Half-Marathon Gordon makes Sani Stagger return

Photo - Jetline Action Photo / Gameplan Media

The iconic Sani Pass is once again set to play host to the 2016 Sani Stagger road running event on Saturday 26 November and Half-Marathon regular Grant Gordon is relishing making his return after missing out in 2015.

The 44 year-old Pietermaritzburg based runner enjoys a strong bond with the Southern Drakensberg event’s 21.1km race having claimed a top three finish in 2012 and then finishing ninth and thirteenth in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

In the process, the outdoor advertising employee has also claimed the men’s 40-49 age group title in both 2012 and 2014 while finishing second in 2013 and is now back to try his hand again this year.

“A couple of us go up and do the Sani Stagger almost every year,” explains Gordon. “The views of the mountains while coming down really are amazing and it is just such a great event!”

“Because it is a limited field, there are also a few less runners at the Sani Stagger than some of your popular, more traditional road races, which makes it really enjoyable.

“It is also the perfect opportunity to make a weekend of it in the Berg.”

While admitting to having not “manned up enough just yet” to take on the testing 42.2km Marathon event, Gordon did not discount the possibility of doing so in the future.

For now though, he is keen to enjoy the Half-Marathon challenge again, this time without quite as many miles under his belt as his previous involvements.

“It is nice to have done well at the Sani Stagger previously and to have gotten a top three finish.

“Recently I’ve really been enjoying my social tennis though, so my running has taken a bit of a backseat and I haven’t been putting as much time into my running training as I have in the past.

“I’ve been doing a few parkruns in Pietermaritzburg, so I’ve done some running, but I certainly don’t have too much distance in the legs as before,” Gordon laughs somewhat anxiously.

While the event’s views continue to see the field sell out within minutes of entries opening online annually, they are still hard earned, even for the Half-Marathon participants who start at the Lesotho Border Post at the top of Sani Pass and make their way down to Sani Pass Hotel’s golf course.

“It is not called the Sani Stagger for nothing!

“Dropping so much in such a short space of time does quite a bit of muscle damage, even more so than the Comrades Marathon, that you end up staggering around for the next week.

“It is all worth it though because it is just such a beautiful event and I’m really looking forward to running it again this year.”

For more information go to www.sanistagger.co.za