Calitz, Griffioen win SA Trail Champs at Mount Moodie 2015

AJ and Eric in the lead at UTMM photo Terra Firma Trails

AJ and Eric in the lead at UTMM, SA Trail Champs. photos by Sven Musica/Terra Firma Trails

AJ Calitz has won the South African Ultra Trail Championship at Ultra Trail Mount Moodie (UTMM) on 31 January in 9 hours 9 minutes. The runners started with a perfect day but battled lightning, thunder, rain, mud, fatigue, and wind to complete the 87km race through the Misty Mountains in Mpumalanga.

A month ago the provisional SA Ultra Trail team was announced, and AJ Calitz, who wasn’t even on the provisional list, will be heading to the  IAU World Ultra Trail Champs on 31 May 2015 near Lake Annecy, France. Eric Ngubane, who came second at UTMM, will be joining him. The other two spots have not been finalised, though Andrew Hagen was on the provisional team after coming second at Ultra-trail Cape Town (UTCT), and placed fourth overall at UTMM. The final position may go to Master Graeme McCallum (third overall at UTMM) or Jock Green (third at UTCT but twisted his ankle at UTMM).

The women at UTMM placed exceptionally well. Nicolette Griffioen won the women’s SA Trail Champs for the second time, and came fifth overall in 11 hours 4 minutes. Su Don-Wauchope placed second for women and sixth overall. Nicky Booyens followed in third. It will be exciting to see who ends up on the women’s team to compete in the World Ultra Trail Champs.

Nicolette Griffioen SA Trail Champion 2015 at UTMM

Nicolette Griffioen, SA Trail Champion 2015 at UTMM.

UTMM, SA Trail Champs top 10

  1. AJ Calitz 09:09:35 SA Ultra Trail Champion
  2. Eric Ngubane 09:19:43
  3. Graeme McCallum 09:50:36
  4. Andrew Hagen 10:06:32
  5. Nicolette Griffioen 10:54:21 SA Ultra Trail Champion
  6. Su Don-Wauchope 11:03:58
  7. Andrew Erasmus 11:14:07
  8. Jason Labuschagne 11:18:05
  9. Justin Short 12:06:03
  10. Stewart Chaperon 12:50:36

Updated Provisional World Ultra Trail Champs squad

Men

  1. AJ Calitz
  2. Eric Ngubane
  3. Graeme McCallum
  4. Andrew Hagen
  5. Jock Green

Women

  1. Nicolette Griffioen
  2. Su Don-Wauchope
  3. Chantel Nienaber
  4. Tracy Zunckel
  5. Nicky Booyens

Only four trail runners will make up each team.

UTMM Tweets

Sven Musica waiting for runners at UTMM

AJ Calitz wins UTMM AJ Calitz winner time UTMMEric Ngubane second at UTMMGraeme McCallum third UTMMWorld Trail Champs SA teamNicolette Griffioen SA Trail ChampionSA Trail Champs

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