TRAIL Mail #10: Friday 12 Mar 2021
Turning miles into water.
Sweet release of death.
This is incredible.
During my morning session yesterday, I saw something that made me stop and gawk. I stood on my secret hilltop transfixed like I was seeing a giant revolving saucer with little green people descending from it.
Except this was far, far more impressive. I was under its spell for several minutes. It was the sky.
The sunrise over Durban was exceptional. I didn't get a pic but the photo above, which I took in Mauritius a few years ago, pales in comparison.
Then I looked down on the port of Durban and thought about the hundreds and thousands of people who might already be in transit, rushing to their destinations, blind to this marvel. Oblivious to the wonder!
Modern life seems to make it very difficult to comprehend the remarkable miracle that life is. We chase deadlines, get stressed about traffic, about politics, about our personal relationships, about the state of the economy, and worship technology like it could transcend life to a new reality. We forget to savour the moments between all this noise. The moments that ultimately matter.
Nature is unfathomably more complex and marvellous than we'll ever be able to comprehend. You may call the experience divine, God, Pachamama, or any other name. In my view, it's all the one and the same Source.
Trail runners 'get' this connection with Nature better than any of the other endurance fraternities I have been in over the years. So, I'm curious to know: have you experienced a moment of deep connection with Nature (on or off a trail) that hit you like a bolt?
Has trail running brought you closer to Nature?
How? And why do you think this is?
How long have you felt this way?
Hit Reply and tell me. It isn't sent anywhere public, and you can let me know if don't want it published. But you should consider that. Your feet may thank you when you're rewarded with a pair of Feetures socks.
We appreciate you reading this newsletter. Perhaps you've wondered about reading the magazine, but haven't got down to it yet?
You've got more options than ever before.
Our latest and most convenient option to purchase TRAIL 38 is as a downloadable PDF on our new Ko-fi page.
You can also create an account quickly, and pay securely through world-leading portal Stripe to download a PDF on our website. Or get different reading experiences, including offline reading for some, through Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Magzter, and Zinio.
Thank you again for your interest and support. Have a fantastic weekend.
Deon Braun, TRAIL publisher
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. addo.run
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
You shared your weekend adventures on our Trail Trophy Facebook thread and we loved to see them all!
One of our favourites was from Demetrius van Rooyen summiting Mount Formica. It's a peak in the Witsenberg with an elevation of 1,393m, and as you can see, it's a photogenic area!
His 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
Join Mina Guli's valuing water virtual event.
It's World Water Day on 22 March, and water warrior Mina Guli has an invitation for you. Join her and thousands of other runners across the globe for the World Water Run virtual event.
According to Mina's website: "Experts predict that there will be a shortfall of 40% in usable water supplies within the next 10 years.
"In the year of Valuing Water, we want to show the world that we are united in valuing water and our different reasons why, and we want to offer an opportunity to learn about water as a finite resource."
The challenge is to accumulate 40,075km (the circumference of the Earth), walking or running between 16 and 22 March. Sign up here and get your virtual race number to be a part of something bigger.
See it for yourself... Beer-drinking Otter!
Last week, Otter African Trail Run announced their partnership with Devil's Peak Beer Company. This means that Otter 2021 runners will be enjoying a low-alcohol Devil's Peak LITE at the event. Cheers!
We'll be attending our 13th edition and hope to see you there.
Awesome foursome refuse bikes to tackle Freedom Challenge.
Follow Andy Wesson, Nicky Booyens, Dean Barclay, and Peter Purchase on the next leg of their Freedom Challenge: Run to Cradock.
The four of them will run non-stop for eight days, covering 580km. You read about their Race2Rhodes in issue 36.
They start on Tuesday 16 March, and you can watch their dots here, and look out for news here.