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TRAIL Mail #27: Friday 27 August 2021
Sent to 9,565 readers

Read TRAIL 40 free (limited time).
Go the Saffas in Chamonix!
Win Black Diamond worth R5,600.

     In this issue

  1. Trail Talk. Read TRAIL 40 for free.
  2. News. UTMB. Otter Community Runs.
  3. Competition. Win Black Diamond.
  4. Races. Upcoming events.
  5. Gear. X-Trail Jacket & Agile Hoodie.
  6. TRAIL 40. Turning trail hills into your best friend.


Read TRAIL 40 free.

If you haven't read issue 40 yet, you've missed out on some serious trail inspiration! For a limited time, you can read the Issuu version for free, courtesy of our sponsors Brooks, First Ascent, and Salomon.

Choose the paid versions to read the full version of the magazine offline, and to access it indefinitely.

Holiday runs.

Do you have favourite trails you run during the December break? Are they good enough to share with readers in the next issue of TRAIL? If they are, tell others about them on our Facebook post, or hit reply and tell me. Sharing our trails with others is caring, and busy trails are safer than quiet ones.

It seems that no-one goes to Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West Province, or Northern Cape on holiday? Please prove me wrong.

Enjoy the rest of this newsletter, which I hope inspires you for a fantastic cold front trail running weekend. Dress warm. Pack a dry bag. And remember to share your trail adventures on our Monday Facebook post.

Happy trails!

Deon Braun
TRAIL founder


Otter Community Runs.

The last two FREE Otter Community Runs are in Cape Town and Knysna tomorrow.

Saturday 28 August
• Cape Town
hosted by Landie and Christiaan Greyling at Franschhoek Cellar.
• The Garden Route hosted by race directors (and the brothers behind the Otter), Mark and John Collins at Fisherman’s Trail, Pezula in Knysna.

Several sponsor prizes, plus everyone who attends will be entered into the grand lucky draw for the R5,000 EasyEquities RA account donated by Emperor Asset Management, the presenting sponsor of the Otter African Trail Run.

Sign up via the entry portal to secure your FREE ticket.
Saffas in Chamonix.

It's Ultra-trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB®) week and trail runners from nearly every nation are in Chamonix. The CCC® starts in less than an hour, the 100 mile UTMB® starts in just over eight hours, and the other races are mostly finished. You can search a list for Saffa entries.

I thought Stu McConnachie's Instagram post summed up perfectly what many will have experienced on their trail journey:

"I set my stall on @utmbmontblanc this year, in fact it’s been sitting under the surface for many years. Partly I wasn’t ready and partly I didn’t feel I was worthy. But perhaps that slow cook is what brings the extra meaning and flavour to a race which will no doubt live with me until I’m part of this earth and not on it.

"The build-up has been monumental, I’ve loved the stress of it, the uncertainty which has driven my desire even more than usual.

"Uncertainty is still here as race day looms. I’ve felt terrible, wracked with self doubt, weak legs, runs where I feel weak and utterly exhausted before I’ve started moving."

Good luck to Stu who is doing the UTMB® with several other SA runners, including Ryan Sandes. Check out the #UTMB hashtag posts on Instagram and follow the action on the race website.

Unfortunately, a Czech runner had a fatal accident in the TDS race on Wednesday. Condolences to their family and friends.


Win R5,600 product in the second of four Black Diamond giveways!

Two Black Diamond trail products worth R5,600 are up for grabs.

Both products are worn by BD pro runner Joe Grant above:

The Deploy Wind Shell is the world’s lightest wind shell at a ridiculous 48 grams. It's built to withstand harsh winds on your mountain adventures. Retail R2,799.

The Distance 4 Hydration Vest is designed for mountain missions at a fast clip. It has a four-litre carrying capacity and includes two 500ml Soft Flasks. Retail R2,799.

You can only win if you ENTER...

Once you've done that, cross your fingers, pat yourself on the back and say out loud "I'm a winner!". Because you are.



Otter African Trail Run Challenge. Wed 6 – Thu 7 October (EC)
5km/42km. Nature’s Valley. Run the classic route west to east from Stormsriver Mouth to Nature’s Valley with 2,600m of ascent, 11 hour cut-off.

Otter African Trail Run Race. Fri 8 – Sat 9 October (EC)
5km/42km. Nature’s Valley. Run the classic route west to east from Stormsriver Mouth to Nature’s Valley with 2,600m of ascent, 9 hour cut-off.

Dassie Trail Runs. Sat 9 October (EC)
6km, 10km. Nature’s Valley. Float over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds and test yourself up steep climbs. Start 8:30am. R240/R280.

Harrismith Mountain Trail. Sat 16 October (FS)
15km, 30km. The 98th edition of SA's oldest trail race. Technical, scenic climb to summit Platberg and descend. Start 8am. R200/400.

Great Zuurberg Trail Run. Thu 28 – Sun 31 October (EC)
21km/25km/20km. Run through remote sections of the Addo Elephant National Park and the Zuurberg mountains. R4,000-R14,800. Start 8am.

North Coast Ultra. Sat 6 November (KZN)
10km, 30km, 60km. Blythdale. Beautiful coastal trail with indigenous forests and steep rocky gorges. Start 6am. R550/R900/R1,500.

Drinkwaterskloof Trail Run – Mountain Challenge. Sat 13 November (WC)
23km/12km. Mont Blois Wine Estate, Robertson. Spectacular singletrack, mountain streams and views. Start 7am. R850/R550.


First Ascent Men’s X-Trail Jacket

Run cool, dry and protected in light rain conditions with this lightweight jacket. Its underarm ventilation maximises your body’s breathability when your body’s temperature starts to rise, while the volume control hood provides full range of movement and keeps out the rain.

Sizes S-XXL
Colours Yellow Submarine, Blue
Stockists, Sportsmans Warehouse

Salomon Agile FZ Hoodie Women

With reinforced, water-repellent fabric on the torso and more breathable materials elsewhere, the Agile FZ Hoodie is a smart training jacket designed for functionality and good looks.

Colour Night Sky/White/A0
Sizes XS-XL
Stockists Concept Stores,

6. ISSUE 40

What's in the new issue?

Get an insider’s view into the crazy 200km adventure that resulted in a new Malbok being crowned on a 200km stretch of the R355 dirt road in June.

Turn hills into your secret weapon. Benefit from Coach Neville's years of running experience to turn hills into better times and more power.

Discover new gear from 30 South, Brooks, First Ascent, Rock Rabbit Sports, Salomon, and more.

Be inspired by cover athlete Jo Keppler’s story of how running played a major part in her battle against substance addiction.

Then head on over to the training section to start using hill workouts more effectively, with advice from coach Neville Beeton gleaned from coaches Arthur Lydiard, Percy Cerutty, and modern-day Kenyan runners.

Inspired to take on a race? Then check out our calendar until the end of October to challenge every trail ability.

Read TRAIL 40 on any device to grow your trail running knowledge. We've got you covered with multiple options.

I hope you enjoy the 280 pages of issue 40.

Create an account quickly, and pay securely through world-leading portal Stripe on our website.

Or get different reading experiences, including offline reading for some, through Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Ko-fi, Magzter, and Zinio.

Miss previous issues of TRAIL? You can read all 39 back issues on the Zinio platform. More recent back issues are available on our website, and via our TRAIL apps for Android and Apple.



Michelle Chowles says "Issue 40 looks great.  It's very easy on the eye, is clean and uncluttered, and very visual."

Craig Ferreira says "I really enjoy the magazine which is very informative and has great articles."

Michelle Walton says “I always looked forward to purchasing TRAIL, but was sceptical about enjoying the digital version. Finally took the plunge 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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