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TRAIL Mail #11: Friday 26 Mar 2021

It's Addo o'Clock!
13 Peaks & Drak FKTs.
New issue out soon.

     In this issue

  1. From the Team. It's Addo time!
  2. Photo of the week. Nina's sunrise.
  3. News. FKTs in WC and KZN.
  4. Funny. Race director roller coaster.
  5. Trail Poll. Vert, distance, speed, or time?

  6. Calendar. Make your trail dreams come true.
  7. What's Hot. GroundLive GL100 bed earthing sheet.
  8. Competition. Create video, win Saucony pack.
  9. TRAIL digital. A new way to read issue 38.

It's Addo time. And our next issue out in early April.

If you're attending the totally awesome Addo Elephant Trail Run, we hope you enjoy! Deon is attending to assist with their social media, and I will be at home glued to my screens (Facebook, Instagram), watching the runners overcome their mental and physical hurdles to finish 44km, 76km, and 160km of wild trail. 

Check their website right now to see if a friend is on the entry list. And read Deon's lessons from his 2019 attempt at the 100 miler.

When have you overcome your own mental and physical struggles? We'd love to publish your letter about a trail running situation that challenged you, so reply to this mail and tell us about it. It doesn't have to be a novel: 300 words or less will be great!


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 38 is as a downloadable PDF on our new Ko-fi page.

And if you want TRAIL issue 39 to appear on your device as soon as it comes out in the first week of April, subscribe now, including on the Play Store or the App Store.

If you buy a subscription through the App Store for your Apple devices or the Google Play store for Android, subs are forward-based. This means that if you sign up after a new edition is released, your first issue will be the next edition, not the current one.

If you're at Addo, say hi to Deon, and have a spectacular run! And if you're at home like me, enjoy your local trails and take a photo of the action. #TRAILmagPix

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


Addo Elephant Trail Run. Fri 26 – Sun 28 March (EC)
4km, 76km, 160km. Addo Elephant National Park. Mentally and physically challenging, surrounded by wilderness and wildlife. Earn your buckle with the 100 miler. Start 6am. R1,250-R4,250.
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).

You shared your weekend adventures on our Trail Trophy Facebook thread and we loved to see them all!

One of our favourites was of Nina Durieux savouring the rising sun on Little Falls Ridge, Gauteng. She joined several members of #TeamTrail #LoveTrail for a 15km run around Kloofendal, and added some extra mileage across the road. 

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.

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.

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.


Alpine Swift Trails is a high altitude training facility for sportspeople, situated on beautiful Grace Hill Farm, just outside Rhodes Village in the Southern Drakensberg.

Get your venue listed here.

photo Damien Schumann

Quick 13 Peaks before hopping on a plane

As a last hurrah before emigrating, Naomi Brand took on the 13 Peaks Challenge and ran all 100km+ in 17h45min. That's almost 2 hours quicker than previous women's record of19h24min, set by Amri Williamson just weeks ago.

Naomi and her fiancé Xavier Briel are currently in lockdown in New Zealand, walking circles around park benches and doing crossword puzzles, before they can start their lives with the Kiwis.

Durban lads set new Drak Northern Traverse FKT

Last weekend, Andrew Erasmus and Michael Bakes set a new fastest known time (FKT), running 60km from Sentinel parking lot to Cathedral Peak Hotel in 10h6min. 

The Drakensberg Northern Traverse covers the first 60km of the Drakesberg Grand Traverse, most of which is above 3,000m and cris-crosses our border with Lesotho. The previous record of 10h16min was set by Warren Manson and Stijn Laenen in September 2018.

"The attempt was Michael's idea," says Andrew. "I had no idea what I was in for.
"It was part of a training weekend in the build-up to UTD 160 which Michael and I are doing at the end of April. Michael has spent many hours in the mountains over the past few years and recently added his name to the short list of people that have completed the Grand Traverse. He was the perfect team leader, and it was a great weekend."

Awesome foursome complete second leg of Freedom Challenge.

They are either heroes or suckers for punishment: Andy Wesson, Nicky Booyens, Dean Barclay, and Peter Purchase have completed the second leg of the Freedom Challenge: Run to Cradock.

They ran non-stop for eight days and 12 hours, covering 583km, with very limited sleep. You may recall their first attempt, 480km Race2Rhodes, didn't end as planned (read their story in issue 36). They worked out their navigation and communication kinks, and have done something no other runner has yet achieved.

"We went out there to have fun and work through every challenge we faced," says Andy. "We had rain for two nights, and a wet day, night time temperatures were cold. Everyone remained upbeat and focused on our common goal: to finish together."

The Freedom Challenge is a 2,150km traverse of southern Africa from Pietermaritzburg to Wellington, traditionally done by mountain bike, without GPS navigation. 

Don't be surprised when your event organiser looks visibly aged!

Join the conversation on Facebook.

It will depend what you're training for, but we want to know your current priority.

Tell us on Facebook and see the "none of the above" chirps on Twitter.

Get your entries in.

The last weekend of March, and the first few weeks of April, are now listed on our website. Be sure to check out the Highlights tab for 14 super events into October.

Find events to the end of April 2021 in TRAIL issue 38.

If you organise a trail event, send us the details so we can list you. If your event was postponed and you have set a new date, please send that info to us to prevent conflicting information online.

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

GroundLive GL100 Bed Sheet
R1 850 |

Heal while you sleep, relax, and work on a GroundLive grounding product.
The GL100 Bed Sheet is 1m x 2.8m and spans across the bed, tucking in neatly under the mattress. It will remain secure in place while you sleep and ensure you are grounded throughout your rest period.
It comes with a 5m cable that securely clips onto the bed sheet and plugs into a standard South African three-prong wall socket.
Another product is the GLFM (GroundLive Foot Mat, second image) which allows you to benefit from grounding while sitting at your desk or anywhere that you can roll out and plug in this convenient unit. Delivery nationwide.

Sizes 1m x 2.8m / 25cm x 68cm
Colours White (GL100) Black (GLFM)
Stockists 074 170 0780 [email protected]

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 securely through world-leading portal Stripe on our website.

NEW! Do the same with our latest option to purchase issue 38 as a downloadable PDF on our Ko-fi page.

Or get different reading experiences, including offline reading for some, through 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 via our 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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