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TRAIL Mail #5: Friday 11 March 2022
Sent to 9,740 readers

Addo, Elephants, and Trails.
Barkley 1: Runners 0.
Covid Events Survey.

Quiver trees, snakes, ancient rocks, and a blazing desert sun make running in Namaqualand a remarkable experience. Albert Burger is a member of a running group from Springbok called !āxa /āni gû, which means venomous snakes in the Nama language. Read about their run in our Instagram post.

     In this issue

  1. Trail Talk. Covid events survey. Addo.
  2. Races. Updated online calendar.
  3. Gear. Brooks, First Ascent, Salomon.
  4. News. Barkley Marathons eats everyone.
  5. TRAIL 42. Discover the power of chaya.


Hey friends. I hope you're having a good week.

Next weekend. If you're attending next weekend's Addo Elephant Trail Run, I hope to catch up with you there. It's going to be a blast. To get you up to speed if you're running your first Addo, consider reading these insights from the 2017 edition, with insights from runners who've blazed their trail before you. And this article with my tips for the 100 miler, which I completed in 2019. It is one of the best running experiences I've ever had. Priceless.

Covid survey. Last issue I asked whether you'd like to share your thoughts on entering trail events while Covid restrictions are still in force. Thanks for the many replies I received. Here is the survey.

News. This week was the ever-merciless Barkley Marathons, and Kilian Jornet made a surprise announcement about a change of watch sponsor.

Have you read the new issue yet?
Issue 42 is available on all platforms including Zinio. It has 206 pages of trail running goodness to make your life and your running even better. I hope you enjoy.

Share this newsletter
Please forward this newsletter to your friends who enjoy trail running. They can easily sign up from any issue using the 'Sign up' link at the top of this email.

Your photos.

Share your trail adventure pics to this week's Facebook post

Some of your adventures included:

  • Maricia Le Roux did a birthday run with friends for birthday boy Christo du Toit. They took their pic in a dried-up riverbed in the Hex River Valley

  • Waheeb Slarmie and Wisahl Ganief ran around signal hill with Lions Head watching us all the way. We spotted a caracal, but he was too fast for our camera. It was part of our prep for AfricanX 2022.

  • Terance Winson and trailblazer friends took in the forests in the George area, getting as much final Addo preparation as they could.

Have a brilliant day and weekend.

I'll be back in a fortnight unless the sky falls on my head. Happy trails!

Deon Braun
TRAIL founder


Not a trail run, but one trail runners will love. Greenpop's Reforest Fest 2022 celebrates the age of restoration.

The annual restoration celebration brings people together to plant thousands of trees while enjoying a celebration like no other.

Help restore degraded land, attend workshops, talks & classes
Dance under the stars with local live music & DJs
Enjoy delicious food, arts & theatre.

All whilst having epic experiences and getting active for the environment!

Dates: 1-3 April
Location: Bodhi Khaya Nature Retreat, Overberg

Get your ticket

PROMOTED EVENTS 2022 Get listed

SPAR Gondwana Moon Valley Marathon. Sat 19 Mar (NAM)
42km, 21km, 10km. Swakopmund. Explore the fascinating Moon Valley.

Ultra-Trail Drakensberg. Fri 22 – Sun 24 April (KZN)
21km, 30km, 62km, 100km, 160km. Premier Resort Sani Pass. Southern Drakensberg grandeur. SA's toughest 100 miler.

Lake Gariep Run. Sat 30 April 2022 (EC)
10km, 20km, 40km, 60km. Driekwartblou Guest House. Experience the splendour of the Karoo, and see the biggest dam in SA.

Klipspringer Challenge. Sat 30 April – Sun 1 May (NC)
21km/18km, 32km/33km. Augrabies Falls National Park. Stark Kalahari desert landscapes, granite canyons, leg-sapping sand.

Langkloof Trail Run. Fri 27 – Sun 29 May 2022 (WC)
25km/22km/16km. Louvain Guest Farm, George. Beautiful trails in the Outeniqua Mountains. Start 9am. R4,000+.

George Mountain Ultra Trail. Sat 18 Jun (WC)
10km, 25km, 42km, 60km, 100km. Cradock Pass. Top Garden Route mountain running through stunning indigenous forests and fynbos.

Southern Cross 3-day Trail Run (SOX). Sat 6 – Mon 8 August 2022 (WC)
10km/10km/10km, 23km/17km/16km, 29km/30km/16km. Garden Route NP. Pristine Outeniqua trails: mountains, forest, coast.




Get the best trail running products.
Gear in issue 42 is from Brooks, First Ascent, Rock Rabbit, Salomon, and The North Face.

If you missed it last issue, check out six popular Salomon products, with comments from some of their SA users.

First Ascent Ladies Pulse Tee. Lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking Quik-wic fabric enhances ventilation, helping you stay dry and cool. Staying dry is the secret to staying comfortable - no matter whether it is hot or cold.
Ideal as a base layer or worn as a single garment.
Reflective trims increase your visibilty in urban areas, and the shaped hem for extra coverage is a hit with users.
R329 |


The Barkley Marathons ate its young (and even its not so young) again this week in the bramble-infested hills of Tennessee, USA. Started at a random time on the morning of 8 March, it delivered the race's default result: there were no finishers. The conditions were atrocious – freezing rain, high winds, foggy, and muddy. Greig Hamilton was the last runner left moving. He got onto loop four (of six) but wasn't able to complete it. Courtney Dauwalter and Harvey Lewis dropped out on loop two, 47km in. Alexis Berg reported: "A police car pulled up to Frozen Head at 5:00 this morning. The sheriff had been called for a 'woman dressed as an Indian' who was scaring the village of Petros. It was Karel Sabbe, after getting lost during his 4th loop… and so the Barkley 2022 will not have a finisher."

If you haven't seen the 2015 documentary about Barkley, subtitled The Race That Eats Its Young, do yourself a favour and see it. It's one of the best running films made. Here's the Youtube trailer and the full-length film to download or stream.

Venture Sandals creator Terrick Hubbard has been research and developing his running/trekking/hiking sandals for a decade, starting from nothing in his Joburg garage and working towards creating a running sandal that is robust and comfortable. "It's his side hustle so he does it more for the love of it, but people are starting to notice them and the orders are coming in steadily," says his brother Gareth.

It was a huge surprise this week to have Kilian Jornet announce that he has left Suunto and joined Coros.


5. ISSUE 42

What's in the new issue?

Why should you be growing and eating chaya?

Health, longevity, never being sick, more time to run and live... What's not to love? Read about the green Mexican champion in TRAIL 42.


Get TRAIL 42 now.

There are several ways to read TRAIL digitally.

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

Or enjoy different reading experiences, including offline reading for some, through App Store, Google Play, Magzter, and Zinio*.

Miss previous issues of TRAIL? You can read all 41 previous issues on the Zinio platform*, at just R39.99 each – issue 41 is R59.99. More recent back issues are available on our website, and via our TRAIL apps for Android and Apple.

*New issue still pending on Zinio.


Terance Winson says "I get my issue via Magzter. Brilliant issue once again."

Michelle Walton confesses that she always looked forward to purchasing TRAIL, but was sceptical about enjoying the digital version. "I 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.”

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

Buy individual issues today.


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