STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure Diary Note

 No. sharks1605

1 Dec 2016

      Embargo: None

 Written by: Kyle Gilham

Talent aplenty in STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure trail running field

Shongweni – The 18km trail running event of Sunday 4 December’s 2016 STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure at Summerveld Estate in Shongweni is set to be a highly competitive affair at the front of both the men’s and women’s races.

On the men’s front, 2015 runner-up Nhlanhla Nzama has already confirmed his attendance of this year’s picturesque Upper Highway event as he looks to go one better this time around while Owen Bengo – who finished second, third and fifth in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively – has opted to try his hand at the shorter 9km clash.

It is however the women’s 18km clash that commands the lion’s share of the limelight in the build up to this weekend’s contest as a quartet of elite competitors, who have all performed admirably at the Sharks Trail Adventure previously, is set to return once more.

Xoli Madida blazed her way through the Shongweni countryside to win the event in 2013 and 2014 before finishing second, behind Debbie Kitto, at last year’s contest and the Newcastle based athlete is back again in 2016, eager to claim a third crown at the event.

Madida will however be pushed all the way by a trio of talented local athletes, Zoe Papadakis, Patricia Dammann and Sarah Wilson.

Papadakis, a strong supporter of the event, made her STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure debut last year when she raced to a commendable fourth place behind Kitto, Madida and Pippa McGregor.

“I love this event!” beams the bubbly Papadakis as she enthusiastically rallies the rest of her trail running community members to join her for Sunday’s clash.

The Frys ambassador has been in strong form for much of the second half of the year, claiming victories at the 3 Falls Trail Run and Spur KZN Trail Run Series event at Blythedale Coastal Resort while also finishing on the podium in the series’ Aloe Wildlife Estate event and the KZNTR Summer Series’ Table Mountain race.

Meanwhile, Dammann, a stalwart of the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure, having taken part in and performed well at all four of the event’s previous stagings will hope to return to better her seventh placed effort from last year and return to her third-second-third place trend of results she achieved between 2012 and 2014.

For Wilson, a tenth place in 2014 paved the way for her catapult herself into the women’s top five at last year’s race, something she will hope to repeat again this weekend.

Maiden appearances at the popular Summerveld Estate based event for Kirsty Allen and Robyn Mare will also add some spice to the already mouth-watering women’s racing mix this weekend as some of the province’s top female trail runners go head-to-head for this year’s crown.

The 2016 STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure takes place at Summverld Estate in Shongweni on Sunday 4 December. Entries can be submitted online via and more information can be found at


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STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure logo - JPeg  

Xoli Madida has won the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure twice previously and finished second last year, a result she will be hoping to improve on at the Summerveld Etate based event on Sunday, 4 December. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

Frys ambassador Zoe Papadakis hopes to finish on the podium at the STIHL Sharks Trail Adventure on Sunday, 4 December after finishing fourth in her maiden appearance at the Summerveld Estate based event last year. Anthony Grote/
Gameplan Media

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