South African trail running team invited to compete in France

Ten members of South Africa’s best trail runners have been handpicked to represent the country at one of Europe’s greatest trail running events, the Festival des Templiers in France at the end of October.

Held in the town of Millau in the South of France, 115km northwest from the Mediterranean city of Montpellier, the Festival des Templiers is one of France’s most prestigious trail running celebrations, where more than 8 000 runners enjoy the beauty and challenge of a variety of14 races over the three days (www.festivaldestempliers.com).  To mark the 20th anniversary of the festival, the organisers have increased the level of competition by inviting more international teams than ever before.

A meeting between Comrades legend Nick Bester and the organisers of the Festival des Templiers resulted in an invitation for South Africa to send a team to compete.

The team competition will take place during the 75km Grand Trail des Templiers on Sunday 25 October 2015, which is also the main race of the weekend.  The five-team competition will pit South Africa against France, USA, Europe and Asia.  The men’s and women’s competitions will be decided on position, with points going to the first three members of each team.  Individual prize money ranges from €2,000 for the winners to €200 to 10th position, while further prize money has been earmarked for the winning teams.

With all travel and accommodation costs being fully covered by the event organisers, and several months’ notice, the team selected is the strongest yet of any South African team represented at an international trail running competition.

Being an invitational event rather than an official international championship, performances at the IAU World Trail Championship in France in May were used to select the team, while athletes that were selected for the IAU champs but could not go due to other circumstances, now also get the chance to race.

This is a fantastic opportunity for our ultra trail runners, considering the cost of travelling aboard and the scarcity of international team competitions.

MEN                            WOMEN

AJ Calitz                       Landie Greyling

Eric Ngubane               Nicolette Griffioen

Iain Don-Wauchope     Su Don-Wauchope

Jock Green                  Tracy Zunckel

Andrew Hagen             Nicky Booyens

Team Manager: Nick Bester

We wish the team everything of the best at the Festival des Templiers.