With the rain of up to 30mm measured during the night before, the hard of the Gold Rush Hard Enduro became even harder. Only ten competitors managed to complete the full course of the event in Pilgrim’s Rest on March 17th, with some of them being in the saddle for over nine hours.
Fortunately, the rain stopped at around the start of the event and stayed away for the remainder of the day. Only 25 competitors continued with the second, extremely challenging loop after the other riders either withdrew after the first loop or failed to make the cut-off time. The organisers had estimated that the winner would complete the full course in just over three hours, but Mauritz Meiring from Middleburg, who took first place, came in after more than four hours. In second place was Jurie Human from Pretoria and Denzel Lawrie, a Sabie resident, took third place.
There were 109 entries but only 97 started as some of the competitors pulled out because of the wet and slippery conditions. “It being so wet, my biggest fear is getting sick or even injured. With regards to my work I cannot afford it at this time,” replied Stanton Daniell from Johannesburg to the question of why he pulled out. “I had to make a difficult call but will be back next year.” He also had praise for Pilgrim’s Rest, commenting that the village was “Fantastic, a nice clean town.”
“The times show that the technicality and difficulty of the race are definitely up there with all the other events,” the organiser, Robin Flores, said during the prize-giving. He also thanked all the sponsors without whom race would not have been possible. Next year the Gold Rush GPS Enduro will be a 3-day event from March 17-19.