Clarens MTN Marathon Determination

After a long wait at the airport, two hours sleep and a terrible fall, Jennie Stenerhag still got back up and finished the Clarens MTN Marathon series race in 4th place!

“When I crossed the finish line the medics came running, it must have looked really bad! I got cleaned up and checked and as far as they could see, nothing was broken. I was really lucky, it could have been a lot worse! Oh, and by the way, the bike is all fine!”

“Clarens is at 1880 meters above sea level and during the race we went up to 2100m! I always struggle with altitude and nothing was different today… It was freezing cold at the start but it warmed up quickly when we got going and came out in the sun. I felt good from the beginning and we were a group of 4 that got away, Robyn, Theresa, Candice and I. I struggled a bit on the hill to the Queen of the mountain, it was one of those days when you fight for everything. I dropped back a bit but came back on a downhill, but on the next hill after 27km I lost them and never got back, it was as if I just could not breath in the thin air. We came to a long stretch of open roads and I could see them for another 20km but it was impossible to catch up on my own. The last 20km was really hard with lots of climbing and single tracks, it would have been lots of fun if I was not so tired!

With 7km to go I come around a bend and I saw a photographer, I looked at him and then down only to see a narrow bridge, it cannot have been much wider than 0,5m! I come in at a funny angle and hesitated to go over, I clicked out and put my foot down, the only thing was that there was nothing to put my foot on. I fell down and in the fall I realised just how high it is, the bridge was a ditch over 2 meters deep! I landed on my face and heard that awful sound when bone touches the ground hard, I am sure that my nose is broken! – I thought. I got up and saw how the blood was pouring down. The photographer came to help me to climb back on the bike as I was determined to carry on! As I keep riding I was checking to see that I have all my teeth left as I was spitting blood. Me, my bike, shoes, everything was stained! When I got on the bike again I saw Yolandi Du Toit coming, so I raced hard at the end to keep her behind and I managed to keep the 4th spot.”

Read more about Jennie’s race here.