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TRAIL Mail #42: Friday 30 October 2020

Otter African Trail Run fever!
Find your personal challenge.
Meg and Rob at Golden Trail Champs.
Win! Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant.

     In this issue

  1. From the Team. Otter Trail app. Find direction with training. Run at Everton.
  2. Photo of the week. Sunrise Nature's Valley beach recce.
  3. News. Meg and Rob at Golden Trail Champs. New 13 Peaks women's record.
  4. Funny. The left and the right knee, or the good and the bad knee...
  5. Trail Poll.  Do you run trail for the peace or the adrenaline?

  6. Calendar. Shorter options at K-Way Skyrun and Sani Stagger.
  7. Gear. Wide photochromic lenses in Julbo Aerospeed Martin Fourcade.
  8. Competition. Two pairs of Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant trail shoes up for grabs.
  9. TRAIL digital. Read issue 37 on multiple devices. Easy signup via our site.

Can you feel the butterflies?

Last year Deon and I switched places: he was office-bound and I got to cover (and run) the Otter African Trail Run! This year we have switched back the the status quo, and he completed his ninth Otter (some of which were doubles as a sweep). Weather was drizzly at the Retto Challenge yesterday, though nothing could dampen the gees. Respect to every one of you who crossed the Bloukrans and made it to Storms River. Be sure to download the Otter app to follow the action for the Run tomorrow.

If you're not quite ready to dive back into racing, focus on training and personal challenges. In his How and Why article in TRAIL 37, coach Sean Tait describes how to find direction in your training, regardless if there's a lack of racing on your horizon. He even provides 15 challenges you can use to inspire a personal goal.

"We naturally enjoy what we are good at and tend to hate the things we are bad at. So if you are forcing yourself outside of your comfort zone to improve as a runner, well done, but make sure that you are still enjoying your training.

"You can still focus on improving your form without doing drills all week. Maybe commit to doing 15 minutes of drill work before each run?"


Explore Everton Conservancy, KZN.
All Durbanites know that the place to tackle stairs and singletrack that mimic the Otter Trail is Kloof Gorge. But did you know that there are trails extending upriver from Krantzkloof Nature Reserve? Find out what's waiting at the end of the Longshadow Trail in TRAIL 37's 100% Pure Singletrack venue features

“Follow the red arrow markings down the Molweni River valley on exhilarating sandy and rocky trails beneath massive trees, listening to wild birds. (For extra adventure, take a right turn across the river bed, ascend the ridge and then drop back down via a ladder and ropes.)”

Now you know where to explore and get rid of your Otter FOMO...

Happy weekend!

Heloise Hunter, TRAIL editor


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.

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.

Thanks for sharing your photos on Monday's Trail Trophy Facebook thread.

In our favourite this week, Riaan van der Sandt recces the beach section at the start of the Otter African Trail Run RETTO route. "He wanted to measure the distance on the beach," says his wife Thea-Mari, who shared the photo on our post.

This 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 telling stories? 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.

photo Meg Mackenzie at the Azores Trail Run prologue, by Jordi Saragossa.

Meg Mack and Robbie Rorich in Azores

While Otter fever grips South Africa, Megan Mackenzie and Robert Rorich are racing the Golden Trail Championship at the Azores Trail Run.

On Wednesday they ran the prologue to decide which pack they will be racing in, and they are racing the second of the four-day stage race today. The event spans 113km with some intimidatingly technical singletrack, and 6,050m of vertical gain. Keep up with the action on Salomon SA's Instagram page.

New 13 Peaks women's record

On 23 October, Amri Williamson finished the 13 Peaks Challenge in 21 hours and 51 minutes, a new women's one-day record! Her time is just four minutes quicker than the previous leader, Karoline Hanks.

Earlier in the month on 13 October, Matty Healy set a new men's one-day record of 15 hours and 32 minutes. This is the second-fastest time on the route, behind Ryan Sandes' "impossible" 13 hours 41 minute run on 19 August.
New 4 Mountains Challenge

It's not just Cape Town that has ultra-distance FKTs. Khuliso Mulaudzi has established the 4 Mountains Challenge in Hartebeespoort. It covers 50km, accumulating 1,100m of ascent, hitting the summits of Lookout, Poffader, Snakebite, and the Magaliesberg. 

Get in touch with Khuliso to be sent the GPX file and join the challenge.

Be a part of the Rhino Peak Challenge

The Rhino Peak Challenge, should have happened on World Rhino Day, 22 September, but lockdown rules made it impossible at the time. The RPC will happen on 12 December and you can volunteer to be a part of it!

Apply to be one of the 36 athletes to summit Rhino Peak in the Southern Drakenseberg, and pledge to raise R10,000 for rhino, crane, and vulture conservation. 

Email the organisers telling them why you’d like to part of RPC2020.

Embracing the mountain life

You know Nicolette Griffioen as a speedy trail runner, veterinarian, and TRAIL cover athlete. In 2021 she is taking a break from being a vet, and joining her partner (and fellow inov-8 athlete) Pierre Jordaan in mountain guiding and coaching. They launched their Mountain Abandon website this week, and you should check it out.

Good luck to Nicolette for her Retto Run tomorrow!

Be sure to read Pierre's article in TRAIL 37: Choose a Line on page 174.


K-Way SkyRun. Sat 14 November (EC)
38km, 65km, 100km. Wartrail Country Club, Lady Grey. For experienced mountain runners. Self-navigated event in Witteberg range. Start 4am.

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

Bad knees have been known to switch sides, and to gang up on you...

So which is it? Tell us in the comments of the Facebook post!

Why do you run trails?

Do you run trails for peace or for adrenaline? React to our Facebook post to have your say.

Trail running events find their stride

Our calendar for the end of 2020 is full of races for you to choose from. Find them on our month ahead web calendar, or in the TRAIL 37 calendar, covering events from October into the new year.

Perhaps the mountains are calling and the K-Way SkyRun is on your list... If a lack of training puts the 65km and 100km out of reach, remember the 38km option: self-navigated and hardcore in its own right.

If you had hopes to run the epic Sani Stagger full or half marathon later in November, note that this year the race is a little different. Uncertainty about the border post into Lesotho means that the 2020 offering is the Sani Stumble: a 20km or 30km jaunt up and down Sani Pass! The 21km and 38km Stagger Trail are sold out.

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 that info to us. Listing in our month ahead web calendar and the magazine's long-term calendar is FREE.

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.

Two readers will win a pair each. To enter, visit the competition page and remember to keep an eye out on social media to gain extra points.

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.


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