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TRAIL Mail #40: Friday 16 October 2020

'Trust the training process' – Meg.
Scary escape from the Injisuthi fire.
Race2Rhodes – conquered at last!
Win! Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant.

     In this issue

  1. From the Team. Trust the process. Injisuthi fire. René Vollgraaff interview.
  2. Photo of the week. Icy run from Swartberg Pass to Prince Albert.
  3. News. Race2Rhodes happy ending. Sweat4Soap campaign. 
  4. Funny. Wave back at every runner, and get new friends!
  5. Trail Poll.  Do you trust gear sellers or reviews from mates?

  6. Calendar. Good news: events are picking up under Level 1.
  7. Gear. Gegrond Colombian Popayan coffee, made in South Africa.
  8. Competition. Win one of two pairs! Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant trail shoes.
  9. TRAIL digital. Read issue 37 on multiple devices. Easy signup via our site.

Happy Friday!

We love hearing from you. If you've read TRAIL 37 and have opinions to share, please do mail us or write a review on the app.

On Wednesday, Amy Voigts sent us some feedback:

"I love how much content there is, and am really enjoying the links to videos in the articles that one would not be able to have in the print edition. Thank you once again!"

What's to love in TRAIL37? For one, learning to trust the training process. Let go of the idea that every run is a race, and that progress is linear. The Run Project coaches Meg Mackenzie and James Montgomery will help you shift your perspective to long-term goals, in favour of gratitude and patience. 

"We frequently get so stuck on results and instant gratification that we end up forcing things, whether it’s your mileage or the pace you start your next race at. Instead try to take a step back, focus on the small improvements you have made, stay present."

Feedback we have seen a lot of is that you, the reader, love personal stories. In TRAIL 37, you can read about Emily Allan's escape from the Injisuthi fire, which ravaged both the mountain and camp in August 2020.

"I have been trail running for 10 years and have had some amazing adventures all around our country. I always try to be run prepared for anything, so we carry extra food, warm gear, and of course cellphones.

"But when facing a runaway fire in the Drakensberg mountains this year, I realised that sometimes you have to rely on instinct, quick thinking, and a little bit of luck."

Of the stories in the previous issue, TRAIL 36, cover athlete René Vollgraaff's interview was listed by the majority of Reader Survey respondents as a favourite. If you missed it, her interview is now live on our website.

One last thing: if you're going to be at Otter African Trail RunKennedy Sekhute is looking for a lift from Plettenberg Bay. He arrives around 9am on Friday 30 October. If you can help, shoot him a message on Instagram.

We hope you enjoy the news, photos, and laughs below.

Heloise Hunter, TRAIL editor


Drinkwaterskloof Trail Run. Sat 14 – Sun 15 November (WC)
18.5km/17.5km. Mont Blois Wine Estate, Robertson. Spectacular singletrack, mountain streams and views, on exclusive private property. Start 7am. R2,900.

Thanks for sharing your photos on Monday's Trail Trophy Facebook thread.

In our favourite this week, Annelie Nel is about to take flight off Swartberg Pass during her icy 20km run from the top of the Pass to Prince Albert. The Pass was built in 1888 using convict labour, and the stone walls that support the tight bends are the originals from 130 years ago.

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

Share your #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 used.)

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.

Race2Rhodes has happy ending after all

You may recall reading Andy Wesson's account of his Race2Rhodes DNF (did not finish) in TRAIL 36. Well, he and his team of intrepid endurance runners went back and finished it! Andy, Nicky Booyens, Dean Barclay, and Peter Purchase finished their 480km Freedom Challenge run from Pietermaritzburg to Rhodes on Wednesday. It took them six days and 16 hours through cold, rain, wind, and sun on their second attempt.

Dean's wife, Lauren Barclay, shared regular updates of their journey. Have a scroll through her Facebook feed to relive the action and hear some of the gritty details.

Sweat4Soap with us

Yesterday (Thursday 15 October) was Global Handwashing Day. Water conservation activist Mina Guli held a campaign to get soap to needy communities in Ghana, Kenya, Congo, Peru, Nepal, and Cambodia. To contribute, run or walk any distance until tomorrow Saturday 17 October, and then share the activity on social media in a public post, with the tag #Sweat4Soap. Every kilometre results in a bar of soap being donated, and every 100km by group effort gets a handwashing station.

Make your run or walk today count by joining the campaign. It takes less than a minute to sign up. You can also join the campaign's Strava club.
 Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon gains finishers

In our last newsletter, we reported that the Heaven & Hell Mountain Marathon 44km had only two finishers: Tonic Masilo and Suzette von Broembsen. However, Charles Pettit and Michael Hodgson also finished the 44km with their 12h47min (it has a 13-hour cutoff – it's that tough). A massive congratulations to them for becoming the fifth and sixth finishers in the 44km race's history. (Thanks to Martin Crous for letting us know about the error in the race report.)

Sad news

The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon (KAEM) announced on Tuesday that they had lost one of their founders, Simon Patrick Kelly, after heart surgery. "Remembering you and desert running, and your beloved Kalahari Desert. Go well Simon," said co-founders Estienne and Nadia Arndt.


Otter African Trail Run (Challenge). Wed 28 – Thu 29 October (EC). 5km/42km. Storms River. Run the reverse route west to east from Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth with 2,600m of ascent, 11 hour cut-off.

Otter African Trail Run (Race). Fri 30 & Sat 31 October (EC)
5km/42km. Storms River. Run the Otter Trail, but in reverse from west to east (Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth) with 2,600m of ascent. Cut-off extended by an hour to nine hours.

Dassie and RockRat Trail Runs. Sat 31 October (EC)
6km, 10km. Storms River. Over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds and up steep climbs. Start 8:30am. R200/R240.

KnysnaX Trail Series. Fri 8 – Sun 10 January (WC)
9km/7km, 15km/11km, 26km/21km. Pezula Resort. Spectacular trails at inaugural event.

Always wave back – or wave first...

React on the Facebook or Twitter post.

Who do you trust for gear recommendations?

Do you get reliable, useful, and honest gear information from the people who sell gear – or from your friends?

Comment on our Facebook post to have your say.

Trail running under Level 1

Certain events with restricted fields may take place in Level 1. If you organise a trail event, please send us the details. If your event was postponed and you have set a new date, please send that info to us. Listing in our month ahead web calendar and the magazine's long-term calendar is FREE.

Look out for trail events later in the year when you scroll to the bottom of our web calendar


Otter African Trail Run (run). Fri 30 & Sat 31 October (EC)
Otter African Trail Run. 5km/42km. Storms River. Run the reverse route west to east from Nature’s Valley to Stormsriver Mouth with 2,600m of ascent. Cut-off extended to 9 hours!

Dassie and RockRat Trail Runs. Sat 31 October (EC)
6km, 10km. Storms River. Run over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds, and up steep climbs. Start 8:30am. R200/R240.

KnysnaX Trail Series. Fri 8 – Sun 10 January (WC)
9km/7km, 15km/11km, 26km/21km. Pezula Resort. Spectacular trails at inaugural event.

COMPETITION. The new Saucony Peregrine 10 Mutant is a limited edition colourway of the American brand's most popular trail shoe. Its recommended retail is R2,400.

One of two pairs could be yours. But you have to be in it to win it, right?!

To enter, visit the competition page and remember to keep an eye out on social media to gain extra points.

TRAIL 37 is our second all-digital issue, now available direct from our website for the lowest price anywhere. There's no need to download an app, so it's quick and simple. We hope you enjoy its 240 pages of trail running inspiration, with a complete redesign to improve readability on both small and large screens.

You can also buy TRAIL 37 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 purchase issue 37 first as a standalone issue, and subscribe to get issues 38 and later separately.

Miss previous issues of TRAIL? You can read all our back issues for the low price of R29.99 each, on our website, the Zinio website or through the TRAIL app for Android or Apple.


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