Ncube and April throw down the gauntlet to claim the AFRICANX TRAILRUN Stage One victory!

“Let Nature Give You A Run For Your Money”


Hailing from Oudtshoorn, Underson Ncube and John April (Team Ride along 2) celebrated their PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN debut in style by claiming the Stage One victory on Friday 17 March 2023 in an impressive time of 01 hour 41 minutes 53 seconds. Boasting a fast paced +-24km route, Stage One started at the Houw Hoek Hotel and finished at Paul Cluver Wines.


“Today’s stage was beautiful,” says April. “We stuck with the guys, Underson (Ncube) was chasing them just to give them pressure. After that we kept our pace, as there is still a lot of running to do over the weekend. We are now the leading team, so we’ll just stick to the group of guys tomorrow to keep the pace and we’ll see how it goes.”

“We’ve heard from other runners that the AFRICANX TRAILRUN is an awesome race, so John and I wanted to come and have a look,” says Ncube. “The Stage One route was nice. It’s pretty fast, but John and I stuck to our plan. We wanted to see how the guys go today and then take it from there. It was super amazing running together. We train together, we work together, we do everything together. Knowing your partner’s strengths and weaknesses is key when taking on a team event like AFRICANX.”

Kyle Bucklow and Oli Morris (Team New Balance) came in second, while Siviwe Nkombi and Retsepile Khotle (Team Here To Win) finished third.


The brother and sister pairing of Team New Balance #WeGotNow’s Stuart Marais (Addo, Eastern Cape) and Kerry-Ann Marshall (Newlands, Cape Town) took stage honours in the Mixed Team category in 01 hour 57 minutes 50 seconds.

“Today was amazing,” said Marais. “We had a conservative start. Kerry and I ran nicely together. We kept the pace relatively consistent over the first and second half, so all in all it was a good day. The vibe at AFRICANX is awesome. It’s a “Party On Foot”, what more could you ask for. The race was exciting from the start. People bring the vibe to AFRICANX and it’s fun to be part of it. I am looking forward to the next two days.”

“It’s always awesome running with Stu,” says Marshall. “We know each other so well. He knows when to push me, he knows when to encourage me, he knows when to just be there for me. We had a lekker run together. Our plan for tomorrow is probably the same as today, just to go out conservatively, see how we feel and push when we can.”

Kirsten Heath and Jarryd Dunn (Team Nearly Dunn) came in second, while Chantel Nienaber and Chris Visser (Team COWrageous) finished third.


Namibian runners Alexa Rack and Julia Jansen Van Rensburg (Team Nam Power) took the lead in the Women’s Team category also securing the stage victory on their debut attempt in a time of 02 hours 07 minutes 44 seconds.  

“I entered AFRICANX because of Alexa, she’s the army sergeant of this team,” laughs Jansen Van Rensburg. “Coming from Namibia, we’re used to dry conditions. These trails are just so lovely, and the weather is lovely. We’re in our element to be here.” 

“It’s so much harder to train in Namibia,” says Rack. “It was so nice running here today. The altitude makes it so much easier. I expected the event to be beautiful, it really is breath-taking. We will try to push harder tomorrow. We have to take the stage victory again.”

Nicola De Villiers and Jani Kruger (Team Riot) came in second, while Leani Potgieter and Isel Barnard (Team Grimes Sisters) finished third.



DATE: Saturday 18 March 2023
DISTANCE: +- 32 km
START VENUE: Elgin Grabouw Country Club
FINISH VENUE: Houw Hoek Hotel
ENTRY FORMAT: Teams of Two Runners (male / female / mixed)


‘SANET WENTZEL SPIRIT’ AWARD: PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN entrants are reminded to submit their nominations for the event’s treasured ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit’ Award. Introduced in the second year of the PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN (2010) in honour of Sanet Wentzel, an Oudtshoorn based athlete who passed away tragically at the end of 2009, the ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit’ Award honours the AFRICANX’s most inspirational athletes, athletes who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face. Nominations for the award can be sent to For more information, read the following article:


DRESS UP COMPETITION: The PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN will once again close off on a high note with entrants vying for the coveted title of ‘Best Dressed Team’ on Sunday during the third and final stage of the event. The competition is fierce, with trail runners pulling out all the stops to secure the coveted ‘Best Dressed Team’ title. To be in the running to be crowned the ‘Best Dressed Team’ and win an entry into the 2024 PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN both runners need to wear their outfits for the duration of the stage, from start to finish. Read more here:


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For additional information on the PICKLE JUICE AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race please visit, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email

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