TRAIL Mail #13: Friday 16 Apr 2021
Mountain rescue must-know.
New issue out now.
Keep getting this email.
TRAIL 39 is out!
I have a pretty exciting announcement: The latest issue is live on every platform! Each issue takes months of work to put together, so seeing it complete, and sharing it with all of you is so gratifying.
After years of exercise being a chore, I feel robbed if I don’t get my daily sweat. All along, I thought you were exaggerating. I thought the idea of being addicted to exercise and needing it to feel normal was hyperbole. I thought you said those things to make the rest of us feel like slackers. And now here, I am, hooked.
To those of you who still dread lacing up, who run for many reasons but not for the sake of running: it gets easier. And I want you to keep taking walk breaks and selfies, because you have to build your relationship with running from a place of love, not punishment.
And after a bad run, where you counted every painful step, take a break. You don’t have to run every single day to be a runner. Coach Neville has a host of alternatives on page 158 of TRAIL 39.
And stop comparing yourself to other runners, especially if they are built differently. Coach Meg Mackenzie explains how your hormones and body composition will affect your training on page 170 of TRAIL 39.
Don’t let adverse conditions stop you from getting that sweat in, because consistency is key. If it’s a super windy day, coach Sean Tait explains how to use it to your advantage when training on page 182 of TRAIL 39.
Is the trail steep and gnarly? Toni McCann, Thabang Madiba, Rachel Manyathi, and AJ Calitz offer top tips for technical descending on page 190 of TRAIL 39.
You’re strong! And the stronger you get, the easier running will become.
We appreciate you reading this newsletter. Perhaps you've wondered about reading the magazine, but haven't got down to it yet? Our latest option to purchase TRAIL 39 is as a downloadable PDF on our Ko-fi page.
We know you want to get our newsletter without your ISP or mail reader blocking it or moving it into your Junk folder, so please consider adding [email protected] to your address book. Happy reading!
Heloise Hunter, TRAIL editor
Ultra-Trail Drakensberg. Fri 23 – Sun 25 April (KZN)
21km, 30km, 62km, 100km, 160km. Premier Resort Sani Pass. Iconic races in the Southern Drakensberg, including the gruelling 100 miler, which takes in the highest point in southern Africa (3,482m). ultratraildrakensberg.com
Big Backyard Ultra #2. Sat 24 – Sun 25 April WC
6,706m laps. Welbedacht Wine Estate. Run a lap every hour on the hour until you can’t anymore. Spectacular course with breath-taking views. Start 7am. R875. wannado.co.za/bigbackyardultra
You shared your weekend adventures on our Trail Trophy Facebook thread and we loved to see them all!
One of our favourites was of Chantell Moss feeling on top of the world after summiting Lion's Head. It's a real treat for the Gauteng-based trail runner!
Her photo may appear in a future TRAIL issue – and so could yours. Send us your best action photo, and tell us about the run. (Not professional event images, it needs to be a photo by you or a friend.)
Prefer telling stories? Write us a letter and receive a pair of Feetures socks
Klipspringer Challenge. Sat 1 May – Sun 2 May (NC)
21km/18km, 32km/33km. Augrabies Falls National Park. Grueling desert run through remote Kalahari landscapes: granite canyons, Orange River, otherworldly moonscapes, unforgiving desert sand. klipspringerchallenge.co.za
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. lakegarieprun.co.za
WILDSERIES Three Cranes Challenge. Thu 8 – Sun 11 July (KZN)
29km/25km/23km, 29km/40km/23km. Bushwillow Park, Karkloof. Scintillating forest trails through the beautiful indigenous Karkloof Conservancy. Start 6am. wildseries.co.za
Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon. Wed 22 – Sat 25 September (EC)
5km, 8km, 14km, 22km, 44km, 88km, 176km. Rhodes. Pure, brutal wilderness mountain run in Southern Drakensberg. New 100 miler has over 16,000m vert! Start 5am. R50-R3,800. alpineswifttrails.co.za
photo Dylan Labuschagne
MCSA to the rescue.
On 28 March, a woman slipped while jumping into a deep pool in a Magaliesberg kloof. She hit a rock on her way down, and a 12-hour rescue operation ensued, including the threat of flashfloods and a hive of bees getting defensive.
Read about the rescue in a Facebook post here.
"This incident serves as a reminder that even the smaller mountains around Gauteng need to be treated with respect as they harbour many of the hazards that are more often associated with more remote and rugged, larger mountains. Hikers and climbers [and trail runners], therefore, need to be suitably prepared and equipped."
No adventure is 100% safe, and when calamity strikes in a remote area, you need to know who to call. The Mountain Club of South Africa has a vast network of volunteers, each assigned to a mountain area nearby.
Read our interviews with MCSA members Brent Jennings, Kate Quin, and Paul Roth for excellent mountain safety tips, and hair-raising rescue stories.
Find the MCSA emergency number for the area you'll be exploring here, and be sure to save it on your charged cellphone ahead of the adventure.