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TRAIL Mail #4: Friday 29 January 2021

Super Plods Dodge.
That Feeling When: Injury.
Win Saucony Haul Lite packs.
100km record popcorn time.

     In this issue

  1. From the Team. Super Plods Dodge.
  2. Photo of the week. Ryno Griesel versus cyclone.
  3. News.  Jim's 100km record. Naomi returns.
  4. Funny. TFW you're injured and friends are running...
  5. Trail Poll. Do you miss racing?

  6. Calendar. Fingers crossed for February events.
  7. What's New. 30 South Eyewear's Trail RX 10% saving.
  8. Competition. Win Saucony with 2021 Trail Film Awards.
  9. TRAIL digital. Reading issue 38 is easier than ever.

Are we feeling the Viral Super Plods?

Humanity has shared a surreal journey through so many emotions since COVID-19 changed things. Denial, doubt, fear, helplessness, sadness, depression, and anger at governments for being nanny states, or not doing enough, or pilfering public funds.

Runners - you and me - have felt the cabin fever more than most. True, seeing the innovative ways others were able to continue running in lockdown was uplifting.

But now we're back for a second round, a different kind of mental and emotional test: the uncertainty of what the next few months holds for us to function as a tribe, a family, a social unit.

It's draining. Some of us have lost family and close friends. Conspiracy theories aside, the sorrow is real.

It's important to acknowledge those emotions. But it's unhealthy to continue dwelling on them. Life must go on. And we might want to look within to admit how we're connected to this web.

In our own little ways, our embrace of modern lifestyles (supposedly) far removed from the laws of nature, and forget-tomorrow exploitation of the natural world has made the rise and spread of coronavirus easy and the likelihood of future pandemics inevitable.

This emotional state reminds me of how coach Neville Beeton describes the Super Plods in his article in new issue TRAIL 38. Whereas the Super Plods are a mental and physical condition brought about by too much training, many of us are feeling an inverse kind of stress: a sense of subtraction, of loss of time, a loss of opportunity.

But maybe this is precisely when the magic happens. Maybe this is when we get to re-evaluate our running, our life, our meaning... to come out of it with greater focus and direction. Are you? I know I am.

The good news is that we as individuals have the final say. We can make our immediate world healthier and more resilient with lifestyle changes. Notice how many people are now growing home gardens? How there's a huge interest in wellness and health? How people are getting off the couch and realising how much they want to be outside after all? How banks are divesting from fossil fuels, and big food companies are turning away from animal protein and going green?

The shift is happening my friends.

TRAIL magazine is part of this #buildbackbetter revolution. Our decision was to move away from print, and focus on the strengths of digital communication.

And so are you readers. Even those who prefer print are seeing the benefits of digital. Newbie reader Janelle Verster says:

"I am loyal to printed magazines and books based on my dad being a journalist and author. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the experience reading TRAIL on my phone, and if I really like something, I will support it even if it uses a different medium than print."

We've shared some heavy stuff these past months. Now it's time to share hope and a vision for a better world on the other side of this grueling race of another kind.


Wishing you a fantastic Friday, an active weekend, and as always, happy trails!

Deon Braun, TRAIL founder


WildSeries Three Cranes Challenge. Fri 26 – Sun 28 February (KZN) POSTPONED to 8-11 July. 29km/25km/23km, 29km/40km/23km. Bushwillow Park, Karkloof. Scintillating forest trails through the beautiful indigenous Karkloof Conservancy. Start 6am.

Lake Gariep Run. Sat 1 May (EC)
40km, 20km. Driekwartblou Guest House, Gariep Dam. A trail run in the Karoo next to the biggest dam in South Africa. Start 7am. R550/R650.

We enjoyed seeing your summer adventures on our Trail Trophy Facebook thread.

In our favourite for the week, Ryno Griesel tries to outrun tropical storm Eloise in Kaapschehoop, Mpumalanga. His wife Angela captured this dramatic action shot.

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

Prefer telling stories? Write us a letter and receive a pair of Feetures socks

A near miss for 100km WR.

Last weekend, trail and road runner Jim Walmsley set a new American men's 100km record at the Hoka One One Project Carbon X event in Arizona. His 6h09min26s is just 11 seconds short of Japanese runner Tomoe Abe's world record, set in 2000, according to Athletics Weekly. Jim's run averages an astonishing 3:42 per kilometre for 100km. He inflicted that shoulder gash after clipping a course sign at the 3h30 mark.

We were rooting for 2017 Comrades winner Camille Herron in the women's race, but she was forced to drop out at 65km with hip pain. You can find all the results here.

Welcome home and happy birthday.

Ultra runner, artist, and veterinarian Naomi Brand, who graced the cover of TRAIL 24, turns 32 today! She spent a year away from home, joining a veterinary locum in the UK, but now Naomi is home in Cape Town. We wish her a happy birthday and we're happy to have our speedy Saffa back!

Another birthday, and travel in the opposite direction... We celebrate Anouk Baars-Meeuwis' 43rd birthday on Saturday 30 January. You may recognise her as a globe-trotting ultra runner with a passion for fastpacking through the Drakensberg. She lives with her husband and two trail-loving children in Joburg, but the Dutch-Venezuelan plans to return with them to Europe later this year. 

That feeling when you're injured... Been there?

You can react to the Facebook or Twitter post.

The pandemic has sent so many things off-course, not least your racing calendar. Whether you miss the events or you're loving the freedom, let us know in the latest Trail Poll.

Have your say on Facebook or vote on Twitter.

Latest cancellations and postponements.

The whole month of February is now listed on our web calendar. Check which races have been affected by lockdown, and, by getting the magazine, find events to the end of April 2021 in TRAIL issue 38.

If you organise a trail event, 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.


30 South Trail RX >

The Trail RX is an excellent trail running deal because you get three interchangeable lenses which you'll love using. Having a non-polarised mirrored lens, a grey CAT 3 polarised lens, and a clear UV400 lens gives you a lot of flexibility for different conditions.

If you'd like a Transition lens for on-the-fly adaptation to weird weather days, there's also an optional photochromatic lens at just R300 extra.

This glass uses 30 South's ADvX frame, made from a Swiss-engineered, ultra flexible TR90 material. The frames are lightweight, non-slip, non-abrasive, and hypoallergenic. The cutting edge HDo lenses use NASA-developed REVO coatings to ensure high contrast viewing and enhanced clarity.

The wrap-around feature ensures unhindered peripheral vision. They are ballistic-grade shatterproof, hydrophobic, and highly scratch resistant.

Reader exclusive: Buy with coupon code trailmag and save 10% off this model's R850 (or any other 30 South model). Offer valid to midnight 28 February 2021.

You could win one of two Saucony Haul Lite backpacks in the 2021 Trail Film Awards! View the submissions so far.

Read TRAIL 38 on any device. We've got you covered with multiple options. Create an account quickly, and pay safely via Stripe on our website. Or see other options, including Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Magzter, and Zinio.


You can also buy TRAIL 38 through Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Zinio, and Magzter for R59.99.

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 (39), not the current one (38). It's not what we'd like, but that is how their system works.

Solution: Please purchase issue 38 first as a standalone issue, and subscribe to get issues 39 and later separately.

Miss previous issues of TRAIL? You can read all 37 back issues for just R39.99 each on the Zinio platform. More recent back issues are available on our website for R29.99, and the TRAIL apps for Android and Apple for R39.99.

Reader Michelle Walton says “I always looked forward to purchasing TRAIL, but was sceptical about enjoying the digital version. Finally took the plunge (with issue 37) and have enjoyed reading TRAIL in its digital form. Loads of great content and advice! Well done for a great transition to digital.”

Subscribe or buy single issues today.


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