Change a Life Academy
12 Nov 2015
Written by: Nick Tatham
Positive results highlight Change a Life Academy diversity
Durban – Whether it be on foot, on a bike or in a canoe the various
Martin Dreyer Change a Life Academy (CAL) branches made their presence felt
throughout KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape with some fantastic results
this past weekend.
The inaugural Maqhwe Mfula Challenge took place in Change a Life territory,
in the heart of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. This tough
multi-disciplined event includes a 25km trail run, 55km mountain biking and
a choice between a further 8km trail run or 8km paddle.
Dreyer’s academy displayed its pedigree when RMB Change a Life’s John Ntuli
overcame hot and testing conditions to cross the finish line first in the
Maqwhe Mfula run/cycle/run Adventure.
“Winning the Adventure was great!” said Ntuli. “It’s awesome having a race
like this so close to home and although it was really hot, it wasn’t an
issue for me as I am training in conditions like that as I prepare for the
1000km Munga MTB race in December.”
Ntuli, an experienced multisport campaigner having raced duathlon for
Change a Life before the mountain biking team was formed, had a hiccup on
his way to winning however his strength and a well thought out plan saw him
Keeping a steady, consistent pace was crucial and Ntuli managed to find
that balance early on in his race.
“I chatted to Martin (Dreyer) before the race and we knew that pacing my
race was going to be crucial, especially with the temperatures predicted to
rise. So when the runners in the team category sped ahead, I stuck to my
game plan, conserving and let them go.
“The bike was always going to be my strongest discipline so I made sure
that I was feeling good for that and I knew that if I went behind on the
run I could make up the time on the bike.
“I got a bit lost during the mountain bike leg and got frustrated. When I
came into the transition I expected to have guys ahead of me but I was told
that I was still in the lead which was a nice surprise!
“I just put my head down from there and dug deep to the finish line,” the
former KwaZulu-Natal Duathlon champion said.
The RMB CAL Zulu’s continued to shine in the Maqhwe Mfula Adventure as
Sizwe Mkhasibe finished second behind Ntuli, his performance highlighted by
a gutsy final run after he was battling with cramp during his first 25km
Not to be out done by Ntuli, Change a Life paddler and 2015 Non-Stop Dusi
Canoe Marathon champion, Nhlanhla Cele, dominated throughout the Maqhwe
Mfula Challenge – which substituted the final run with an 8km paddle.
With the biggest smile beaming across his face, he crossed the finish line
unopposed in first place.
The Computershare Change a Life Zulu’s were also amongst the results of
Sunday’s Umpetha Challenge, the first seeding race of the 2016 FNB Dusi
The challenging season opener, which finishes on the top of the infamous
Campbell’s Farm portage, is a great early Dusi form indicator and with CAL
Zulu’s in seven of the top ten pairs, many of the academy will be feeling
positive about their early season form.
It was a great early season showing from Change a Life's Banetse Nkhoesa,
who is teaming up with CAL ambassador and 2014 Dusi champion Sbonelo Khwela,
as he got his first big win at the Umpetha Challenge, setting him up for a
strong showing during the rest of the pre-Dusi season.
The unlikely pair of CAL veteran and coach, Lucas Mthalane and CAL junior
Mpilo Zondi managed an impressive third place overall.
CAL’s Mthobisi Cele teamed up with Alan Houston to win the Under 23
category, closely followed by the impressive CAL crew of Mmeli Cele and
Khumbulani Nzimande in second while CAL juniors Msawenkosi Mtolo and
Thabani Msiya were full value as they wrapped up the U18 category.
To add to the academy's performances, Sthembiso Masango and Mboneni Ngcobo
rode themselves into a top ten finish at the recent FNB Wines2Whales over
1000 kilometres away in the Western Cape.
The pair competed against some of the strongest professional riding pairs
in the country and finished seventh in the final stage of the race, giving
them an all-important top ten finish in the general classification.
The other RMB CAL Zulu crew of Bongumusa Zikhali and Mazwi Smimango also
managed to get themselves a respectable finish as they ended just inside
the top 20 with a nineteenth place overall.
“What an incredible few days of performances!” beamed Dreyer. “It just goes
to shows how hard work really pays off!”
download the hi-resolution pic
Change a Life
Academy logo - jpeg
RMB Change a Life Academy star
John Ntuli proved his sporting prowess as he powered his way to a win at
the inaugural Maqhwe Mfula Adventure Challenge that incorporated a 25km
trail run, a 55km mountain bike leg and a final eight kilometre run.
Computershare Change a Life
star Nhlanhla Cele showed his diverse skills as he won the first ever
Maqhwe Mfula Challenge which consisted of a 25km trail run, a 55km mountain
bike ride and an eight kilometre paddle over the past weekend in the Valley
of a Thousand Hills.
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