Words: Graham Bird
The Merrell Outeniqua Traverse presented by Nikwax has been chosen to host the SA Long Distance Trail Champs on 14th June 2014. Now in its 7th year, the event has established itself on the trail running calendar and has grown significantly over the past three years. “The 38km route is trail running at its best and over terrain very few other races can rival, with over 34km of single-track” says Mountain Runner Events’ Graham Bird. “We are very excited to be hosting the SA Champs and look forward to showcasing this wonderful route through Cape Nature’s Outeniqua Nature Reserve.”
“With the route being similar to the World Champs, the 38km Merrell Outeniqua Traverse is an ideal route for the SA Long Distance Championships,” commented Altus Schreuder, Chairman ASA trail running committee. “The event will also be the final opportunity for runners to qualify for the 2014 World Long Distance Champs that is being staged in Colorado, USA on August 16th.”
The event is staged in the picturesque Garden Route town of George and competitors can look forward to a grueling climb up the Outeniqua Mountains on the outskirts of town, running along ridgelines, through fynbos and on flowing trails with stunning scenery. “The 38km race is a tough technical course and has just over 2000m of ascent. Runners will have to be prepared for between 4 and 8 hours of running, but the reward of ticking off one of the ‘toughies’ will be well worth it.” says race organizer Tatum Prins.
With the George Botanical Gardens being the start / finish, it is the ideal venue for competitors and supporters to relax and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Mountain Runner Events will also be staging a tamer 25km race as well as an introductory 10km trail run on the day for those not up to the full 38km SA Long Distance Champs route.
Having worked closely with Mountain Runner Events over the past three years, leading footwear and apparel brand, MERRELL will once again take on the title sponsorship for this event. “We are proud to have been part of building this event to where it is today and hosting SA Champs is a huge honour.” Merrell SA Marketing manager, Liezel Jooste. The presenting sponsor, Nikwax is the Global leader in safe, high performance waterproofing, cleaning and conditioning for outdoor gear, another perfect synergy with this event.
For more information check out www.mountainrunner.co.za