Hosted by Pure Adventures, the race took place from 19 to 21 March 2016. A tough, multi-sport challenge over terrain that is as beautiful as it is tough. The kind of terrain that summons the brave and promises an epic battle. 265km made up of a run, bike and paddle, designed to sate the brave-hearted, extreme multi-sport athlete, the Ledlenser Wartrail battle lines were drawn in the North Eastern Cape. Solo athletes took part in a three-stage event, but a non-stop format was available for teams of 2, 3 or 4.
The first stage is the 65-km Skyrun route which starts in Lady Grey and embraces true mountain running. Conditions were ideal and as the sun rose over the epic landscape athletes competed in a self-navigational run format. The run ended in the caves of Balloch where war stories were exchanged over the camp fires and preparations for the mountain bike stage began. The top three men in the run were Raoul Hamman, Quintin van Heerden and defending champion Mark Preen. Tatum Prins dominated the ladies run, placing around 30 minutes behind the top men for much of it.
Meanwhile, in Lady Grey, the non-stop teams prepared for battle, which began in adventure-race style on the morning of the 20th along the same route but all three stages raced back to back. Self-supported, this is a race of tactics and smart navigation.
The run was followed by a slightly revised mountain bike route, from Balloch to Lady Grey. A ride of 120km with D+ 2600m. The top men home after the bike stage were Martin van der Klooster, Raoul Hamman and Tim Deane with Jane Swarbreck taking the lead on Tatum Prins in the ladies race. The Orange River hosts the final stage; a 65km canoe paddle all the way to Aliwal North. The warriors enjoyed around 10km of easy rapids followed by a long, flat, hard paddle to the final finish line. No prisoners in a race like Wartrail; the weary and the wounded waded through mud and fought hard to cross the line.
Final results in the stage event:
- Tim Deane 21:41:09
- Mark Preen 22:23:59
- Wotjek Orzechowski 22:35:03
- Tatum Prins 23:23:46 (4th overall)
- Jane Swarbreck 23:39:12 (5th overall)
- Didi Frances 30:59:44
Non-Stop Challenge results:
- 1st Team Cyanosis in a time of 28 hours 40 min
- 2nd Gooi Mealies in a time of 32 hours and 15 min
- 3rd Castle Lite in a time of 32 hours and 25 min