Course no obstacle for top racer

Thomas van Tonder in action during the Grind race. Photo: submitted.

Top South African obstacle course racer (OCR) and Jeep Team athlete, Thomas van Tonder, took back-to-back victories at The Beast and The Grind’s OCR events.

The action started on Saturday, 25 March, at The Beast Challenge Race #9 at The Wedge 4 x 4 trail in Muldersdrift, and ended on Sunday at the Western Cape’s The Grind 1702 at The Cape Argus Sport Show.

Three Jeep Team SA Elite OCR athletes, Thomas van Tonder, Jay Jay Deysel and Carina Marx, raced the relentless Savage Beast, which included over 50 obstacles over an 11km trail.

The Jeep team’s OCR superstars, Thomas van Tonder and Carina Marx, took first place in the Men’s Elite and the Women’s Elite events respectively.

In the men’s race, Thomas, who is the most successful Beast contender to date, claimed his 9th unbeaten, consecutive Savage Beast victory in a time of 01:09:29, with Bradley Claase second in 01:12:02, and Michael Joubert third in 01:23:00. Jeep Team’s Jay Jay Deysel crossed the line in 5th place in a time of 01:25:16.

The women’s race saw an emphatic win for Carina Marx – her 5th Savage Beast title, in a time of 01:48:07, some 17 minutes ahead of the second-placed Sam Gilchrist, and third placed Jetaime Ribbink.

On Sunday. Thomas flew to the Western Cape to compete in The Grind 1702 at the Cape Argus Sport Show held at Sandringham Farm in Stellenbosch. The Grind featured five different events for beginners, fun-seekers, masters and elite athletes. He participated in The Deep Grind Elite, a 10km trail run featuring up to 40 challenging obstacles, and rounded off his winning weekend with a first-place finish.

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