Trail running is a variant on running that differs markedly from road running and track running. Trail running generally takes place on hiking trails, most commonly single track trails, although fire roads are not uncommon. A distinguishing characteristic of the trails is that they are often inaccessible by road except at the trail heads. The trails tend to traverse varying terrain; hills, mountains, deserts, forests, and narrow passages are common. Likewise, steep inclines or rough terrain sometimes may require hiking or scrambling. Runners participating in trail runs must often descend these same steep grades. It is not unusual for trail runs to ascend and descend thousands of feet.

There are as many variations of trail running as there are runners. Many individuals prefer running trails for daily training and exercise, while other trail runners spend weeks out in the backcountry. There is a growing number of people participating in solo backcountry trail running trips, which are a sort of ultra light backpacking. While an ordinary backpacking expedition may last for eight days, averaging eight to ten miles per day, with participants carrying fifty to sixty pound backpacks, backcountry trail runner will do the same trip in three to four days, covering much greater distances each day, and carrying only minimal equipment. This type of backpacking is rare, as it is very difficult and dangerous, but it is growing in popularity.
Source: Wikipedia

Oorlogskloof Mountain and Trail Run 26 May 2012
We have the 2nd of the Quantum Country Classics mountain runs on 26 May at Oorlogskloof Nature Reserve - a 42km and 18km run more
Epic Trail Run for Charity
The Comrades Marathon has become an iconic sporting event on the international athletics calendar, but on Friday, 1 June 2012, a group of athletes will tackle their own super-sized version of the ultra-marathon. Setting off from Pietermaritzburg, 32 athletes will participate in the Valley Run, a 112km non-stop trail run through the Valley of 1000 Hills ending at Blue Lagoon in Durban.

The Valley Run was first held in 2011 and is organised by the Mamu Loman Federation. This year, the event is being held to support and raise funds for The Unlimited Child, a non-profit organisation focussing on early childhood development. The Unlimited Child promotes the correct stimulation of young children by providing educational toys, caregiver training and ongoing support to créches in underprivileged areas. Most of the organisation's work has been in the Valley of 1000 Hills where it has reached 20 000 children, 751 caregivers and 252 créches.

The Unlimited Child was the perfect match for us, explains adventurer Andrew King, one of the founders of the Mamu Loman Federation. As our route for the Valley Run is through the Valley of 1000 Hills, we wanted to support an initiative that is giving back to this community and the great work being done by The Unlimited Child delivers on all fronts.

The decision to support The Unlimited Child came about as the athletes participating in the Valley Run view the endeavour as an opportunity to give back to the community. The guys and girls who make up the Mamu Loman Federation are a mix of accomplished and recreational athletes who are united through a common attitude towards life. We add our own unique twist to existing ultra-endurance events and thus push our own and society's accepted limits. Ultimately, we are out to have some fun, get active and do some really worthwhile fundraising while we're at it , says King.

King's sporting achievements include portaging the entire length of the Dusi Canoe Marathon to highlight the plight of the river, paddling a Double Dusi (doing each day twice), the Wrong Way Dusi (Blue Lagoon to PMB), running the Comrades in jeans, being the first winner of the Freedom Challenge Extreme Triathlon and his most recent exploit, completing a barefoot summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in aid of charity with 6 other Mamu Loman members. Despite these achievements, King admits to being slightly apprehensive about the Valley Run. While I did the first one last year, 112km is still a long way, especially as we're aiming to complete it in 20 hours and running through the night, King says.

The line-up for the Valley Run also includes Sean Wisedale who has two trips to the South Pole under his belt as well as being the first African to scale the highest summit on each of the seven continents around the world, including Everest; Ironman finisher Chester Foster who also competed in the G4 Global Challenge; Wim Van Herzeele a past Camel Trophy Winner and Devlin Fogg who has covered the distance from the North Pole to the South Pole using his own human power. For the first time this year, the Valley Run will also include an invitational guest team from Zimbabwe.

Cassy Healey, CEO of The Unlimited Child, says they are thrilled that the Manu Loman Federation is throwing its weight behind the organisation. We believe that the work we are doing will change the future for South Africa. Our goal is to reach 1,2 million children by 2016 and itÕs through the support of events such as the Valley Run, that we will be able to raise the money required to do this, Healey explains. For more information or to donate, visit

Photo: Valley Run - Never a lonely road in the Valley of 1000 Hills! Chester Foster and Andrew King, two of the extreme athletes taking part in the Valley Run, are helped along by a group of enthusiastic children
K-Way Platteklip Charity Challenge
Race Report by Dean McCoubrey (participant)

Sponsored by K-Way and held in support of Milnerton's Sinejonjo High School, the K-Way Platteklip Charity Challenge (PCC) is in a class of its own. With 760 metres of climbing on every ascent, those runners who commit to five or more summits are ascending at least 3800 metres in accumulative height. Those that manage 10 ascents (and there are only a handful that have made it), are on their way to Everest. In a day. Yes indeed, for some reason or another, this last fact is both true and possible. Agreed, there is neither altitude sickness nor a merry band of sherpas, but there is true grit and gruel in mastering the relentless steps and rocks of Platteklip Gorge that will maketh the (wo)man come race day.

The other way in that this event stands out is its sheer simplicity. A great many charities work every marketing muscle to raise funds for their all-important plight, raising tens of thousands, which is - of course - highly commended. This charity model is all about its product.

PCC is a unique challenge, ideally situated on one of the 'Seven Wonders of the World', that it lays down the gauntlet to the ego. It's pure talkability. When you tell someone you're going up five times, they're suitably impressed and they start looking at you from top to toe - particularly from quad to calf.

Entries to this event 'sold out' before the start, with 120 runners all agreeing to raise a minimum of R2,000 for Sinenjonjo High School. Some, like Steve Cloete from Rabie Properties, raised not just R2,000, but R30,000! Cloete was just one of many who exceeded the personal target and ensured a whopping R530,000 rasied at the end of the day. Half-a-million Rand is a very large collection from a small group of people.

Last year's Platteklip Charity Challenge 2011 was best remembered for 'upping the ante' of the Challenge by adding... raw heat. Running in 35 degree temperature is a true test of character, especially when attempting to ascend 3800m. It would have been wise to buy shares in Rehidrat last year!

So, of course, this year I watched the weather reports. Warm and windy is the announcement by race organiser Anton de Waal at registration, which was hosted at the swanky Cape Union Mart Adventure Store in Canal Walk. They added nice freebies to the participants' race packs too. As for warm and windy, I wasn't sure if I preferred being minimised by meltdown or blown off a sheer rock face.

With some trepidation I journeyed toward the start line from the Southern Suburbs. As we approached the City Bowl, we were met by a thick bank of cloud; so thick that when you're inside it seems like you're climbing upwards in a Boeing 737 until you poke your head out the top and see blue sky.

Indeed, as the 120 runners line up in their lime green tees, the attitude was not of trepidation but of hunger. Without the heat, anything was possible. Andre Calitz had promised to complete at least 10 laps and he aimed to break the record by achieving 11 summits in one day.

The fleet of front runners bolstered the first kilometre from the cable car to the entrance of Platteklip Gorge on the flat, racing for the all-important lead position before the steps commence.

As some of us mere mortals laughed and bantered. We could see the little green men and women lurching high above, building distance rapidly between us. Andre Calitz and Luke Powers were upfront, racing head to head for the R2500 prize awarded to the 'first man to the top'. First to summit was Calitz, in 35 minutes, with Luke Powers close behind. Gabby Cloete was the first placed women with an impressive 54 minutes to the summit.

From the summit, participants run along the top of the Mountain, grab a Bos Ice Tea (most runners were very grateful to this event sponsor, for sure!) and down in the Cable Car (to the surprise of tourists, who are left wondering what South Africans eat in the morning to both set themselves such a challenge, and then complete it.

Light-hearted banter in the Cable Car made it look like this was something we 'just do for fun.' Nik Rabinowitz, famed comedian, was on hand to keep spirits high and people amused, as well as keeping radio listeners aware of this unique challenge taking place with his on-air commentary.

As the day progressed banter decreased and support for each other increased. Knowing looks passed between exhausted comrades as they stopped on the trail for repeated 'breathers'. There also comes over you a quiet sense of meditation as you no longer look up to the summit - only looking ahead - as you methodically place one foot in front of the other towards markers placed in your mind. If I can get there, then I'll be one third up and When I get to that corner, it is halfway or Finally I'm in the shaded corridor of the last 100m, the hardest part. Every runner has their own personal markers.

On the day there were a few outstanding heroes. Calitz, of course, springs to mind. He achieved his goal of 11 summits between sunrise and sunset; thatÕs an accumulative, 8360 metres ascended between 07h15 and 18h15. He averaged one summit every hour. He was so fatigued after the tenth summit that he called a friend to join him on the last one. This was true friendship indeed as they braved the beast one final time. There should be a Guinness World Record for this feat, no?

Gabby Cloete is the dayÕs heroine for her six ascents; and Steve Cloete stands out for his powers of persuasion Š raising the largest single amount.

Of course the real heroes are the organisers, Bridget and Anton de Waal and Lisa and Adam Pike. Committed, organised and yet incredibly relaxed and down to earth (at least in public), they have created not only a brilliant event, but one that defies the laws of marketing. They have created an event - a product - that is so good that it attracts participants and, through them, donors without the need for public involvement or acknowledgement. Funds that change the lives of people who deeply need the support can be raised through novel and fun initiatives.As a result Sinenjonjo High School's pass rate has leapt from 22% to over 90% over the last few years because of financial support received from this event.

Event website:

Diamond Dash V 2012

Roodeplaat Trail Run 2012

Diamond Dash NOV 2011_1

Diamond Dash NOV 2011_2


Diamond Dash SEP 2011 | Lindequesdrift TR 14AUG11


> Berg & Beach
> Stanley's Mountain and Trail Run 2012
> To Hell and Back
> The 2011 Wildcoast Wildrun - Wild, Wet and Wonderful
> Trail Runners Dazzle at Diamond Dash
> 5 Tips for a 5 Day in 5 Hours Trail Run
> The Wreck Challenge is here to stay!
> Take a Hike
> Raise Funds. Raise Your Heart Rate. Raise Awareness. Eden to Addo Challenge
> The Merrel Hobbit Trail Runs
> Getting Back to Basics: The Importance of Good Nutrition
> Muscle Activation
> Hamstring Injuries
> Running for the Cheetahs
> Shin Splints or Compartment Syndrome?
> Spondylolisthesis, the Chiropractic Approach
> Shoot!Trail Running
> Rejuvenate Your Running
> The Hansa Hout Bay Trail Challenge and the Old Fisher's Trail Challenge
> The Bite of the Otter
> Look at the Grass
> Salomon Featherbed Trail Run 2010
> The Otter-African Trail Run & Southern Storm Duathlon


> Southern Cross Adventure
> First Ascent
> Capestorm