Become a Mountain Runner

Words: Tatum Prins | Photos: Various Contributors

Trail Running

Dust off your running shoes and start training because Mountain Runner Events has a great line-up of events taking place all around the country in 2013 that you don’t want to miss! Owners Tatum Prins and Graham Bird are two very passionate outdoors people and their aim is to get as many people to experience the great outdoors, whether it’s competing or just having fun, through their events.

Become a Mountain Runner

The first event of the year is the Merrell Night Run Series powered by Black Diamond in Cape Town. The series of night runs is based at Simons Restaurant on Groot Constantia, the oldest wine producing estate in the Constantia Valley, on 2, 9 and 16 April. You couldn’t ask for a more scenic location, with the vineyards telling the story and Table Mountain creating a dramatic backdrop. This event is purely to get runners to try their hand at night running, which involves using a headlamp to find their way through the 5.5 km or 8 km routes. Usually when you mention night running, most people get nervous or find an excuse not to do it, but they actually have no idea what it is about! Night running offers a whole new experience; it heightens your senses, you see nocturnal animals and puts a whole new adventure spin on running. If you are not familiar with it, then try it! You won’t look back, we promise.


Next up on the calendar is the Merrell Wacky Wine Festival Trail Runs at Arabella Wine Estate in Robertson from 7 - 9 June. This event should bring a smile to everyone’s faces, as there is literally something for everyone to enjoy. There’s a twilight run, kiddies run, wine tasting run and fun rally run that involves running with a route book. You even get the opportunity to dress up and be as wacky as you like! As part of the legendary Wacky Wine Festival, it is a weekend filled with an awesome line-up of entertainment, outdoor activities, camping and good wholesome fun for the entire weekend. So book a campsite and join us for a wacky weekend.


In August, Mountain Runner Events heads to George, on the Garden Route, to stage the Merrell Outeniqua Traverse on 3 August. This event is all about ‘real’ mountain running, crossing streams and being a part of the Outeniqua Mountains. Runners can expect to run on spectacular ridglines, through fynbos, on flowing trails and can look forward to magnificent views of the Outeniqua Mountains. It’s raw, real and brings out the best in trail runners of all abilities. If you are feeling brave, there’s the 38 km run that ascends 2,000 m, but there are also the options of the 25 km run, which climbs 700 m, or the 10 km trail run for those who are keen to get back and relax in the botanical gardens at the finish.


From George, Mountain Runner Events flies to Johannesburg to try and entice as many people as possible into giving trail running a go at the Merrell Spring Trail Run on 11 August. This event offers either the 6 km or 12 km run. It’s not too hard core or technical, thus making it a great run that everyone can do. The venue is the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, in Roodepoort, and is described as, ‘a hidden Eden where waters cascade and eagles soar’. With a description like that, you definitely don’t want to miss out on this run, which is perfect for the whole family to do on a Sunday morning. The routes wind through the magnificent botanical gardens and climb to the ridge of the adjoining mountains, offering the most spectacular views.


It’s then on to the legendary Gravity Adventure Festival presented by Merrell on the weekend of 16 - 18 August from the Palmiet Caravan Park in Kleinmond (Kogelberg Biosphere, Western Cape). This is any outdoor enthusiast’s Mecca! It is a weekend filled with adventures ranging from white-water kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, open-water swimming, adventure races, croc races and the list goes on. From the minute you arrive, there’s some form of entertainment on the go, either a film festival, the events, a Saturday night party or various bands playing. So get into the spirit, bring your camping gear and all the toys you have and spend the entire weekend trying to slow down time because this is one weekend that you will never want to end!


Before the year ends, Mountain Runner Events will jet set to Hogsback, Eastern Cape, for a trail running extravaganza, The Merrell Hobbit Trail Runs over the weekend of 11 and 12 October. These runs can only be described as mystical and magical, as they will awaken your imagination and heighten your love for the trails. The two-day Merrell Hobbit 100 km runs along the iconic Amatola Hiking Trail and is trail running in its purest and rawest form. You will see magnificent enchanted forests, spectacular mountain peaks and countless waterfalls, and then spend a night in the Cata Mountain Hut. If that seems all too overwhelming, you have the easier option of the 38 km or 16 km trail runs, which will give you more than enough of a taster of what is said to be ‘running in heaven’.


So with all these great events on offer, take out your calendar and diarise them now! In trail running there are no excuses because as we say at Mountain Runner Events, “Trail running was created by one’s desire to head into the mountains regardless of weather, dog-eaten shoes and lack of time. It’s about slipping into something light, breathing the fresh air, drinking mountain water and taking in the many beautiful views.”


Happy running and see you on the trails.



For more information and to enter, visit


Issue 24 Apr'13