Step into spring

Words & Photos by Ugene Nel |

Serenade spring at the McGregor Food and Wine Festival, which is taking place on 1 September and one of those intimate weekend experiences in the Western Cape. It's all about good food, great wine and wonderful company. And if that's not enough for you, then a short five-minute drive out of town will take you to the Donkey Sanctuary, where these rescued 'long ears' are sure to be a hit with the young ones. Just a stone’s throw from here, and on the way to Robinson, is the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. It’s managed by Cape Nature Conservation and the trails are kept in pristine condition! To experience the solitude of the trails leading to various parts of the reserve, you simply need to obtain a permit from the office.

Quantum Country Class Series

But the cherry on the cake for trail runners is the fourth run of the Quantum Country Class Series (QCC), the Rooikat Trail Run, which also takes place on Spring Day and offers a 19km or 8km run from the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve. A firm favourite amongst the runners following the series, it's also a great run for anyone moving up from 'novice trail run' status. Both routes are totally runnable, with mostly smooth trails. There is no water on the mountain or water points on the route, so runners will need to carry sufficient water (1.5-litres per person). There is a maximum of 200 runners for this event.

The 8km route is perfect for runners of any level of fitness and a great novice run! This gentle route follows the MTB path through the reserve of succulent Karoo vegetation and an abundance of wildlife, passes sparkling dams and majestic mountain ranges. The path is mainly a jeep track.

The 19km route follows a circular trail that winds up and around the Elandsberg Mountain and then meanders through the reserve for the first three kilometres. From here it leads into steeper, short climbs and descents for the next seven kilometres. The views across this spectacular landscape and the three valleys you cross through will keep you enthralled! You are bound to see the herd of springbok racing up the slopes next to the trail and the breeding Ostrich pair is always on the lookout for runners straying into their turf. Runners will traverse a variety of terrain that varies from moderate to strenuous. The path is 95% single track, with some technical sections on descents. Watch your footing 10- to 14km into the route, but from there it eases out enough to build up a decent pace to the finish. Back at the venue, you will be met by a chilled and relaxed vibe on the lawns of Vrolijkheid. Runners exchanging war stories, kids running around, the smell of boerie on the braai, friends and family spending time together = QUALITY time!

After a fun filled morning and prize-giving, participants will meander back to the village to sample the local fare on offer at the festival. Wines from the region, tasty treats ranging from rustic and traditional to the more sophisticated culinary offerings of the local restaurants that attend, local art and music and one of my personal favourites – the Slow Beer! The afternoon slows down after that … in fact, the day blurs into one awesome weekend and can take a week or so to wind up again. It's going to be awesome and I hope you can make it to this Quantum Country Classic!


For more information on a variety of events and to enter, visit or the “Quantum Adventures Events” FB site.