The Giant's Cup Media Release

 No: tgc1705

 22 May 2017

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod


Dladla and Don Wauchope triumph at Giant’s Cup

Underberg – Local wildlife ranger Thabo Madlala realised his dream of winning the Giants Cup trail run on the weekend as he and seasoned ultra athlete Su Don-Wauchope wrapped up the men's and women's titles on the 30km final stage.

The trail runners enjoyed sublime weather conditions, with snow blanketing the top of the Drakensberg mountains, as the pair extended the leads they had established on the first stage on the closing leg from Castleburn Farm to the Bushman's Nek hotel.

"I am so excited, so excited," said an elated Madlala at the finish.

"This is a race that I have always wanted to win, and today my dream came true," said the 35 year old Himeville local, who said that he was using the race as a crash course training session for the Comrades Marathon.

The title is doubly significant for Madlala, who works for the Endangered Wildlife Trust on their African Crane Conservation project, as a significant amount of money is donated from the proceeds of the event to his Endangered Wildlife Trust and the Southern Drakensberg branch of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, which is based at Cobham Nature Reserve.

"I love to run here, and at the same time I am always looking at what is happening here from a conservation point of view, and if I see something, then I report it," said the proud Madlala.

For Don-Wauchope, who was never under any pressure to win the women's race, the trail run reaffirmed her love of running in the mountains, as she relished her recovery from the ankle injury the has kept her sidelined for an extended period.

"Day Two of a multi-stage race is always hard, but once I loosened up, I could start to enjoy the run," said Don-Wauchope, who was supported by her husband Iain Don-Wauchope, who is recovering from medical complaints of his own.

"The first fifteen kays were beautiful and so runnable. Then from Swiman onwards it became a little more tricky and harder, just when your legs are starting to feel a bit tired.

"All and all it was a beautiful day on these glorious trails," she added.

She said that the conservation message behind the event was made even more significant by the sighting of wildlife during the trail run.

"We saw a huge herd or Eland today, which was special. The more people can get out and experience the beauty of what we have, means there will be more people that appreciate the importance of protecting it," she said.

"Everyone here was essentially racing themselves. Everyone has their own personal goal, and it doesn't matter if you cross the line first or tenth or twentieth or if you are the last runner across the line, everyone has the same sense of achievement.

"And so they should," she added. "It is a tough trail with long distances for a stage race, but it absolutely beautiful and a must-do for everyone's race calendar," she concluded.

The small field thrived on the personal nature of the race, the luxury of staying at three hotels en route, and the magnificent weather and meticulously prepared trails.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
THE GIANTS CUP 2017 after Stage 2 30km
OVERALL
1.Thabo Madlala 7:16:40
2.Su Don-Wauchope 7:50:59
3.Travis Green 8:13:44
4.Paul Mitchell 8:27:17
5.Ryan Crossman 8:31:18
6.Robin Parfett 8:35:16

Women
1.Su Don-Wauchope 7:50:59
2.Nicole Faul 9:54:07
3.Marlize du Toit 9:54:07

More information can be found at www.thegiantscup.co.za

ENDS

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The Giant's Cup Logo - jpeg  

Race winner Thabo Madlala (left) and women's race winner Su Don-Wauchope ring the finishers bell at the end of the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Greg Labuschagne /
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Race winner Thabo Madlala (left) and women's race winner Su Don-Wauchope  at the end of the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Greg Labuschagne /
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Race leader Thabo Madlala on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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Thabo Madlala realised a lifelong dream in winning the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Greg Labuschagne /
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Women's race leader Su Don-Wauchope on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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Women's race leader Su Don-Wauchope on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Greg Labuschagne /
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Men's runner up Travis Green crossing a bridge on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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The 32km first stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Friday 19 May was held in magnificent weather conditions on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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Runners were spoilt with superb weather and scenery on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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The laid-back vibe of the 2017 Giant's Cup lent itself to trail runners taking time to enjoy the views of the Maloti Drakensberg park. Anthony Grote /
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Three runners enjoying the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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Roland Vorwerk  on a contour path in front of the snow-capped mountains on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Anthony Grote /
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The runners leave a frosty Castleburn Farm at the start on the final stage of the 2017 Giant's Cup on Saturday 20 May. Greg Labuschagne /
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