Eleventh win boosts confidence for World Champs

Thomas van Tonder makes his way through the Savage Beast obstacle course. Photo: #BeSnapped

Thomas van Tonder recently crossed the finish line first, to achieve his eleventh consecutive win in The Beast Challenge.

At the beginning of September, over 100 athletes participated in Race 11 of The Beast Challenge obstacle-course race (OCR) at The Wedge 4×4 Trail in Muldersdrift.

The 2016 OCR Champion and current number one on the OCR rankings leader-board, Thomas ‘BeastMode’ van Tonder (from Jeep Team SA), competed in the gruelling Savage Beast, the most difficult level of the challenge.

Thomas van Tonder crosses a pool of water by swinging from hanging poles. Photo: #BeSnapped

Thomas crossed the line in 01:18:02, a minute ahead of second-place finisher, Bradley Claase. Rounding off the men’s podium was Marius Smith, who finished in 01:34:15.

All three men have been selected to be part of the South Africa Team to compete at the 2017 Obstacle Course Racing World Championships, which will be held from 13 to 15 October at Blue Mountain Resort in Ontario, Canada. Thomas and Marius will be competing in the PRO class, while Bradley will be competing in the age category 25–29.

Although it is difficult to compare times from each race, Thomas said, “I did feel strong while finishing, so I’m feeling positive about my form in the build-up to World Championships. As much as the body requires training, so does the mind, so it helps to build up the confidence needed to take on the best in the OCR worldwide.”

This will be the fourth year that Thomas will be competing at the OCR World Champs. “The reality of representing my country on a world stage is one that has never ceased to humble me. It’s also a huge motivational factor that pushes me beyond my limits in the build-up training weeks,” he said.

Thomas has been working off a strict training programme from FitCave Coaching, which requires him to do two and sometimes three training sets a day. However, the training will only intensify closer to the championships. “The course at OCR World Champs in Ontario has a lot of elevation, so we have been working on steep climbing and downhill running as part of my training programme,” he added.


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