Browsing all articles in Trail Running
Sep
15

Trailrunning web sites

Are you always looking for information on local and international trail running events?
How about information on shoes, headlamps, hydration packs and other gear in general?
Here’s a number of web sites that I use often and which may be of help to you.
Have another that I did not list? Please comment below and I’ll update the list.

Two great motivators too….

Excited-to-be-heading-up-to-the-OtterTrailRun-tomorrow-...-Adventure-GoodTimes-TrailRunning-Run4Rhin

sean conway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.active.com/running/trail-running

http://wildrunner.ning.com/

http://outpostrunning.co.za/

http://www.runningthecape.com/

http://runtrail.co.za/

http://www.time-to-run.co.za/trail/

http://talkfeed.co.za/blog/

http://trailrunner.co.za/

http://ryansandes.com/blog

http://www.seanconway.com/

http://trailmag.co.za/

http://www.trailrunning.co.za/

Jul
14

Totalsports Knysna Xterra feedback

xt 1I arrived in Knysna on Sunday afternoon, 5 July and was surprised how dry and pleasant the weather was. On Monday I took part in the ASWD cross country league, the Featherbed 15km trail run on Tuesday and the Knysna Marathon Club’s 10 km street run on Wednesday. Throughout this time there had been a few drops here and there and some cooler weather but really nothing like I have experienced in Knysna before.

That changed when the rain came down hard on Wednesday evening and again for a short while on Thursday morning. What was this going to do to the single track trail run sections as well as the mountain bike trail out at Pezula, was all I could think.

Like most other trail runners and mountain bikers ( I guess) I dont mind riding or running in or through water and mud. I can handle running and riding while it rains too. It is having to start an event in the rain that ain’t really that much fun.

Well, how blessed we were with excellent riding and running weather on the day. Cool, at times overcast with a few drops here and there but no rain when the event commenced and no rain throughout my time out there doing the full Xterra.

This was my 4th event at Pezula and every time I have such fun and always feel that it is over too soon. The registration on the day, goodie bag, start area, coffee station, transition area, track out there and  overall vibe was one of great excitement and enjoyment.

The first 3km trail run always gets a bit crowded at the first turn from the concrete road onto the single track, causing a huge bottleneck with no choice but to walk (unless of course you are in the very front!)

Knowing this from previous years I took it easy, aware that there would be plenty of other opportunities to catch up ( should I indeed wish to do so.)

The transition from run to bike went smoothly and it was great to be back on a bike again ( have not done much of that lately).

xt 2

Sure, there was mud! It was however not as much as I had experienced in previous events and it was above all, rideable! Once again the ride was finished before I was ready to end it. Fun all the way.

The last leg, the 7km trail run, is the best part of the lot. It starts with a nice slow ( for me) and steep uphill on the concrete road to the top where it joins the entrance to the Pezula estate. A fast downhill section to a welcome water table awaits before you join a muddy single track after another section of concrete path. The ultimate fun and way too short section is what I refer to as the canopy section. Ultimate trail running through trees on a very narrow single track over roots and dodging low hanging branches. Give me a whole day of that, please!

Back to the concrete track for the last 2km or so and I was home! A nice medal, big smiles and a cup of REHIDRAT Sport awaited me at the finish. All and all, a great experience.

xterra partyYet, it was not the end. All full Xterra participants were invited to a Hawaiian after party on Thursday evening at Cruise Cafe, Knysna. Windhoek light sponsored every one with 2 beers and tasty food was served throughout the evening. All on the house.

The big announcement of the evening was the fact that Fedhealth will be the lead sponsor of Xterra come 2016.

xterra party 2I even walked away with one mighty powerful headlamp courtesy of Extreme Lights as one of the lucky draw prizes of the evening.

xl

Mar
26

Put Your Best Foot Forward at the Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge & Trail Run: 18 May 2014

I love doing mountain bike events. I also love doing trail runs. Well, here’s an opportunity for lovers of both to participate at an event.

Already a favourite with mountain bikers, the 40km Husqvarna Classic Mid-Illovo MTB Challenge boasts what many have called ‘the best single track of any single day event’. Starting from the Mid-Illovo Club, it traverses two of KwaZulu-Natal’s most picturesque game reserves – the Gwahumbe Game & Spa and iNsingizi Game & Spa. This event takes place on 18 May 2014.

For less experienced riders and family and friends, there’s also the 18km Gwahumbe Family Experience and the 10km i-Cycle Insurance Fun Ride.

Those tackling the 8km and 18km iNsingizi trail runs will be also be taking on plenty of rough and ready terrain.

Get your entries in early by logging on to www.roag.co.za or contacting ROAG on info@roag.co.za / 086 100 ROAG/7624. The first 500 online entrants will receive a cap and goodie bag.

Entries close Wednesday, 15 May at midnight but late entries will be accepted on the day.

Entry Fees:

40km Husqvarna Classic: R140

18km Gwahumbe Family Experience: R120

10km i-Cycle Insurance Fun Ride: R60

18km iNsingizi Trail Run: R 90

8km iNsingizi Trail Run: R70

So, now my challenge: do I ride or run?

See some pics form the 2013 event.

Winner Mens 18km Trail Run Gareth Harrington 2Winner 40km MTB Eszter Erdelyi 2Winner 40km MTB Andrew Hill 2

Oct
1

BCA Mates Trail Challenge: 28 September 2013

Mates2013-0656

On Saturday 28 September I took part in the Blaauwberg Conservation Area trail challenge as organized by the Mates Trail running club.

It was cold and there were signs of rain when I arrived at the start at about 06h20.

The 15km started at 07h00 and the 8km about 15minutes later. I was in two minds about wearing my longs and rain jacket. I finally decided to just use my compression socks and long top, hoping that the rain will stay away and that I will warm up.

Well, what a great decision that was as I quickly warmed up on the uphill right from the start.

Running along a good dirt road for about 2 km, we hit a right into the sandy paths towards little Blaauwberg.

From there it was downhill in thick sand until we were running north along the fence next to the R27. Though there were grass patches in the sand, it was still a slow run along that section.

At about 9km we hit a 90-degree right, forcing us to literally climb the Blaauwberg hill. It was a very steep climb through low fynbos all the way to the viewing deck at the top. No one was running here and even just keeping a steady walking pace was difficult.

A cold cup of water at the top was followed by a steep single track down. What a pure delight to be able to pick up speed and run on what at that time has turned out to be a beautiful morning.

About 1 km from the start we hit a T-junction where the long route runners had to take a right…yes, up the mountain again.

This time it was the jeep track back to the water point. This was slower than I would’ve liked.

Well, soon it was time for that excellent downhill again and seeing that I now knew the end was in sight, I could give it all I had, and so I did!

All in all a great run and one worth doing.

Aug
20
Aug
2

Knysna Big 5 Challenge 2013

big 5

So, in January I entered for the Big 5 without really knowing how I will cope with 5 events over a an 8 day period during a traditionally cold and wet Oyster Festival in Knysna.

Let me just put it out there right away: It was an awesome experience and I really loved most minutes of it.

 

Event 1: Pick ‘n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour MTB race: 80km, Saturday 29 June

My biggest fear was the MTB event. I’ve heard many stories of 5 to 6hr+ finish times, plenty of mud and stuffed up bikes.

Well, we were very fortunate to have a dry ride. Yes, it was freezing at the start, but there was no rain during the race and the mud was really almost non-existent, from a Knysna-in-the-middle-of-the-winter point of view.

The trail, though mostly jeep track offered a great deal of forest, lots of single track, fantastic scenery and not much uphill worth talking about. I made a point of stopping at every refreshment point and enjoyed the Bar-ones, coke, banana bread and other goodies on offer.

The route was a new one and we looped back to the start without having to cross the N2 as in previous years. This race is a must for any mountain biker.

 

Event 2: Pick ‘n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Cycle Tour Road Race: 80km, Sunday 30 June

road race

About a week before the event I received an email to inform me that the route has been cut short from 100km as planned to 80km due to road works. For me this came as a welcome relief. This was the first time I did the ride towards Wilderness and I did not know what to expect. Though the route profile showed lots of ups and downs, I just could not envisage it having travelled that route by car many, many times.

Once on the road, it quickly became clear that it was a seesaw route. The first major uphill (and biggest hill of the race) starting just about 6km from the start. That climb out, once over the bridge was long and tough. As for the rest, it was a case of trying to stay with a bunch and pacing myself. Though I finished in a faster time than planned, I was still in the bottom half of the finishers.

 

Event 3: 15km Salomon Featherbed trail run: Tuesday 2 July

trail run

Because of the popularity of the event and the limited access to the Featherbed reserve, the race is split in 3 different start times: morning, afternoon, evening. Upon entry, you get to decide which run you wish to enter. Having the opportunity to arrive at a race venue at 12h30 for a race that starts at 13h00, really appealed to me.

From the Cruise Café on the Knysna Lagoon we boarded a flatbed steel cruiser that took us across the Lagoon to the Featherbed Nature Reserve. There we were briefed and eventually started running at about 13h30. The start was on a path along the lagoon followed by a steep “staircase” up the mountain to the top of the Featherbed. The view from there made it all very worth it. A good deal of the trail on top was single track on sandy paths an under the cover of trees. We then ran a short portion of road before once again hitting a single-track trail down the mountain toward the railway track across the lagoon. Running along the track is certainly very interesting and a bit taxing. There is no way to pass anyone and one has to concentrate very well in order not to hurt your ankles (or fall into the lagoon)

This goes on for about 3 km with another 500 m or so after that to the finish at Cruise Café.

The afternoon run had great weather and no rain. Included in the entry fee was a delicious lasagna lunch with a great greek salad.

trail 2

Event 4: Totalsports XTerra Full : Thursday 4 July

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 8.48.51 AMScreen Shot 2013-08-02 at 8.49.02 AM

This was my 3rd Knysna Exterra, so at least I knew what to expect. Well, that excludes the cold weather and mud. Lots of mud!

The first 3 km trail run was quick and fun. Except for the first single track section where there was a huge bottleneck, the rest went smoothly.

At the transition, I strapped on my helmet and exchanged my running shoes for my cycling ones. Here, during the MTB ride (of about 24km) I experienced hectic mud right from the start. Not having any type of mudguard on my bicycle or wearing any glasses, I frequently had to slow down to try and get the grit out of my eyes. The route was great and mostly in the forest on the Pezula side of Knynsa. The last 5 km or so was really muddy and I was sliding from side to side on the jeep track.

Back at the transition area it was off with the helmet and on with the running shoes again. The last 7km trail run also had very muddy sections, lots of single track and an excellent section through a canopy of trees. If, like me, swimming is not your thing, then this really is the Xterra for you!

 

Event 5: Cape Times Knysna Forest half marathon: Saturday 6 July

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 8.47.45 AM

For many years I have heard about the Knysna Forest Marathon. Now I finally had the opportunity to experience it.

Though the half marathon only starts at 08h00, one has to line up for a taxi into the forest from 04h30 onwards.

The night before a friend invited me to join him and 2 others for a comfy Land Cruiser ride, right to the start at 06h00. It turns out that he befriended a member of the event’s TV crew with access to get close to the area. A stroll along a well-lit path in the forest led us to an open patch where fires were warming up 1000’s of cold runners. Pick ‘n Pay had a huge Bedouin tent, serving tea, coffee, hot chocolate, rusks and energy bars. This was a great way to warm up and pass the time while waiting for the half to start, once the full marathon runners had left.

The event is well known for runners donning old warm clothes and then discarding it at the start or along the route. These clothes are then donated to the locals.

The run itself was great and no real tough sections, except for that downhill. Running through the forest (parts of it at least) is a great experience and really something that one should be able to enjoy and not race.

At the 10km mark I realized that the 4 previous events that week were starting to take their toll and that I was not going to meet my own goal time.

Although I had heard a lot about the downhill section through the Simola Estate, I had no idea that a downhill could be that taxing on your legs, knees and feet.

The run ended at the school grounds in sunny weather with clear skies.

 

The Big 5 was a great experience and really worth being on my annual event calendar.

Hanging around in Knysna when you know the bulk of the people are there to compete in some event or another, being able to enjoy cheap oysters all over town and sampling (though it tends to be more than mere sampling) local brews, make for a great 8 days in the winter in the Garden Route.

Road ride and trail run pics courtesy of Magnetic South and Jacques Marais

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan
10

My 2013 calendar: Q1

Yip, its time to plan again. Sure, by this time last year my plan was already sorted. Where-as in 2011 I attempted to do as many events as possible ( 40 in fact) and in 2012 my goal was km driven ( 3062km), this year I am aiming at one substantial event per month. That doesn’t mean that I wont do the small ones or even attempt to do more than one big one a month!

So, here’s my plan as it stands now:

  1. Bay to Bay 30km run. Did that one last week-end and yes, I am still suffering. Being more of a 10km runner and having only ever done 1 half marathon, 30 km is quite something for me. So, that should really be my ONE big event for January 2013.
  2. The Totalsports Challenge, Terra Firma. I did the solo Terra Firma in 2011 & 2012 so decided to try the pair thing this year. I’ll be doing the 13km road run as well as the 9km beach run. My riding partner, Omri Kleynhans will take care of the cycling legs. Good to have him on board. This takes place on Saturday 12 January from Gordon’s Bay to Kleinmond.
  3. Two smaller events for January are the 10km long course trail run at 7pm on 23 January at Constantia and the 49km MTB event in Paarl on 27 January.
  4. In February there are a couple of trail runs and road rides I’ll be participating in. The main event however will be the 3 day Grape EscapeThis MTB event starts in Riebeek Kasteel with Wellington being the race base. Day 1: 75km, Day 2: 60km, Day 3: 70km. It aint the distances or hills I’m worried about but the HEAT! Date: 28 February to 2 March.
  5. In March there’s the good ol’ Argus Cycle Tour. I am not a huge fan and so far have only done 5 in total. It is a good day out, especially if you stop twice for coffee along the way….Date: 10 March.
  6. Then there’s the Two Oceans Half Marathon on 30 March. I hear the biggest challenge is just to get away from the 16,000 strong bundle before one can actually start running.

So, now I am looking for suggestions for the second quarter of 2013. Any suggestions / ideas will be welcomed.

The only other definite for 2013 is the Big 5 at the Oyster Festival, 28 June to 6 July 2013:

  • Pick n Pay Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna MTB race – 80km
  • Pick n Pay Rotary Knysna Weekend Argus Rotary Knysna Road race- 100km
  • Salomon Featherbed Trail Run – Coelacanth – 14km
  • Totalsports XTERRA: Full (3km trail run, 23km MTB, 7km trail run)
  • Pick n Pay Cape Times Knysna Forest Half Marathon – 21 Km

 

 

Oct
18

Looking for a new trail shoe?

Author mtbguy    Category Trail Running     Tags

See some great reviews and videos of the following shoes on RunnersWorld.com:

  • Salomon
  • Karhu
  • Vivobarefoot
  • La Sportiva
  • Saucony
  • Patagonia
  • Asics
  • Brooks
  • Mizuno

Your favourite?

Jul
22

Featherbed Trail Run: 2012

It was Tuesday 10 July in Knysna. The skies were clear, though there was a slight bite in the air.

I was really looking forward to the 2012 Salomon Featherbed Trail Run. For those who are new to this run, its actually 6 runs on one day! Yes, you read right, 6 different runs. A breakfast, lunch and sunset run, each comprising of either a 11 km Seahorse Run or a 15 km Coelacanth run.

So, what makes this event so different you may ask? Well, for starters, you have 2 route options to choose from. That’s already a plus. Then there’s the fact that you run on the Featherbed private nature reserve, not something that you can just access at any time. Even more significant is the fact that you can choose to do the morning, afternoon or evening run.

None of those USP’s ( as they say in sales) really sold me ( even in my second year). No, what does it for me is the 30 minutes cruise from the Cruise Cafe on Knysna’s lagoon across to the start on the Featherbed Nature Reserve. Then of course there is the lunch! ( breakfast or dinner for the other time slots). Sure I’m paying a premimium to run this event. Even so, coming home to a great salad selection and a very generous portion of excellent lasagne, sure makes the effort worth while.

Oh yes, about the run: great weather this year! After having run in the rain last year, I brought longs, long sleeve top, raincoat & a buff. Arriving for my run, I dumped all of the above a opted to run in a short sleeve top and shorts. The sun was out the whole time and the boat trip across was amazing. Arriving on the other side, we were taken half way up the moutain with Unimog’s with trailers. The entire run was fun, exciting and a must on any trailrunner’s calendar.

The rain and storms only hit Knysna 3 days later….

See http://www.magneticsouth.net/ for more.

 

May
22

Helderberg Moutain Run

Author mtbguy    Category Trail Running     Tags

What a great time I had out on the mountain on Sunday, 20 May.

It was time for the annual Helderberg Mountain Run, organized by the Wildrunner crew.

Arriving in a slight mist rain at the Helderberg Reserve in Somerset West, I realized that I had not packed in my rain jacket. Nor had I bought that pair on longs / tights as I promised myself earlier in the week. It was gonna be cold and wet!

Anyway, after having paid my R 120 entry fee and driven for an hour to get there, I was not about to leave without having run.

The tough guys started at 07h00, doing the 24km Helderberg Mountain Challenge Extreme. The 15km runners left a little later and the 10,75km set off at 09h00.

All of us had to go up the mountain, hence the name. It was a trail run after all, so uphills, single track and some climbing was expected. Hearing from a fit friend (15th in the 24km) how he finished in 4h15, I sure was glad I only took on the 10,75 km run.

High up the view was amazing and even though it was cloudy, I still had a view all the way to Rooi Els.

The downhills were very tricky with either moss on the sides of the single track or sections of slippery mud.

By the time I finished it wasn’t quite summer, but there was no rain and even a glimpse of sun.

Having been messed around last year with ill informed marshals I was a bit skeptical of this year’s run. All went well though and I plan to be back in 2013.

Latest tweets

  • Loading tweets...

Recent Posts

Adverts

Categories