Change a Life Academy Media Release  No: CAL1805

31 May 2018

 Embargo: None  Written by: Dave Macleod


Change a Life Academy toasts best ever Karkloof showing


Pietermaritzburg - The mountain bikers and trail runners from Martin Dreyer's Change A Life Academy are celebrating their best ever results at the last weekend's Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival.

Merchants Change A Life trail runners swept to the top three placing in the 9km Sappi Karkloof Trail Run, with a delighted Mxolisi Zondi taking the overall victory, his first in a major race.

Minutes later as the runners in the 18km trail run flooded across the finish line at the Karkloof Country Club, Merchants Change A Life runners grabbed two of the top six places, with the bubbly Mthobisi Mzolo just failing to get past the impressive Zimbabwean Nomore Mandivengerei in a thriller of a title race.

On Sunday it was the turn of the RMB Change A Life mountain bikers to bask in the spot light, as they featured prominently in the four bunches at the front of the race.

Sthembiso Masango and Ndumiso Dontso finished in eighth and ninth respectively, with Scelo Mhlongo unlucky not to make it into the top ten after a spectacular crash at a river crossing halfway through the race. In the end Academy riders secured seven of the top twenty five places.

"It is by far the best showing we have ever had at the Sappi Karkloof Classic," gushed Academy founder Martin Dreyer. "We were a very proud team that travelled back to the Valley after the weekend in the Karkloof."

While he was delighted with the overall performance, Dreyer said the win in the 9km trail run on Saturday morning by Mxolisi Zondi was a standout.

"It is the first time he has made it to the top step of the podium, but actually it should be no surprise," said Dreyer.

"In the tough Warrior Black Ops Elite races he has been excelling and has been getting closer and closer to the top ten.

"Winning the 9km title is fantastic, particularly when you consider that he comes from a very poor household where opportunity is almost non-existent.

"He has a larger than life smile, and is super positive. He is driven to train the hardest and I am not surprised he has finally stood on top of the podium.

"A truly deserved winner," Dreyer concluded.

Zondi said his successes as an athlete allow him to become independent and support himself through racing incentives.

"My family gets support through food parcels and also from myself as I have developed physically and Iím able to work on any heavy chores and repairs at home as I am the male figure.

"The community I live in has grown to love sport, from seeing the good changes in our lives and encourage us to continue and get more youth involved.

Zondi said his athletic endeavours with the Merchants Change A Life Academy can be summarised in three words. "Independence, Hope, and Future'" he said.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS BY CHANGE A LIFE ACADEMY ATHLETES
SAPPI KARKLOOF CLASSIC TRAIL FESTIVAL

18km Sappi Karkloof Trail Run
Men
2. Mthobisi Mzolo 1:09:55
6. Joe Maphumelo 1:15:15

9km Sappi Karkloof Trail Run
Men
1. Mxolisi Zondi 38:12
2. Hlelani Radebe 38:17
3. Dumisa  Shabalala 38:40
6. Samkelo Shangase 40:37
7. Raymond Radebe 40:53

60km Sappi Karkloof Marathon
Men
8. Sthembiso Masango 2:59:35
9. Ndumiso Dontso 3:00:00

ENDS

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Mxolisi Zondi. "He has a larger than life smile, and is super positive. He is driven to train the hardest and I am not surprised he has finally stood on top of the podium," said Change A Life Academy founder Martin Dreyer. Zoon Cronje/
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Merchants Change A  Life Academy runner Mxolisi Zondi in action. Zoon Cronje/
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Sthembiso Masango rode well to finish in eight place in the Sappi 60km Marathon at the recent Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival. Anthony Grote/
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Ndumiso Dontso came home in ninth place in the Sappi 60km Marathon at the recent Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival. Anthony Grote/
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Merchants Change A Life runner Mthobisi Mzolo chases eventual winner Nomore Mandivengerei during the 18km Sappi Trail runi at the recent Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival. Anthony Grote/
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Not everything went according to plan at the recent Sappi Karkloof Classic Trail Festival. Inn the top six at this stage Scelo Mhlongo took a spectacular tumble during the 60km Sappi Karkloof Classic MTB marathon. Anthony Grote/
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