100 school children from 5 Valley schools near Nagle Dam came together on Saturday for Martin Dreyers ‘Change a life’ Interschools XC race at the Msinsi resort picnic spot at Nagle Dam. A local DJ had a groove going from the early morning and the energy was electric. Martins Paddling Academy boys had the braais lit to reward the competitors with boerewors rolls (thank you Cameron from Parklane Spar), and a USN Active  Sports drink as they crossed the finish line.  

Kwanda Mhlophe, Martins wingman for helping organiser and run this ‘Change a life’ schools XC running league, had the mornings proceedings under total control. A 4km loop had been marked for the junior school kids and a longer 7-8km course for the seniors.

Martins paddling Academy boys have been holding a trail run every Wednesday lunch time at the participating schools. Any pupil can run, their times taken and from this the top 20 athletes were selected for this Interschools event.
The top 10 pupils from a school then count in ranking for the overall schools winners:

Junior schools: 2 open boys (over 13yrs)

                         5 U/13 boys

                         3 girls

Senior School: 3 Open boys (over 18yrs)

                         4 U/18 boys

                         3 girls

…and to be in contention for the prizes:

1st place- Spur meal and Movie

2nd – Spur meal

3rd – food parcels

The mornings racing was a great success, with the final results being:

Senior School: 1st Nhlanhlayabebhule

                          2nd Masijabhule

                         3rd Banqobile

 Junior School: 1st Phangindawo

                         2nd Maqongqo

 (Photos to be posted later today)


John Ntuli, Martins ‘newest’ addition to the ‘Change a life’ Academy, had a phenomenal race at the SA Duathlon Champs held in CT last weekend where he finished a reputable 3rd Elite overall. John, who’s Zulu name, Zakhele, means ‘build for yourself’, is certainly building himself a list of exceptional race results. He is a humble athlete, super friendly and very approachable



I was excited to be racing with John Ntuli this weekend at the Unlimited Dusi Mfula 2-day MTB race. Having raced as a pair before, I knew my role (to hang on to the back pocket on those looong and steep climbs), but John had never raced with anyone (let alone a girl). The day one start was bitterly cold but the sky was clear, forecasting a gorgeous day in the Valley of a thousand hills. Within moments of the start we were directed onto endless single track rolling over short steep climbs. Breathtaking views of Table Mountain and the surrounds. A truly magical way to experience rural pietermaritzburg and the banks of the Umngeni and Dusi rivers. John and I kept a steady pace from early on. Continually being checked on as to how I was feeling, we wound our way to Inanda dam and the finish, a 68km (plus a few extra) long day. What an awesome surprise to see we had finished 8th overall and 1st mixed.

With the start of day 2 being on the opposite side of Inanda Dam, we had to catch a boat across at 6:30am for the 7:15 start. Luckily the morning was far warmer than the previous day but as we dropped down onto the banks of the dam during the early parts of the race, the frost (and frozen fingers) was a good indication that it was still close to freezing. The morning’s 40km journey took us along some very newly groomed and pristine single track, up and over some very steep climbs and onto Shembe plateau overlooking the 100m Umzinyathi Falls. From here it was steep single track descents and more rolling trails around Inanda to the finish. We were happy to finish and maintain our 8th overall (as I know there were a few males teams who had locked target onto us). John was an incredible team mate and at times hearing the yells of encouragement for us I would get goose bumps, me partnering John through the valley… life is unlimited! Apple could have told them that years texting spy apps for iphone ago

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.