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Trail Running in the Western 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

Fedhealth IMPI #4 Cape Town 2018

Valda 7:02pm 18 Dec

Anele Bans (Parklands, Cape Town) and Dominique D’Oliveira (Bellville, Cape Town) were on top form during the much anticipated Fedhealth IMPI Challenge #4 Elite Race at the scenic Wiesenhof Wildlife Park (Stellenbosch) on Saturday, 17 November 2018.

“I had a bit of an injury coming into the race,” says Bans. “I just told myself that I’m always a racer, I’m always a guy who competes no matter what comes in my way. I knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge, it is called the IMPI Challenge. I normally dominate the concrete/cinder block area, but today it was hard for me. I just...

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Baleia Wines 2018 MTB Challenge & Trail Run

Valda 6:30pm 7 Aug

Pics Riversdale Photography Club

The third annual Baleia Wines Mountain Bike Challenge and second Trail Run is taking place on Saturday, 8 September, from Baleia Wines & Olive Oil cellar and tasting room next to the N2 just outside Riversdale in the Western Cape.

Baleia Wines craft exceptional wines and extra virgin cold pressed olive oil from their vineyards and olive groves on the farm Dassieklip in the Vermaaklikheid area near Riversdale. 

Owners, Jan-Hendrik and Lindi Joubert, avid triathlon athletes who have just completed the Durban 70.3 Half Ironman, along...

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2018 AfricanX Trailrun

Valda 3:30pm 10 Jun

Words Jan Ham, pics Jetline Action Photos and Tobias Ginsberg 

The weekend of 27 - 29 April 2018 saw the 10th running of the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS.

The AfricanX is SA’s premier stage race, and the 10th edition was sure to be one for the memory banks, and it most definitely did not disappoint. In fact, it beefed up with 2 stages that rates right up there with some of the toughest single stage mountain running classics on the Western Cape circuit.

In the past the AfricanX might have “suited” runners with a road running background (or at least be...

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FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN

Valda 9:55pm 6 May

Pics Tobias Ginsberg

Running enthusiasts can look forward to “running Cape Town” their way at the 4th annual FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN on Sunday, 20 May 2018.

Celebrating everything that the beautiful Mother City has to offer, the FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN highlights the vibe, the city and its people.  This fast paced, flat 12km run brings together runners from all walks of life, businesses entering teams as well as outrageous free spirited individuals that take the dress up option to the next level.

Event Information  FNB Cape Town 12 ONERUN


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AfricanX Trailrun 2018

Valda 9:55pm 16 Jan

As part of its 10th anniversary celebrations event organisers are excited to announce that the AfricanX Trailrun presented by ASICS will also boast a new Festival Village in 2018 with the picturesque Boschendal Wine Estate stepping up to the plate as the new home of South Africa’s premier three day stage trail run.

“2018 will be a big celebratory year for the AfricanX Trailrun,” says Michael Meyer, Managing Director of Stillwater Sports.  “Not only will we celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary, but after five action-packed years in Grabouw we’re excited to move venue for a...

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The 2016 K-Way Cape Leopard Trust Trail Run

Valda 5:56pm 18 Sep

Pics Louise de Waal, Green Girls in Africa

After a thrilling and enjoyable inaugural event, Cascade Country Manor in Paarl is proud to announce it will be hosting the second Leopard Trail Run in support of The Cape Leopard Trust. 

The 2nd annual Cape Leopard Trust Trail Run sponsored by K-Way will be held at Cascade Country Manor on Saturday, 22nd October 2016.

“After a sunny day and many participants enjoying the scenery last year we look forward to welcoming the runners back to enjoy the spectacular orchard, forest and waterfall at Cascade Country Manor,” says...

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Merrell Whale of Trail - a Big Race with a Big Heart

Valda 7:11pm 28 Aug

The Merrell Whale of Trail 2016 was won by Mark Winter in 5hr39min, slicing 11minutes off the previous record, with Tracey Almirall leading in the ladies with 6hr57min.

The majority of the field however, set off on this trail at dawn with the intention not of winning but of finishing the longest, toughest, most diverse and technical trail they have ever attempted. To stumble up the boardwalk with 53km behind them, elated with themselves, is to champion the course.


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Swiss Mountain Man Achieves the Impossible

Valda 7:43pm 3 Nov

Words Mark Collins, pics

The Garden Route National Park was the arena for one of the most extraordinary athletic achievements in South African sporting history when Swiss Trail Runner Marc Lauenstein became the first person to run the Otter African Trail Run, presented by Salomon and GU, in under four hours.

It took Lauenstein exactly 3hrs 59min 29sec to skip across tree routes, bound across giant boulders, swim a surging river, speed along stone-strewn beaches, tip-toe across a balance bar, and...

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Cape Town Ultra-trail Run

Valda 9:55pm 21 Oct

Words Fiona McIntosh 

Cape Town has had plenty to brag about of late. The World Design Capital 2014 was ranked by British newspaper The Guardian as ‘Number One Holiday Hotspot for 2014’, having previously been lauded The Telegraph’s ‘Favourite City for 2013’. The Americans concur with the Mother City topping The New York Times list of ‘52 places to go in 2014’. Oh, and it was also ranked in the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2014 Top Cities.

So it’s no coincidence that the city is home to some of the world’s premier sporting events, which take full advantage of the famous...

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Featherbed Records Shattered

Press Releases 12:40am 25 Jul

The  annual SALOMON Featherbed Trail Run, presented by GU, once again graced the pristine trails of the eponymous Featherbed Nature Reserve today. Approximately 1000 off-road runners took part in a series of runs along the reserve above Knysna Heads, in the process shattering the route records.

The SALOMON Featherbed Trail Run, presented by GU, has without a doubt become one of the favourite sporting events at the annual Pick 'n Pay Knysna Oyster Festival. No other race quite matches up to it as far as scenery, natural grandeur, true grit and crowd-pleasing exhilaration go. If...

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Whale Trail

Wild Card Magazine 6:30am 7 Jul

Whale Trail

CapeNature’s pristine Whale Trail in the De Hoop Nature Reserve was recently the location of South Africa’s newest and perhaps most gruelling trail run. Mountain Runner Events hosted the “Whale of Trail” on 10 May 2014, which challenged runners to complete the five-day hiking trail from Potberg to Koppie Alleen in one stretch. The mountain and coastal course takes a maximum of 150 competitors along fynbos-covered peaks with stunning views and pristine waterfalls, along cliffs, dunes, secluded beaches and the shores of the Indian Ocean. Runners interested...

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Up For a Threesome

Valda 4:45am 11 Dec

Words Matthew Holt
Pics Shawn Benjamin, Matthew Holt, Fiona McIntosh

It’s just before five a.m. on Saturday and Long Street is still busy with clubbers and barflies. Bouncers watch suspiciously as we move in a pack up the street, inspecting their buildings. To be fair, there are over 100 of us and we don’t look desirous clientele, in lurid wind tops,...

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Salomon XT Wings 3

Nightjar Travel 7:11pm 8 Nov

Review: Salomon XT Wings 3 trail-running shoes

Having rashly entered the 50km Three Peaks Race, I was disappointed to discover my only trail-running shoes were short of a sole. So, I hurried down to Cape Union Mart, where the assistant recommended a pair of lurid blue Salomon XT Wings 3. Normally as a matter of principle, I ignore whatever these assistants recommend and choose anything else instead, but I was in such a hurry I succumbed to his advice. I’m very glad I did, because these shoes came up trumps.

The chevron-patterned outsoles provided a firm grip,...

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Matroosberg Trail Challenge 2013

Erik Brits 7:15pm 23 Oct

Today in the mag, we featured Vertical Kilometer races. In a nutshell, these events require you to run up a mountain. As it turns out, this isn't the only gruelling (read, crazy) thing that trail runners like to do. I've just received a press release about South Africa's first SkyMarathon. 

So what's a SkyMarathon?? The goal is to 'run where earth and sky meet' – to qualify, the event has to exceed an altitude of 2000m, with enduring inclines exceeding 30% with climbing difficulties of less than 11 degrees. South Africa's first event sanctioned by the South African Skyrunning...

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Three Peaks Challenge 2012

Nightjar Travel 3:30pm 8 Nov

With mist over the city bowl for most of the morning, conditions were perfect for this year’s Three Peaks Challenge so it came as no surprise that Andre Calitz smashed his own course record, becoming the first Challenger to finish in under five hours. Katya Sogot came home in 6 hours 15 minutes, shaving two minutes off Sylvie Harris’ long-standing women’s record. Nightjar Travel’s Fiona McIntosh also put in a good performance finishing in eight hours – an hour and 43 minutes faster than her previous best! She puts her dramatic improvement down partly to the wee bit of training that she did...

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Devon Valley Run

Nightjar Travel 11:40am 6 Nov

Last weekend, Fiona ran the Three Peaks, which made me feel like a total wuss so I asked her about gentler ways to get into it... This is what she had to say:

Think the Three Peaks Challenge is a bit hard-core? Then this leisurely wineland ramble might be just the ticket. On Saturday 3rd November the 12km Devon Valley Run took runners through some of Stellenbosch’s most prestigious wineries including Middelvlei, Clos Malverne and House of JC Le Roux with competitors being treated to wine tastings and nibbles at the ‘...

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The Three Peaks Challenge

shane 9:14pm 31 Oct

Words Fiona McIntosh, pics Shawn Benjamin (Ark Images) and Eric Tolner

Saturday 3rd November sees 120 crazy ultra-runners embarking on one of the toughest events on the trail running calendar, The Three Peaks Challenge. The event originated in 1897 when Carl Wilhelm Schneeberger ran from the old Johannesburg Hotel in Long Street, up Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head in one day, returning to the hotel for a short...

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