Hill and teammate Theresa Ralph (Galileo Risk) completed the 230km mountain-bike marathon, which started in Willowmore, in 9:06:01.
Lucie Zelenkova and Laura-Beth Eicker-Harris (Trifactri Chics) were second in the women’s team event (11:35:15).
“It feels so great to have a Trans Baviaans hat-trick. It’s the first event I’ve ever won three times in a row,” said Hill, 25.
She added that she and Ralph, who has won the race five out of five times, raced as hard as they could and completely emptied their tanks.
“It’s no easy task racing your own record-breaking time. I’m still stoked we got so close,” said Hill, who completed last year’s event in 8:58:02.
Hill said the first hour of the race was extremely hard and they were red-lining most of it by sprinting up the climbs, attacking out the saddle and chasing hard to stay in a fast group.
“Then came the hard corrugated dirt road to checkpoint two and what a tough section it was. Theresa and I linked up with masters winners Fred [Buter] and Deon [Kruger] and sat on their wheel while Fred put the hurt on us all, constantly shifting from the left to the right hand side of the road.
“It was chaos, but the challenge of ticking over those kilometres so fast was really exciting.”
They enjoyed a short stop at the checkpoint before they were off again and on their own. The duo then started catching many of the men’s teams on the climbs.
“Because we trained so hard for the Swiss Epic our climbing has really come along nicely.”
Hill said Bergplaas, which was around 147km from Willowmore, was a great stop. They refuelled and rehydrated, switched their lights on and put on some arm-warmers before heading off again.
“The next section was tough. We pushed hard over the rolling climbs and admitted to each other that the legs were really feeling the fatigue at this point.
“My shoulders and back were also aching and my hands were bruised.”
They took an energy gel before reaching the Never-ender, which was within the last quarter of the race, and were determined to make it to the top before sundown.
“I’ve never been more driven in my whole life. I locked into my pace and Theresa sat behind me recovering after pacing me for over 100km.
“I towed us up the Never-ender and rode like the finish was at the top. The masters winners caught us at the summit and we upped the pace again.”
Hill said as soon as the sun set they moved up another gear and “just started crushing it”.
“We could smell the finish and practically ramped the Mini MAC climb. I’ve never gone so fast up there.
“As soon as we crossed the line I saw we were seven minutes short of our record time, but with such tough conditions I was incredibly impressed with us. We were on the same page every single pedal stroke.”
The Cradle Traverse champion said that physically the race pushed one to the absolute limit.
“Your body is just an amazing machine where it has this ability to adapt to the given intensity and simply keep on going. Once you get your head right you really can go forever.
“In saying that, your mental game is the hardest thing to manage with Trans. The periods where your body feels weak your head game likes to slip into a negative spiral of reasons and excuses for why you should slow down or stop.
“You have to fight yourself to keep your head game strong and literally convince yourself that you are tough enough to get through this.”
The highlights for Hill were the views and the hospitality they enjoyed along the way.
“Seeing how high you climb and how drastically the terrain changes is something truly unique to the race. We live in such a beautiful place. My heart truly does belong to the South African soil.
“There is also so much ‘gees’ at this race, from spectators to fellow racers.”
Next up for Hill is the three-day Magoeba Trek that she will race alongside Rory Button in the mixed category.
“Theresa will unfortunately be visiting family over that weekend so I thought it would be nice to do something slightly different to mix things up.
“After that, Theresa and I will race Cape Pioneer. We’re very excited to give that one a good go. Our motivation is really high right now. Onwards and upwards.”