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Trail Running in the Eastern Cape


Trail Running in South Africa

If there is a country that’s made for trail running it is South Africa. The green corridors of the cities are ideal for a quick lunchtime breath of fresh air.

Those with a sense of adventure can lace up their trail shoes and take off along the magnificent coastline, over rolling hills and majestic mountain ranges and through dense indigenous forests, rugged deserts and game-filled plains. More competitive runners will find a plethora of well-organised events ranging from short fun runs to multi-day epics.

Trail running enjoys a huge following throughout southern Africa and an increasing number of the popular multi-day hiking trails including the Wild Coast trail, Num-Num trail, Boland trail, Tsitsikamma trail and Fynbos trail welcome runners.

Logistical support in the form of a bag porterage service allows you to make a holiday of it, and once a year a privileged few can take up the challenge of completing the famous five-day Otter hiking trail along the spectacular Tsitsikamma coastline in a day, running the spine of the Cape Peninsula on the Puffer trail, or traversing Addo Elephant National Park on the Addo 50-miler.

So whether you’re a novice looking for an introduction to this easily accessible sport, planning a family holiday or a seasoned mountain goat searching for the ultimate trail adventure, there is bound to be something for you.

Articles & Blogs

Run Wild

Valda 2:00pm 23 Oct

Words Fiona McIntosh, pics Terence Vrugtman

It’s 06.15 when we disembark the taxis at Maden Dam, pose for a quick photo then shuffle off into the dense forest. We’re running the Hobbit, a 90km trail run that broadly follows the route of the Amatola Hiking Trail. Billed as the toughest trail in South Africa, the mountainous route from Maden Dam to Hogsback takes hikers six days and commands respect. We - and 32 other crazy trail runners- hope to complete the course in two. 

In keeping with the spirit of the event, there’s no fanfare. Although the Hobbit is timed, it’s not a...

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Wildcoast Wildrun 2017

Valda 9:55pm 13 Feb

Pics Mark Sampson

The Wildcoast Wildrun® takes 80 runners on three-day boutique running holiday along South Africa’s Wild Coast, a slice of unfenced coastal paradise. From footprint-free golden beaches along a warm ocean, to rolling grass headlands and delicate coastal forests teeming with life. 

Each year, the event becomes embedded in the hearts of its participants, and the 2017 edition will be no less memorable than previous years. In particular, the perfect weather conditions and competitive jousting at the sharp end set this year apart.

Following a night at Kei...

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Otter Trail Run 2016, Presented by Salomon

Valda 7:06pm 13 Dec

The Otter Trail is one of South Africa’s most pristine and popular 5-day hiking trails, traversing the coast between Storms River and Natures Valley on the Garden Route. Once a year, Magnetic South puts on a bucket list race as South Africa’s elite trail runners welcome a few international counterparts to race this relentlessly technical 42km route in 8 hours or less.

It was another Retto year, the Otter in reverse. On Friday 14 October participants took part in a 4.8km prologue in order to be seeded for the following day’s race. This seeding system enables a staggered start, getting...

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Bruce Arnett Wins Skyrun Presented by Salomon

Valda 9:58pm 10 Dec

Pics Jazz Kuschke

Bruce Arnett won the 2015 Skyrun presented by Salomon over 100 kilometres from Lady Grey to Wartrail Country Club in a time of 13h56m. “I’m happy I can still win after all these years,” commented the veteran of 17 Skyruns after the event. “I was the oldest of the elite runners out there, so I’m well chuffed to be the first one in,” he said. Christiaan Greyling, AJ Calitz and Pedro Caldereu DeLa Barca finished joint second in a time of 14h57m.

“There was a lot of mist initially,” explained Arnett. “I didn’t switch on the GPS because I love navigating by my...

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Hobbit Trail Run - King of Trails

Valda 5:48pm 15 Feb

Words & pics: Mark Sampson, Thribe Media

Just the name ‘Hobbit Trail Run’ conjures up ideas of mystical creatures in a faraway place covered in mist-covered mountains and lush forests. When you then hear that it's in Hogsback, in the Eastern Cape, well, then the ideas just get an additional stoke of the coals.

Towering mountains covered in forests, both indigenous and pine, rivers and streams, waterfalls and mushrooms, birds frolicking and unique inquisitive monkeys observing you as you make your way along the single track, and so the list continues. Run...

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