Brendan Lombard’s Race Report

The morning started off with quite a bang and I headed out quite hard as planned as I was keen to test my legs after all the prep which had been done. I felt good and opened up an early lead of about 5 min.

Brendan Lombard leads Roelof Mostert down a descent during their battle for the Discovery MUT victory which lasted for much of the race. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The risk of running alone in the dark however caught up with me and I ended up running through thick shrub which definitely was not part of the course. I saw a light shining in the distance and immediately knew I better double back as fast as possible in order to still be in the race. I caught up to the light and realised it was Roelof. What was to ensue was a race of epic proportions.
Roelof and I had a proper dog fight out there. We changed the lead for a solid 3/4 hours and it was a game of cat and mouse. We soon figured out each others strengths and I knew if I was to try pull away too soon it would be to no avail as Roelof would just catch me on whatever gnarly descent lay ahead. I was strong on the climbs and runnable sections and I chose to bide my time until it felt right to put the hammer down.

Brendan taking the win at Witfontein, Outeniqua Nature Reserve

I think it was with about 10-15km to go that we came across quite a bit of jeep track. It is here where I knew I could move quickly. I broke away nervously as I did not know what lay ahead but trusted my intuition that it was now or never. Every so often I looked back to see where he was and I really stressed out when coming toward heavily technical descents as I knew Roelof could make up time on me here. I even started asking for a climb late into the race just to feel a bit safer as I knew I was strong here. This was answered late into the race with the treacherous “Harries Hill.” As much as I cursed this hill, I was thankful for it.
The last few km’s were nice and fast and I could open up my stride and move quickly. I looked once more to see if there was a chase and I saw no one. I then knew the race was mine.
Thank you to Roelof for a radical race. It is not often in an Ultra a race is so well contested. Big ups to the organisers of this awesome event. I think you are onto something here and it will be evident in it’s growth.
I’ll be back. 🙂

The annual George MUT Mountain Ultra Trail, presented by Ecobound Events in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, George, Western Cape, South Africa, RSA