PUFfeR 2014 – The Long and Winding Trail

PUFfeR – the Peninsula Ultra Fun Run – but do not be fooled – certainly rates as the Grand Daddy of all Ultra Trail Runs here in the Cape.

The weather may have played ball this weekend, but running this beast is still like going to war, with trail gladiators from all over the country ‘running in heaven, but feeling like hell’.

The 05h30 Start Gun set them off from Cape Point, and from here they tackled a gruelling 80km route via Silvermine and Table Mountain to eventually finish at the V&A Waterfront.

I only shot the early section of the race (from Red Hill through to Ou Wapad), but once again there was fierce determination etched upon every face I saw along the route.

A super-charged duel between Ben Brimble and Nic De Beer at the front of the field eventually saw the former emerge victoriously, smashing the record in an incredible time of 06h45min. Further down the field, a war of attrition raged between the athletes, the elements and the rugged landscape shaping the Cape of Storms.

Karoline Hanks looked unbeatable early on, but the trail took its toll on her, eventually forcing her to withdraw. This opened the gate for stalwart Charmane Salvage and the indomitable Caitlin Lewis to grab the top two spots.

Linda Doke this year focused her irrepressible energy on the Tougher Puffer, doing double the distance in less than 24hrs, an incredible and super-human feat. Huge respect is due – not only to all the winners, but also to every one of the athletes who attempted and finished this phenomenal race. We salute you!

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