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Dylan’s a triple SA champ

Dylan Fenthum is a triple South African champion. He won the gold medals in the long distance, middle distance and sprint races at the South African Orienteering championships last weekend.

Orienteering, he explains, is cross country with a map and those races were 8km, 4km and 2,5km long, respectively, so he’s a fit young man, and a clever one too.

“You run with a map and a compass, and you are given straight line directions to the control points,” he explains. “Then it’s up to you to plot the quickest way of getting there, using the map and your wits. And you have to run there faster than anyone else.”

The SA Champs are a club event, but orienteering is an official sport at Jeppe. The school competes in the local interschool league where, because it’s still quite new, we didn’t do all that well. “There are about 20 boys running for the school and we have an international orienteer – Jeppe old boy Carl Holmes – as our coach, so it can only get better,” he said.

Dylan is also the school’s cross country captain, he has half colours for academics and has been named a prefect for 2019, so he is an all-rounder. And, in his spare time, he participates in Adventure Racing which is, he says, regarded as the toughest sport in the world.

“It’s a sort of off-road triathlon: running, cycling and kayaking, with some mountaineering thrown in,” he explains.

The school orienteering pre-season training starts next term and it’s going to be a big year for him. They are going to choose a national team to go to the Junior World Orienteering Championships next season and as a triple SA Champ he believes he has a realistic chance of making it.