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JACQUES MARAIS with contributions by SAs top trail running athletes

Top 100 trail runs & events, including detailed maps & gradient profiles


Foreword by Ryan Sandes....3 Author Introduction & Contributors....4 From the Streets to the Trails by Elana Meyer....6 If the Shoe Fits....8 The Minimalist Movement by Benita de Witt....10

Yoga and Trail Running by Karyn Velleman....12 The Thin Edge of the Wedge by Jen Rorrison....14 The End of the Pasta Party? by Tim Noakes....16 Woman Alone by Kim van Kets....18 Getting Geared....20

TOP 50 EVENTS & TRAILS 4 Peaks Mountain Challenge....22 Addo Elephant Trail Runs....26 African X Trail Run....30 Baviaanskloof Trail Run....34 Berg & Beach Trail Run....38 Braamfontein Spruit....41 Clearwater Trails and Sardine Classic....44 The Cradle Mayhem Three-day Trail Run....46 Cumberland Talbot Trail Run Series....50 Diamond Dash....53 Dryland Traverse....56 Featherbed Trail Run....59 Golden Gate Challenge....62 Goukamma Traverse....65 Grootvadersbosch Trail Run....68 Hedianga Farm....72 The Hobbit 100....74 Hout Bay Trail Challenge....78 The Ilanga Trails....82 Jikeleza....84 Kaapsehoop Trail Run....89 Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon....92 Katberg Sky Trail....96 Laborie Paarl Rock Run....99 Magaliesberg Challenge Trail Run....102 OTHER EVENTS & TRAILS Bastille Day Trail Run....196 Baviaans River Huntly Glen Trails....196 Bokpoort Trails....197 Bontebok National Park....197 Burman Bush....198 Caveman Run....198 Deelfontein Trails....199 Dwarsrivier Conservancy....199 Fish Eagle Trail....200 Fynbos Trail Run....200 George Trail Run....201 Gerickes Point Beach Run....201 Giants Cup Trail Run....202 Grabouw Grapple....202 Hi-Tec Mystic Sable....203 Howick Mountain Trails....203 Iron Crown Trail Run....204 Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve....204 Kings Kloof....205 Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve....205 Kogelberg....206 Kurland Summer Trail Run....206 Marloth Nature Reserve Trail....207 Mateke Trails....207 Merrell Norm-Hudlin Trails....208

Mont-aux-Sources Challenge....106 Montagu Asics X-Treme Trail Run....111 Mountain Splendour Eco-Resort Trails....114 Mountain Warrior....118 Mnweni Marathon....120 The Num-Num Trail Challenge....124 Old Fishermans Challenge....127 Oorlogskloof Mountain Trail Run....130 Otter African Trail Run....134 Outeniqua Traverse....139 Owls Nest Pure Trail....142 Puffer....145 Rhodes Trail Run....148 Robberg Run and Robberg Express....152 Sky Run....156 Southern Cross Three-day Trail Run....161 St Blaize Trail....164 Stanleys Mountain Run....166 Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve....170 Table Mountain Talbot Trail Run Series....173 Table Mountain Challenge....176 Three Cranes Challenge....180 Umdoni Park Challenge....185 uMngeni River Run Ultra....188 Waterval Boven Emgwenya Trails....192

Merrell Xtreme....208 Misty Valley Lodge Trails....209 Mole Rat Night Trail Run....209 Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve....210 Nagle Dam Trail Run....210 Nguni Classic MTB and Trail Run....211 Oak Valley Run....211 Port Elizabeth Beach Run....212 Rietvlei Nature Reserve....212 Rooikat Trail....213 Salt River Trail....213 Save the Rhino Two-day Trail Run....214 Seven Dams Conservancy....214 Silvermine Nature Reserve....215 Sunshine Coast Trail Run....215 Tokai Mast Challenge....216 Tsitsikamma Storms River....216 Two Oceans Trail Run....217 Virginia Farm Trails....217 Voortrekker Monument....218 Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens....218 Welvanpas....219 Wolfberg Cracks....219 Wolwedans Off-road Run....220 Wreck Challenge Trail Run....220 List of Events....222


Trail & Event

AfricanX Trail Run

32, 33 and 25km (90km)

Province Western Cape Region Overberg Closest town Kleinmond Trail destination Overstrand and Kogelberg Biosphere Series Stand-alone event Contributed by Stillwater Sports and Dawid Visser


THE DESTINATION The small coastal town of Kleinmond is situated inside a UNESCOdeclared biosphere about 90km east of Cape Town between Bettys Bay and Hermanus. The 100 000ha UNESCO-registered Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet. The Cape Fold Mountains and highland valleys are home to over 1 880 different species of plants, of which 77 species occur nowhere else on earth but in Kogelberg! THE TERRAIN The three stages of the AfricanX Trail Run include all the various terrain options that the Overstrand and Kogelberg Biosphere have to offer. The terrain varies from beach running to spectacular hidden singletrack high in the Kogelberg Mountains, interlinked with a variety of running surfaces including jeep tracks and even the odd stretch of hard-pack roads, as well as a short section of district road to satisfy those with more of a road-running orientation.

DIRECTIONS Follow the N2 from Cape Town past Somerset West and over Sir Lowrys Pass. Just after descending the Houw Hoek Pass, take the R43/Hermanus/Kleinmond turn-off. Continue towards Hermanus, past the Shell Garage until you see the Kleinmond turn-off to your right. Turn right past Arabella and continue towards Kleinmond. As you approach Kleinmond (GPS 342015.7S, 190226.2E), you will see the Race Village on your left-hand side. ACCOMMODATION When booking your race you can choose to organise your own accommodation or opt for the race organizers tented accommodation that will then be included in your race cost. As you start and end in Kleinmond every day, your accommodation, meals and entertainment will remain in the same place for the duration of the race. If you choose to enter the race without accommodation, it is recommended to contact the Hangklip-Kleinmond Tourism Bureau at 028 271 5657 or visit


THE TRAIL With the exception

of Cape Nature Trails, the two beach sections and the boardwalk and beach path in Kleinmond, the ProNutro AfricanX Trail Run routes go through privately owned property and noncommercialised MTO areas which are closed to the public for everyday running. The first days 32km starts in Bettys Bay, and after a beach run to warm up the legs, the route begins with the infamous Harold Porter climb! The trail takes runners into the mountains where a mind-blowing 6km singletrack awaits. This trail will include technical uphill sections, fynbos and even a canopy run through an indigenous forest in the Cape Nature Area before descending back down towards Kleinmond. The stage will be concluded by a 7km footpath along the ocean which leads runners back to the finish at the Kleinmond Day Camp. Day two was traditionally the marathon day of the AfricanX and, although the distance has been reduced to 33km, it remains the longest stage of the event. Runners should prepare themselves for the toughest climbs of the event through the beautiful MTO forest areas of the region. The day begins on Honingklip farm and follows the route through the MTO forest area and onto the hiking and horse trails at Arabella. After the descent, runners will return along the 6km beach run to the finish. Day three starts at Arabella and this 25km stage will be the easiest of the race. Runners will enjoy magnificent views of the ocean, valley and the town of Kleinmond. After the mountain running, the trail starts heading down towards Kleinmond via one of the largest protea farms in the country, offering the runners a special experience.

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Grading Intermediate to difficult Duration Three days Configuration Each stage will follow a cloverleaf format point to point Start point Bettys Bay GPS co-ordinates (Race Village) 342015.7S, 190226.2E Terrain Singletrack and jeep tracks, beaches and district roads Map Access requirements Most sections of the route are restricted to the race only; if you plan to scout the area, obtain your permits when you enter these areas Trail markings Temporary markings only red arrow on yellow background Facilities Exact locations of support stations are announced prior to stages Cell reception Yes Beware Slippery and loose rocks; heat and snakes during summer; sloping shores and strong currents during high tide on the beach run Time 0f year Middle of March for the race; all year round for leisure running Local info website / Kleinmond Tourism, Tel (+27 28) 271 5657 More info website / Tel (+27 86) 138 3591

THE EVENT The ProNutro AfricanX Trail

Run presented by New Balance is a threeday stage race. Taking place in and around the picturesque town of Kleinmond, teamwork forms an essential part of this trail run, as participants will have to rely on each others experience and expertise in order to complete the route. Teams of two will be seen battling it out on a route varying from 25km to 35km each day. The three routes have been planned in such a way that the participants will have the opportunity to tackle a different breathtaking scenic route each day, allowing them to enjoy the full diversity of the world-renowned Kogelberg Biosphere. This trail run stage race will follow a cloverleaf format, which means that runners will finish in Kleinmond on each of the three days. Entries are limited to 300 teams (600 runners). Entries open 12 months prior to the event and close two weeks before the event (thats if the entry limit has not yet been met).


Event name ProNutro AfricanX Trail Run Venue Kleinmond Main Beach Day Camp Distance from Cape Town 80km Time of year Mid-March Cut-offs 17:00 each day, but will only be enforced in case of extreme weather or health conditions Enter as Teams of two Distances 32, 33 and 25km (90km over three days) Average duration 2.5 hours for the leaders, up to 7 hours for the back markers each day Entry info


356 Elevation (m) 300 250 200 150 100 50 1 356 Elevation (m) 300 250 200 150 100 50 1









17.5 15 Distance (km)




27.5 25


end 32






437 375 Elevation (m) 300 225


17.5 15 Distance (km)





end 33

150 start 75 5 2.5 5 7.5 10 12.5 Distance (km) 15 17.5 20 22.5 end 25

To view maps and gradient profiles go to


START DAY 3 Race Village START DAY 1 Harold Porter Botanical Gardens

Arabella Country Estate

END DAY 1, 2 & 3


Burman Bush


Province KwaZulu-Natal Region Durban & Surrounds Closest town Durban Trail destination Burman Bush Nature Reserve Contributed by Deon Braun THE DESTINATION Burman Bush Nature Reserve preserves 55ha of indigenous forest and coastal bush along the final stretch of the uMngeni River. THE TRAIL Burman Bush Nature Reserve features three undulating hiking trails of around 2km. However,


as these tracks criss-cross continuously, you can easily get lost in this jungle maze. The reserve forms a roughly circular enclave and can be as tough or gentle as you choose. This little reserve may be just short of a kilometre in diameter, but the exploration and training opportunities are nonetheless impressive.

Grading Intermediate Duration 12hrs Configuration Various trail options Start point Burman Bush car park and Visitor Centre GPS co-ordinates 294903.3S, 310102.0E Terrain Singletrack, stairs and roots Map Display board and map from Visitor Centre Access requirements Entrance free Trail markings Coloured concrete blocks Facilities Toilets, braai facilities and picnic area Cell reception 100% of route Beware Snakes, overhanging branches and treacherous roots Time 0f year Early mornings in summer, any time in winter Local info / Mr Dlamini on Tel (+27 31) 312 4466 More info / Tel (+27 31) 322 6026

Caveman Run


Province Western Cape Region Garden Route Closest town Jongensfontein Trail destination Blombos Coastal Area near Stilbaai Contributed by Jan Heenop THE DESTINATION Situated on the Goukou River estuary, Stilbaai is one of the most popular resorts in the Hessequa, having the advantage of both river and ocean. Jongensfontein is only 10km from Stilbaai. THE TRAIL The trail runs from Odendaalspunt to Jongensfontein. This terrain is 30% open to the public as most of it forms part of an informal trail for fishermen along the coastline between Vermaaklik-

Jongensfontein heid, Jongensfontein and Stilbaai. The first 10km of the Caveman Run will take you over rocky terrain. Athletes will start behind the first sand dunes of Odendaalspunt in the Cape Nature Reserve. From there they will run down to the coast and follow the waterline for the next 10km up to Pletzen Bay, going through the beautiful Blombos Arch. Most of the day is singletrack running, boulder-hopping over sandstone rocks, scrambling and beach running.

Grading Intermediate to difficult Duration 36hrs Configuration Point to point Start point Jongensfontein Caravan Park GPS co-ordinates 342533.3S, 212018.7E (Jongensfontein); 342435.3S, 211227.5E (Odendaalspunt) Terrain Coasteering and singletrack running, including boulder-hopping Map Available from the 247 Adventure website Access requirements Entrance fee payable for the race Trail markings 247 Adventure arrows Facilities All amenities in village, none en route Cell reception Minimal coverage along remote sections of trail Beware of the Caveman Time 0f year Second weekend in August for race; avoid summer and winter extremes Local info More info / Tel (+27 82) 455 2875


Deelfontein Trails
Province Free State Region Northern Free State Closest town Parys Trail destination Vredefort Dome Contributed by Gerhard Benade



THE DESTINATION Deelfontein lies in the heart of the Vredefort Dome on the southern side of the Vaal River, cradled between two of the concentric ridges typical of the Dome area. It is here, on 170ha of bergland covered with near-pristine bushveld, that you will find more than 50km of mountain-bike trails as well as a network of hiking trails to explore to your hearts content.
Grading Easy to difficult Duration 30mins to 10hrs Configuration A network of trails Start point Deelfontein Farm GPS co-ordinates 265637.8S, 271616.5E Terrain Jeep track, singletrack, farm and gravel roads Map Supplied by host ( Access requirements Free for farm guests; fee payable for day visitors

THE TRAILS Deelfontein is set within a network of more than 60km of hiking trails criss-crossing the Dome Conservancy. For trail runners this is an unexplored paradise as you will find that at least 15 trails can be accessed from Deelfontein, with distances varying from 1km to 16km.

Trail markings Signposts, paint markings and tree markings Facilities Runners are expected to be self-sustaining; there are change rooms, showers and braai facilities on site Cell reception Highly localised Beware Steep sections, loose gravel and lightning on ridges Time 0f year Open all year; beautiful winter days for running Local info and More info / Tel (+27 83) 280 9784

Dwarsrivier Conservancy
Province Western Cape Region West Coast Closest town Clanwilliam Trail destination Cederberg Wilderness Area Contributed by Jacques Marais THE DESTINATION Sanddrif, tucked away on the lush banks of the Dwars River at the foot of the Wolfberg, is the ideal base for nature lovers and the adventurous runner, with mile upon mile of unexplored hiking trails and gravel roads.



THE TRAIL Start out at the Sanddrif Camp Site and head off towards Cederberg Private Cellars along either the MTB Route or the gravel road. Both the Maltese Cross and Lots Wife trails are well signposted and eminently runnable. If you want gentle, opt for Lots Wife, or take on gravity along the steep climb to the imposing Maltese Cross.

Grading Intermediate Duration 14hrs Configuration Return or circular Start point Sanddrif Camp Site GPS co-ordinates 323014.2S, 191527.0E (Dwarsrivier Sanddrif) Terrain Hiking trail singletrack, loose stones, scrambling Map At Dwarsrivier office Access requirements Permits at Dwarsrivier office Trail markings SanParks signs on hiking trails Facilities Shop, wine sales, wood, ablutions, camp site, selfcatering cottages Cell reception Poor coverage Beware Snakes, dehydration in summer, snow in winter Time 0f year Avoid summer and winter extremes Local info More info / Tel (+27 27) 482 2825



You cant beat South African trails when it comes to the variety of terrain, landscapes, plants, animal life and weather conditions. This guide provides comprehensive coverage of 100 trails, with information on training, gear, footwear, nutrition and events, as well as insider tips from some of South Africas leading trail running experts.


Stunning photographs

Experts view

Information on how to get there, the terrain and accommodation

Description of each trail

Event information

Fast facts panel

Detailed maps

Gradient profiles

I S B N 978-1-77026-369-7

781770 263697


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