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TRAIL Mail #39: Friday 09 October 2020

Run slow to run fast(er).
We're hiring: advertising manager.
Heaven & Hell: just two 88km finishers.
Enter to win Saucony Peregrine 10.

     In this issue

  1. From the Team. The beauty of slow. We're hiring. Exploring Kleinmond's singletrack.
  2. Photo of the week. Hopping rivers with the crew at Klipriviersberg.
  3. News. Just two Heaven & Hell finishers. Wild Coast Crossing. Golden Segment.
  4. Funny. Run trails... or become lunch (back in 200,000BC)!
  5. Trail Poll.  Are you excited to run trails in the summer heat?

  6. Calendar. Level 1 Lockdown trails are happy trails.
  7. Gear. Saucony Haul Lite Hydration Pack running hydration (2L + 1L).
  8. Competition. Win one of two pairs! Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant trail shoes.
  9. TRAIL digital. Read issue 37 on multiple devices. Easy signup, via our site.

Happy Friday!

Rain is predicted for the coastal eastern board this weekend, which is ideal prep for Otter African Trail Run at the end of the month. See you there? It's the 12th year of this remarkable race, and as their media partner, we've been privileged to attend all of them. If you haven't entered yet, don't hesitate. This is a life-affirming experience you will look back on with wonder and awe. The Challenge is sold out, so get a Race entry while you can. Also consider the shorter Dassie and RockRat events if 42km of some of the planet's most rugged coastal terrain is beyond you at this stage.

If you feel daunted by the distances some runners are able to cover, consider this: practice improves, and perfect practice makes perfect. They've taken a long time to get there, so be patient. Nearly 40 years of running and competing in other endurance sports has taught me that the slow, steady approach is the smart one. That's why coach Neville Beeton's article The Beauty of Slow in issue 37 makes perfect sense. Check it out.

If you're in the Western Cape, or planning to holiday in the Overberg soon, you have to run at Kleinmond. I was blessed to run there a few years ago, and it is just such a special place. See issue 37 for Wouter van den Heever's article on this singletrack heaven.

Issue 37 is selling well on eight platforms. Have you bought your digital copy yet? Here's a step-by-step guide to creating a profile and reading your mag on any device if you want to buy it direct from us. It's just R49.99 (less than R17 a month for three months). Three cups of coffee will NOT give you the kick that improving your trail running experience will!

Last, we are looking for an advertising manager (based anywhere) to work with us to take the magazine to new heights. There is huge potential to be tapped. If you’ve previously sold magazine or media advertising, love trail running, the outdoors, and protecting our planet's wild places, please contact me. I am working on a new international side project related to the latter which has big potential. Just hit reply.

Until next week, happy trails!

Deon Braun, TRAIL publisher


Drinkwaterskloof Trail Run. Sat 14 – Sun 15 November (WC)
18.5km/17.5km. Mont Blois Wine Estate, Robertson. Spectacular singletrack, mountain streams and views, on exclusive private property. Start 7am. R2,900.

We loved seeing your photos on Monday's Trail Trophy Facebook thread.

In our favourite this week, Thabo Manyane shared a photo of his Mzansi Trail Seekers crew enjoying a river crossing at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve. He and nine friends ran 30km on the rugged trail network, following the Red Route.

Their photo may appear in a future TRAIL issue – and so could yours.

Share your #TrailTrophies on Facebook and Twitter at any time. Use that hashtag and #trailmagpix on Instagram and Twitter when you tag us. Or email us. Be sure to tell us a bit about your run for the caption. (Please note: event photographer images aren't used.)

Prefer words? Write a letter instead. Your opinions, life-changing experiences, happy and sad memories, and reflections on our sport are waiting to be shared with the community. If your letter is published, you'll receive a pair of run-specific Feetures socks.

Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon gains finishers

TRAIL 31 cover athlete Hylton Dunn is the founder of this monster event. This year he added an 88km to the challenge (with plans for a 184km in 2021). Christiaan Greyling and Nicolette Griffioen were the only two 88km finishers, out of the eight starters. Both completed the course within the 25-hour cutoff to claim R25,000 each. Christiaan and Nicolette are also TRAIL magazine cover athletes, maintaining their sporting excellence years later.

You may remember that Hylton's 44km run (with 3,760m vertical gain) had only two finishers in the past: he and Greg McQueen. Two runners were added to the list on 23 September: Tonic Masilo and Suzette von Broembsen. Charles Pettit and Michael Hodgson also finished the 44km, but unfortunately outside the 12-hour cutoff. 

Rhys traverses Wild Coast for charity

Rhys Foster, Cobus Gerber, Philip le Roux, and Andrew Jansen Van Rensburg completed their 311km run from Great Kei to Port Edward on Tuesday! Their Wild Coast Crossing was to raise funds and awareness for the Pillars Of Hope charity. An incredible feat for a great cause.

Golden Segment final

The Golden Segment winners have some big decisions to make. Johardt van Heerden and Toni McCann have topped the leaderboard, finishing the 30km in 2h38min and 3h17min respectively. This qualifies them for a Golden Ticket to the Azores Trail Run at the end of October! 

Do you know what else is at the end of October? The Otter African Trail Run, aka The Grail of Trail, which Toni and Johardt both won in 2019. They were each two minutes away from breaking the four hour and 4:30 barrier with a R100,000 reward. It's a tough choice, and we are rooting for them no matter what!

Toni is reflecting on the choice: "Big decisions to make but all I can do is enjoy the process and be grateful for the opportunity to race - whether it’s local or overseas."

Trish smashes world record

Durbanite Trish Eksteen (42) has run 21km every day for 100 days, setting a new world record. The record was 74 days in a row, but her goal was 100. She ran to bring awareness to mental health struggles, especially in the face of the pandemic. Read more here.

(No, not trail half marathons, but since Trish is such a successful trail runner, we thought you might want to hear about it.)


Otter African Trail Run (Challenge). Wed 28 – Thu 29 October (EC). 5km/42km. Storms River. Run the reverse route west to east from Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth with 2,600m of ascent, 11 hour cut-off.

Otter African Trail Run (Race). Fri 30 & Sat 31 October (EC)
5km/42km. Storms River. Run the Otter Trail, but in reverse from west to east (Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth) with 2,600m of ascent. Cut-off extended by an hour to nine hours.

Dassie and RockRat Trail Runs. Sat 31 October (EC)
6km, 10km. Storms River. Over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds and up steep climbs. Start 8:30am. R200/R240.

KnysnaX Trail Series. Fri 8 – Sun 10 January (WC)
9km/7km, 15km/11km, 26km/21km. Pezula Resort. Spectacular trails at inaugural event.

Running is life!

React on the Facebook or Twitter post.

Looking forward to hot summer runs?

Or do you prefer the trails in cooler weather?

React to our Facebook post or vote in the Twitter poll.

Certain events with restricted fields are able to take place in level 1. If you organise a trail event, please send us the details. If your event was postponed and you have set a new date, please send it to us. Listing in our month ahead web calendar and the magazine's long-term calendar is FREE.

Look out for trail events later in the year when you scroll to the bottom of our web calendar


Otter African Trail Run (run). Fri 30 & Sat 31 October (EC)
Otter African Trail Run. 5km/42km. Storms River. Run the reverse route west to east from Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth with 2,600m of ascent. Cut-off extended to 9 hours!

Dassie and RockRat Trail Runs. Sat 31 October (EC)
6km, 10km. Storms River. Over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds and up steep climbs. Start 8:30am. R200/R240.

KnysnaX Trail Series. Fri 8 – Sun 10 January (WC)
9km/7km, 15km/11km, 26km/21km. Pezula Resort. Spectacular trails at inaugural event.

COMPETITION. The new Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant is a limited edition colourway of the American brand's most popular trail shoe. Its recommended retail is R2,400.

One of two pairs could be yours. But you have to be in it to win it, right?!

To enter, visit the competition page and remember to keep an eye out on social media to gain extra points.

Congrats to Janelle Verster and Steve Lancaster who have won R3,000 in First Ascent product of their choice. We appreciate all entrants' feedback in our survey, and are implementing most of your suggestions. Win-win.

TRAIL 37 is our second all-digital issue, now available direct from our website for the lowest price anywhere. There's no need to download an app, so it's quick and simple. We hope you enjoy its 240 pages of trail running inspiration, with a complete redesign to improve readability on both small and large screens.

You can also buy TRAIL 37 through Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Zinio, and Magzter.

*If you buy through the App Store or Google Play, note that subscriptions are forward-based. This means that if you sign up today, your first issue will be the next edition, not the current one. It's not what we'd like, but that is how their system works.

Solution: Please purchase issue 37 first as a standalone issue, and subscribe to get issues 38 and later separately.

Miss previous issues of TRAIL? You can read all our back issues for the low price of R29.99 each, on our website, the Zinio website or through the TRAIL app for Android or Apple.

If you want print back copies of issues 1 to 35, please email us for pricing.


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