The Munga Crowns Dutch Champion At Doolhof

The Munga
Ramses Bekkenk The Munga Photo credit: Erik Vermeulen

The Munga is an event with an ethos deeply ingrained in setting new paradigms and challenging potential the 2018 edition of “the toughest race on earth” lived up to that thinking in a manner never anticipated by its organisers.

“The route and race was designed on a winning time of around 60 hours, and what we’ve seen in the last two years is both surprising and exciting” says race founder Alex Harris, as the race record books are re-written for the second consecutive year.

Dutchman Ramses Bekkenk crossed the finish line at Doolhof outside Wellington at 14:30 this afternoon to seal a victory in exactly 50 hours 30 mins. This feat sliced 8 hours from the 2017 record set by Marco Martins. Martins scratched from the race at Sutherland on Thursday night.

“I thought 53 hours was possible” said Bekkenk who further believes that he had an almost perfect race. In reaching the Doolhof, he averaged over 20km/h for the 1070km race course and banked a mere 3 hours of downtime, including some sleep, after leaving Bloemfontein on Wednesday.

Bekkenk goes on to say, “Nobody wanted to race from the start. The guys (front peloton) wanted to wait for (race favourite) Martins and I thought that was a crazy idea, so I moved ahead.” It proved to be a winning move less than 100km into the race and his competitors never saw him again as he built a lead of up to 60km at times. Although this allowed him the luxury of rest, he reneged, opting instead to chase the 53 hours time he had set himself. In the end, near-perfect weather and race conditions conspired to see him set the new race record of 50 hours 30 mins. Still, in line with the Munga ethos of being passionate about potential, he believes that 48 hours is possible for the course.

Bekkenk settled into the Grande Dedale suite at Doolhof Vineyards for the remainder of the race while the rest of the field crossed the line until the final cut-off on Monday, 3 December 2018 at 12 Noon.

Results for the 2018 Munga:

1 Ramses Bekkenk
2 Heinrich Visser
3 Chris van Zyl
4 Kevin Benkenstein
5 Dion Guy
6 Fanie Venter *
7 Thinus Redlinghuis
8 Massino Mancini
9 Sithembiso Masango
10 Jason Peach
11 Michael Mc Dermott
12 Guy Jennings
13 Martin Bain Venn
14 Conrad Van Der Heever
15 Leon Erasmus
16 Janine Stewart
17 Jurjen Draaijer
18 Peter Maritz
19 Piet Laubscher
20 Fanie Stofberg
21 Andrew Gowans
22 Bryce Henesey
23 Daniel Alikisente
24 Jose Frazao
25 Roque Fernandez
26 Simon Rollo
27 Johan Oberholzer
28 Wayne Mac Duling
29 Bruce Biccard
30 Pierre Griffoen
31 Elaine Beytell
32 Sarah van Heerden
33 Clinton Halsey
34 Brand Pretorius
35 David Malan
36 Sam Marx
37 Gerhard Boshoff
38 David Long
39 Jaques Swart
40 Devan Kruger
41 Mike Potgieter
42 Johan de Bruin
43 Gert Marx
44 Francis Visser
45 Gertjie Harmse
46 Gavin Robinson
47 Fietie Rocher
48 Gerhard Strydom
49 Estelle Gouws
50 Andries Gouws
51 Pieter Hugo
52 Freddie Pienaar
53 Wayne MacFarlane
54 Wessel van Der Merwe
55 Nico Coetzee
56 Leonard Martin
57 Carlo Gonzaga
58 Francois Joubert
59 Paul Krynauw
60 Adrian Saffy
61 Nicky Booyens
62 Danie Du Pessis
63 Jaco Kampher
64 Johan Venter
65 Roelof Van Huyssteen
66 Jodi Zulberg
67 Eric Stricker
68 Gerald Cele **
69 Alex Vigouroux
70 Stephan Grobler
71 Martin Davies
72 Lazarus Mashisni
73 Sean Wheeler
74 Riaan Van Zyl
68 Gerald Cele **
75 Neil Zietsman
76 Hendre Terblanche
77 Hennie Olivier
78 Thubalethu Shange
79 Richard Baufeldt
80 Maurice Mdolo
81 Ernest Horne
82 Beer Venter
83 Jannie Oosthuizen
84 Rowan Mckenzie
85 Marcus Maree
86 Conrad Maree
87 Jan Viljoen
88 Annelie Smith
89 Vibeke Moore
90 John Jones
91 Rehardt Ferreira
92 Willie Mouton
93 Charl Venter
94 Stephan Venter
95 Joggie Rautenbach
96 Anru De Wet
97 Cecil Munch
98 Nicky Webb
99 Karina Britz
100 Braam Nel
101 Pierre De Jager
102 James Trubshaw
103 Tiaan Ronne
104 Theunis Esterhuizen
105 Rob Walker
106 Andries Sebona
107 Jane Horton
108 Nina Long

* Fanie Venter received a one hour time penalty for outside assistance.
** Gerald Cele received a two hour time penalty for leaving the course.

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