Participants in the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS can nominate inspiring trail runners who they feel are worthy of winning the Sanet Wentzel Spirit Award.

The award was inspired by and named after one of the participants in the first event back in 2009. “Wentzel had an adventurous spirit and enjoyed AfricanX to the fullest so much so that she could not wait to compete again in 2010,” explains AfricanX Trailrun. Unfortunately she was knocked down by a car during a morning run and passed away.

“The Sanet Wentzel Spirit Award was introduced in memory of this fallen athlete. Today the award honours AfricanX entrants who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face.”

Nominations, together with a short motivation, can be sent to

Anele Mnukwa and Francois Groenewald lead the pack at last year’s AfricanX Trailrun. Photo: Tobias Ginsberg.

Last year Anele Mnukwa, a petrol attendant from Grabouw, won the award. He had several hurdles to overcome to be able to take part in the trail run, the first of which was the entry fee. Big Box Containers heard of his dream of taking part and offered him a complimentary team entry – this was two weeks before the start of the event, and Mnukwa and team mate Francois Groenewald immediately started training.

The next was a leg injury: while running, he fell and the injury became infected. With time so short, the next training session was scheduled four days later.

They learned, however, that Mnukwa was attacked by seven men who stole his shoes and watch, but he wasn’t injured.

Despite all this Mnukwa and Groenewald still finished AfricanX – and finished in the overall 10th position in the men’s category.

“Winning the Sanet Wentzel Award was the best part of AfricanX,” says Mnukwa. “I felt like a champion.

“I am happy to say that my leg injury has heeled nicely and that my training is going well. I am training six times a week, mostly on the road with some jeep track in between. I’m averaging around 120km a week and Francois and I try to run together at least three times a week.”

“It’s an honour to know that Anele has confidence in me as a partner,” says Groenewald. “It meant the world to me when he won the Sanet Wentzel Award. He is used to podium finishes, but before AfricanX he had never won an award that praised him as a person.”

This year’s AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS takes places 27-29 April. The three routes vary between 22km and 34km each day and have been planned so that runners have the opportunity to tackle a different scenic route on each one. Participants compete in teams of two (male/female/mixed).