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TRAIL Mail #27: Friday 17 July 2020

FKT fever around the world.
Enduren Gel: a cut above the rest.

Win! First Ascent survey awaits thee.

In this issue (click the category to save scrolling):

  1. From the Editors. Otter humour. Gratitude attitude.
  2. Photo of the week. Golden grass below Giant's Castle.
  3. News.  FKT fever in the Cape, Drakensberg, USA, and UK!
  4. Funny. Niggles that whisper about their return.
  5. Trail Poll. Would you rather find a waterfall or wildlife?
  6. Calendar. List your event. New virtual events.
  7. Gear. Enduren Endurance Gel: all goodies, no nasties.
  8. Competition. Win Polar and First Ascent gear, enter today!
  9. TRAIL digital. Read issue 36 on multiple devices.

You need a laugh.

No really, you need a laugh. This spoof with Otter African Trail Run founding brothers John and Mark Collins envisaging their race as a virtual event is zany.

It's a 99-second Youtube commitment – and I think it deserves a thumbs up for creative filmmaking.

Until next time, keep it real. I hope to see YOU at this year's Otter. Fingers crossed!

Deon Braun, TRAIL publisher

The struggle ends when the gratitude begins.

I found the above quote on a small, laminated piece of paper in my puffer jacket pocket. It has been there since the Salomon WMN weekend last year. Glencairn's Bianca Haw left it as a note to each of us after leading a yoga session. Finding it took me back to the wonderful experiences I had and the incredible people I met before lockdown. It gives me hope that the adventures and new friends are out there waiting for me.

The reminder to be grateful has also helped. Instead of raging against loadshedding (which I experienced six hours of on Monday), I'll use the time to look away from my screens. Going for a run or doing a workout (with an able body), cleaning up my home (which I'm lucky to shelter in), or just being outside for a while. There's a lot for me to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

Heloise Hunter, TRAIL associate editor

We loved seeing your photos on Monday's Trail Trophy Facebook thread.

In our favourite this week, Mike Tredway runs through the dry grass below Giant's Castle in the Central Drakensberg. He and his girlfriend, Nicola Rodger, enjoyed a day trip to run Giant's Ridge. 

Read about Mike's Run With It 24 charity fundraiser in TRAIL issue 36.

His photo may appear in a future TRAIL issue – and so could yours.

Share your lockdown trail running #TrailTrophies on Facebook and Twitter at any time. Use that hashtag and #trailmagpix on Instagram and Twitter when you tag us. Or email us. Be sure to tell us a bit about your run for the caption. (Please note: event photographer images aren't printed.)

Prefer words? Write a letter instead. Your opinions, life-changing experiences, happy and sad memories, and reflections on our sport are waiting to be shared with the community. If your letter is published, you'll receive a pair of run-specific Feetures socks.

photo Damien Schumann

FKT fever hits SA and beyond

Ryan Sandes' 13 Peaks Challenge route is once again open for FKT attempts, the only restriction being the 4am-9pm curfew. Roelof Mostert set out on Wednesday 15 July to set a new fastest known time on the route. He missed Ryan's 15h51min time, but managed to take second place on the Wall of Honour in 18h24min.

There's a new Cape FKT route to tackle. Meg Mackenzie set the 30km Table Mountain route for Golden Trail hopefuls to show their speed and skill. Called the Golden Segment, the fastest man and fastest woman on the route win an entry into the Golden Trail final at Azores Trail Run, from 29 October to 1 November. 

Over one of the coldest weekends in recent memory, Anouk Baars, Colin van den Bergh, and Martin Crous attempted to run the Drakensberg Grand Traverse. They reached 105km in 22 hours before being forced off the plateau by strong icy winds. The current mixed team record (around 63h40) was set by Ryno Griesel and Linda Doke in March 2015.

Across the Atlantic, the Tahoe Rim Trail (265km) saw records fall this month. First, Helen Pelster broke the unsupported women's FKT by 26 hours on 2 July. Then Candice Burt made her mark, dropping the record a further 15 hours. Candice's unsupported FKT is 2d12h47min. Kyle Curtin challenged the unsupported men's FKT and dropped it by 10 hours, setting a new record of 1d17h09min.

Up north, Carla Molinaro has started her John O’Groats FKT attempt in the UK. She aims to break the current women's record of 12 days, 11 hours, 6 minutes and 7 seconds. That means running 70 miles (nearly 113km) a day for 12 days. Best luck!

We hope your niggles behave themselves this weekend!

Comment on the original post on Facebook.

Source: @UltraRunningMemes on Instagram

Would you rather find a waterfall or wildlife on your trail run?

No matter the answer, what an amazing sport to do which has both of these as possibilities!

Tell us in the poll on Facebook or Twitter! Share your favourite waterfall and wildlife sightings in the thread. 

We have some new virtual events on our web calendar.

The CT Virtual Charity Fun Run is the latest addition, raising funds for Chazon Tekna School in August.

Look out for trail events later in the year when you scroll to the bottom of our web calendar. A highlight is the Heaven and Hell Mountain Marathon (23-24 September) in Rhodes, EC. There are 5km, 8km, 14km, 22km, 44km, and 88km routes. Pure, brutal wilderness mountain run in the isolated southern Drakensberg. Only two people have ever finished the 44km. The new 88km has 7,510m of vert! It's organised by TRAIL 31 cover athlete Hylton Dunn.

If you organise an event that is a virtual one, or will be legal to host safely under current COVID-19 restrictions, please tell us if and when it is happening. We want to list you in our coming issue.

Since there will be few events to report on in our next issue 37 (on sale in the last week of September), we will be focusing mostly on your FKTs and adventures. Please email Heloise details of your independent solo adventures. You can send images once she's confirmed she's keen to feature your story. Yes, you could be in our next issue.

ISSUE 36 SURVEY: We're delighted to collaborate with top local brand First Ascent. They're sponsoring our first reader survey of 2020 and will reward two readers with a combined R6,000 in gear.

But the bigger picture is that their survey will help us improve your reading experience for the next issue.

Bottom line: You'll need to read TRAIL 36 and let us know what you liked and didn't like through our reader survey. The link is only in the magazine, so look out for it on page 5.

HAVE YOU ENTERED YET? The new Polar Grit X is an uncompromising combination of rugged and durable design, top training features, and the ultimate training platform. It retails for R8,995.

To enter, visit the competition page and scroll down to click on the widget below the image of three Polar Grit X units. It might take a few seconds for the widget to load, so don't scroll too fast or you'll miss it! Points are earned for each platform or entry method you successfully complete.

Gain three points this week by retweeting this post.

We're doing this competition a little differently, to reward the real fans of Polar (and the magazine!). At 9am every Tuesday, there will be a new entry option on the competition page. It will yield three points for that week. After that, it will drop to one point. So you gather more points by entering in the initial week for each option.

When you refresh the competition page, the app will show you how many entries you have accumulated, and which entries were successful.

You're not in the draw until you enter. Why not do that right now?

Our 36th issue is our first all-digital issue. We hope you love its 188 pages of trail running inspiration, with a complete redesign to improve readability on both small and large screens. You'll find that the depth of articles has increased too. We plan to further improve the depth and scope of articles in issue 37 and beyond.

You can purchase TRAIL 36 worldwide through Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Zinio, and Magzter.

*If you buy through the App Store or Google Play, note that subscriptions are forward-based. This means that if you sign up today, your first issue will be the next edition, not the current one. It's not what we'd like, but that is how their system works.

Solution: Please first purchase issue 36 as a standalone issue, and subscribe for issues 37 and later separately.

If you want print back copies of issues 1 to 35, please email us for pricing.



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