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TRAIL Mail #23: Friday 23 July 2021
Sent to 9,571 readers

Durban poison.
Are you over-training?
Yoga for runners.

     In this issue

  1. Trail Talk. Durban poison. Over-training. Yoga.
  2. Your Photos. Winter trail fun.
  3. Funny. You then, you now.
  4. Calendar. Weekend announcement.
  5. Gear. First Ascent, Salomon.
  6. TRAIL 40. What's in the new issue?

Happy Friday

If you ran this morning, RESPECT! The sub-polar front from Antarctica is here, and I swear I saw a penguin in the garden a moment ago...

Durban poison

One place that isn't bemoaning the cold wind from the south is Durban. It's a chilly 25 degrees Celsius here this morning (kidding!) but I can seriously say that no-one is complaining about the clear skies letting out the warmth. Durban's runners are looking up this morning with relief, thinking 'Thank goodness, I can go outside again!'

The past week and a half in the city has been surreal. A chemical factory to the north of the city was targeted in the attacks against civil society, and spewed both highly toxic liquid into the beautiful uMhlanga estuary (all visible life forms there are now dead), and massive plumes of particles into the Durban skies. The collapsed structure prevented the smouldering remains from being cleared until yesterday (based on the info I have). I updated the situation on my Facebook profile on Wednesday.

It's probably safe to say that very few trail runners in Durban have been overtraining (or running much at all, except for midday, when the pollution could escape the temperature inversion).

Our new issue

Issue 40 is out. Have you read it yet? If you enjoyed the bestselling book Born To Run, you'll possibly also connect with Yoga For Sports Performance, written by experienced yogi Jim Harrington.

The irony is that after reading Born To Run you might have thought that yoga couldn't improve your running. Well, Harrington also read it, and as a surfer and coach to world-class sportspeople in several sports, he only found inspiration in disproving that.

Are you being floored by over-training?

Have you been putting in too many hard sessions in response to underlying stress about COVID and the civil unrest? It might be worth checking out the signs of over-training syndrome from Lucy Etherton in our article.

Wishing you happy trails this weekend. I look forward to seeing your trail pic on our Facebook post on Monday.

Deon Braun
TRAIL publisher


Your adventures

You've been revelling on our winter trails lately.

1. Bianca Brent was one of the 3peaks gang jolling in the Outeniqua mountains above George. They really loved it.
2. Also a fortnight ago, Andre Oosthuizen tackled snow on Seweweeks Peak with photographer Zane Schmahl.
3. Last weekend, Phillip Gibb looked into Elephant Eye cave in Tokia for the first time. He liked what he saw.


You then, you now.

Are you a late starter? Hit reply and tell me your story. We may publish it as a letter in our next issue.


Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon. Wed 22 – Sat 25 September (EC)
5km, 8km, 14km, 22km, 44km, 88km, 176km. Rhodes. New 100 miler has over 16,000m vert! Start 5am. R50-R3,800.

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.


Alert Level 4 trail events.

The government's reassessment announcement this weekend will decide the outcome for events for the next few weeks. There are a couple of low-key, limited field, non-race experiences going ahead. Please use the calendar to check with other event websites individually. Our website calendar does show races later in the year, viewable on the Highlights tab.

If you organise a trail event, please provide the details via our online form, so we can list you. If your event details are changing because of Level 4, please also update that new info to eliminate conflicting information online.

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


Biokineticist KwaZulu-Natal / Musgrave, Kloof
Stephan Terblanche has 23 years of experience treating sports injuries. He is trusted by more than 5,600 happy patients.

Graphic design Gauteng / national
Barry Maitland-Stuart designs bespoke event medals and shirts, assists corporate clients with their design needs, and illustrates for TRAIL magazine.


Salomon Bonatti Pro Waterproof Jacket Mens
This pro-quality lightweight men's jacket is built to keep you warm and dry in demanding trail conditions but its classy design is just as much home in any urban setting. You'll stay dry, fresh, and be amazed as its durable lightweight fabric and its fitted hood protect you from cold, wet conditions. It packs into its own chest pocket to easily stow in your hydration pack.
Sizes S–XXL
Colour Night Sky
Stockists Concept Stores,

First Ascent Women's AR-X Run Jacket
The First Ascent AR-X is a high quality wet weather jacket for this winter and many years to come. It is lightweight and fully waterproof, thanks to its sealed seams and 100% Nylon ripstop VapourTex fabric giving a high rating of 15000WP/15000BR to keep you dry in moderate rain conditions.
It's easily packable into its stash pocket for quick on-off adjustability when the weather is unpredictable.
Sizes XS-XXL
Colour Soft Grass/Fair Aqua  
Stockists, Sportsmans Warehouse

6. ISSUE 40

What's in the new issue?

If big mountains and tough conditions fuel your trail fire, you'll love the big and bold Ultra-Trail Drakensberg photo-essay in issue 40, featuring the images of some of South Africa's best endurance sport photographers.

New gear from 30 South, Brooks, First Ascent, Rock Rabbit Sports, Salomon, and more. Our calendar lists 81 events until the end of October to satisfy every trail ability. Let TRAIL 40 help you stay focused and motivated through winter.

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

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.


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 (41), not the current one (40). It's not what we'd like, but that is how their system works.

Solution: Purchase issue 40 first as a standalone issue, and then subscribe to get issues 41 and later separately.

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 graphic, which is awesome."

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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