Team Big Box melts hearts at AfricanX

Team Big Box melts hearts at AfricanX

“Let Nature Give You A Run For Your Money”

 Grabouw locals, Francois Groenewald and Anele Mnukwa won the hearts of trail runners the weekend of 17 – 19 March 2017 when they toed the line to partake in the Western Cape’s premier three day stage trail run, the Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.

Running for Team Big Box, Groenewald and Mnukwa were informed of their entry a mere two weeks prior to the event.

“I’ve had my heart set on running AfricanX with Anele since 2011,” says Groenewald.  “Unfortunately we have not been able to cover the entry fee as Anele is a petrol attendant by trade.  I mentioned our situation to one of the event organisers the weekend of the XTERRA Grabouw.  To my surprise I received a phone call the very next day inviting us to run in the colours of Big Box Containers.  I was speechless.  With only two weeks left to train, we started immediately.”

“Sadly our first training session threw us a curve ball,” continues Groenewald.  “While running the XTERRA route in Grabouw on the Monday, Anele fell, seriously injuring his leg.  Although the injury became infected, we scheduled our second training session for the Friday, but Anele did not show up.  I later learned that on his way to our meeting point he was attacked by seven men who stole his shoes and watch.  We’re just thankful that he walked away unscathed.  Needless to say we knew that our dream of racing AfricanX would not come to fruition this year.  Our new goal was just to finish each stage.”

“When we arrived at race pack collection on Thursday, Big Box had a surprise waiting for us.  Instead of sleeping in tents like the rest of the entrants, there was a fully furnished Big Box container with our names on it.  Our AfricanX experience generated mixed emotions.  Not being able to compete on our usual level due to my partner’s injury meant that we had to postpone any ambitions for a podium finish, but as mere finishers we were exposed to a realm of support and sportsmanship like never before.   The support received from Big Box and the event organisers surpassed our highest expectations.”

Seen here:  An excited Anele Mnukwa and Francois Groenewald of Team Big Box in front of their Big Box Container, their luxury accommodation for three days while at the 2017 Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.  Photo Credit:  Tobias Ginsberg

According to Mnukwa, it is the challenge that attracts him to the sport of trail running.  “I really enjoyed the AfricanX Trailrun.  Francois and I run really well together.  Unfortunately this year we couldn’t go as fast as we wanted to due to my injury, but next year we will not hold back.  Sleeping in the Big Box container was very special.   We were really fortunate to be treated to such luxury.  I am grateful for the Sanet Wentzel Award that I won during the Stage Two prize giving. It has motivated me to train harder and really give my all at the 2018 AfricanX Trailrun.”


Seen here:  Francois Groenewald and Anele Mnukwa of Team Big Box in action during Stage Three of the 2017 Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.  Photo Credit:  Tobias Ginsberg

Sanet Wentzel Spirit AwardIntroduced in 2010, one year after AfricanX’s inception, the ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit Award’ was founded in memory of Sanet Wentzel, an AfricanX participant who passed away tragically at the end of 2009 after being knocked down by a car during a morning training run.  The award also honours current runners who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face.  It was with great honour that this trophy was awarded to Anele Mnukwa of Team Big Box.

According to Willie Ward, Director of Big Box Containers, the company is new to the sport of trail running.  “We’ve primarily participated in mountain biking events up until now,” says Ward.  “Becoming involved in an event of this nature has been a dream come true.  We provide logistical support in terms of container offices and stores. We also provide specialized containers for marketing support in the form of our Coffee Bar Container and Water Box.  The teaming up of Francois and Anele is really special because it’s a partnership that is built on a friendship between two individuals who have totally different backgrounds, but share the same passion for running.  We will continue to ‘run’ this road with this very special team and have already offered them a Big Box entry into the 2018 Cell AfricanX Trailrun.”


Seen here:  Francois Groenewald and Anele Mnukwa of Team Big Box cross the finish line one last time after three days of exciting racing at the 2017 Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.  Photo Credit:  Jetline Action Photo

2017 Event Information:   Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS

 A three day stage trail run, the Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS saw teams of two trail running enthusiasts (male/female/mixed) battling it out on a route that varied in distance between 23km – 35km each day.  Participants were granted the ideal opportunity to tackle a different breath-taking scenic route each day, allowing them to enjoy the full beauty of the Overberg.

 Follow us on Face Book:  Stillwater Trail Running / Big Box Containers

Follow us on Twitter:       @runtheafricanx

For further information on Big Box Containers visit  For additional information on the Cell C AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS visit, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email

Issued by:                        NEWSPORT MEDIA

On behalf of:                  STILLWATER SPORTS

For further information, please contact Jacky McClean on 083 291 9283 or e-mail



About Paiter Botha

Paiter’s running career started when he was 8. Since his early teens he’s been running cross coutry and road races and at the age of 12 ran his first full standard (42,2 km) marathon - the Voet of Africa Marathon - in a time of 3 hours and 20 minutes. At 18 he won the Junior section of the same marathon. Paiter was one of the top senior middle distance, cross coutry and road athletes in the Western Province in the 80’s and 90’s during his school and university careers running 4 min for the mile, 30 min for 10km and 66 min for 21km. Paiter stopped running competitively in 1994 to pursue his profession and later also started a family. Paiter started training seriously again and doing trail running after being invited by one of his old friends in January 2013 to team up with him in the 3 day AfricanX trail run that was held in Grabouw. Although his team mate had to pull out during the second leg of the race due to a calve injury, Paiter went on to finish as the third fastest Veteran in the competition in a combined time of 7 hours, 55 minutes for the three stages. On most weekends you will find Paiter in the mountains around his hometown of Paarl.

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