Fortune favours the fit in day one of the Toyota 4x4 challenge

SA celebs partner readers in a show of wits and strength in adventure test

22 October 2019 - 10:26
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The first #Fortuner4x4challenge was a sprint to pick up a stick to avoid elimination.
The first #Fortuner4x4challenge was a sprint to pick up a stick to avoid elimination.
Image: Supplied

Toyota SA invited four South African heroes from their respective sports to take part in the annual Fortuner 4x4 Challenge. Partnered with members of the public, who entered through an online competition, contestants duke it out in a gruelling set of physical and mental activities for honours and tidy winnings, including the grand prize of a Toyota Fortuner.

For this year's edition of the two-day fitness trial, currently taking place until Wednesday, October 23, Toyota SA invited dancing choreographer and fitness influencer Nkateko Dinwiddy, who is partnered with Jacob Maboja; SA Olympic rower Kirsten McDonald, who is teamed up with Trevor Lagerwey; motorsport driver and Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Giniel de Villiers, accompanied by Michelle Meyer; and Dieter Pey, the successful candidate who entered the competition through Tiso Blackstar Group publications, is paired with Cheetahs player and Springbok flanker Oupa Mahoje.  

A Springbok in the water: Dieter Pey and Oupa Mohoje charge the waters for the rowing challenge.
A Springbok in the water: Dieter Pey and Oupa Mohoje charge the waters for the rowing challenge.
Image: Supplied

Waterbabies show off their paddle power

Day one kicked off in the late afternoon, while the cold seawater lapped the beach sands of the spectacular Knysna lagoon. Here, the four contestants (without their celebrity partners for this one) took part in a simple but testing elimination sprint challenge. Clearly, it was merely a pleasant warm-up to the proceedings for lanky Trevor Lagerway, who galloped away from everyone to clinch the first win of the competition, without breaking a sweat.

#Fortuner4x4Challenege contestants Trevor Lagerwey and Kirsten McDonald rowed their hearts out to accumulate points.
#Fortuner4x4Challenege contestants Trevor Lagerwey and Kirsten McDonald rowed their hearts out to accumulate points.
Image: Supplied

Then it was off to the warm confines of a nearby guest house for the spectators, as the competitors and their famous partners headed into the cold water to see who had the paddle power for tandem kayaking.

The combination of Lagerwey’s outward athleticism shown earlier and McDonald’s ratified rowing prowess proved too sublime, as they splashed away from the docks like seasoned ducks, leaving the rest of the competition in their wake to clinch the second points haul for the team.

Close race to the finish

A scrumptious dinner was followed by the third challenge of the day, a 5km night-time time-trial run on the merciless grounds of Pezula Hotel and Resort. If this wasn’t a daunting enough undertaking, the heavens opened up at the start line, and on their return, the competitors needed to correctly identify 15 African countries on a map spread out on the bonnets of their dedicated Toyota Fortuners.

The contestants' continental knowledge was also tested.
The contestants' continental knowledge was also tested.
Image: Supplied

The result of this race was a dead heat between Lagerwey and Meyer — and what the race showed was that the fit Meyer measured up as a suitable partner for speed demon De Villiers.

With day one concluded, contestants can look forward to much more punishing tasks with the dawn of day two. For the spectators, though, the excitement machine has been turned on to see if the early dominance of #TrevKir will stampede onwards or if any of the other teams will stop them in their tracks.

Visit the Toyota website for more information.

This article was paid for by Toyota.


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