 1 Caption: Julia Hackland catches her breath on the tough climb up to the top of Sani Pass during the Sani Stagger on Saturday before winning the women’s 42,2km title. Photo: Xavier Briel/Gameplan Media


With editing by gsport

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