The first Spartan Obstacle Course Race (OCR) hosted on South African soil attracted a field of over 1,200 competitors, with a few top local athletes among them.
The aggressive Kings Kloof course located just outside of Johannesburg provided the setting on Saturday, 27 October 2018. The course featured plenty of technical terrain, incredibly steep elevation and signature Spartan obstacles which, by design, pushed competitors to their limits.
Finishing the race was impossible without a healthy dose of grit, courage and strength of both body and mind. The inaugural Spartan event weekend featured two of the brand’s signature OCR distances. These included the fast and furious “Sprint,” with 7.6km of terrain and 20 obstacles, and a challenging “Super” with 15.3km of unrelenting terrain and 25 obstacles. There was also a Spartan Kids race for kids ages 6-13 years old.
The first lady home in the Women’s Elite Super, who also placed fifth overall in a time of 2:38:22, was Nedene Cahill. This Durban-based athlete who only entered the OCR scene a year-and-half ago, said the race was technical and tough but she loved it – particularly the spear throw. Her first podium finish, Cahill added, “I feel honoured and privileged to be the first female Spartan to cross the finish line in South Africa.”
Talitha Scholtz placed second in 2:53:14, finishing 10thoverall. Describing the race Scholtz, who runs a lady’s Bootcamp in Bryanston said, “The hills were long, torturous and technical; it was brutal. I loved the rigs and the monkey bars and was glad for the extra and intense upper body training I had done with Marco in preparation for the race.”
The third lady home was another Durbanite, Lisha Sookan, who wrapped up the course in 2:56:54. A medical doctor by profession she said it was a good race with long carries which she wasn’t really used to. She said everyone should give a Spartan race a try, “It’s the most fun you will ever have. It makes me feel like a Ninja.”
Marco Caromba, Spartan’s operating partner in South Africa, has confirmed that there are likely to be at least three Spartan events on the race calendar in 2019.
Author: Pedro van Gaalen
When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.