DualX is a multi-sport event that combines trail running and mountain biking. The Van Gaalen event is a favourite among the DualX regulars as testified by the more than 1000 entrants across the various distances at the weekend.
The full-distance event covered a 5km trail run, 30km mountain bike and 2.5km trail run. Du Plessis got off to his customary quick start and held a 30-second lead over nearest rival, Brad Weiss (Puma), as he entered the bike transition. Theo Blignaut (Rocky Mountain) was a close third.
Blignaut reeled Weiss in soon after the start of the bike leg and the pair worked together along the long gravel road sections to try and close the gap on the leader. But Du Plessis was on fire and actually extended his lead by the time he reached the second transition.
Blignaut stormed off the bike in second place, but was caught by Weiss during the final trail run leg where the final podium places were decided. Du Plessis clocked a winning time of 1 hour 35 minutes 08 seconds just over two minutes ahead of Weiss, with Blignaut a further 19 seconds back in third.
In the women’s event Series leader and winner of Rounds 1 and 2, Andrea Steyn, was absent due to her participation at the Duathlon World Championships in Spain. That left the way clear for a new face to top the podium.
Carla van Huysteen (Time Freight), a former winner of a DualX event, inherited the favourite status. She led the field off the first run, but a charging Griffioen passed her on the mountain bike leg and started the final run in the lead.
Despite her best efforts, Van Huysteen was unable to run Griffioen down, which gave Griffioen her maiden DualX title in a time of 1:49:51. Van Huysteen stopped the clock in 1:54:40 for second place with Wilmarie du Plessis claiming third place in 1:59:09.
Round 4 of the 2016 Momentum Health OatWell DualX Series powered by PeptoPro takes place at Knysna in the Western Cape on 7 July.