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TRAIL Mail #19: Fri 22 May 2020

Dysfunctional SA turns to exercise.
Magalies puff adders and baboons.

Don't delay, enter to win Suunto 7.

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

  1. From the Editors. Exercise therapy exploding in the suburbs.
  2. Photo of the week.  Dodging baboons and puffadders in the Magaliesberg.
  3. News. UTMB cancelled (for real this time). UTD event video.
  4. Funny. The most controversial pun we've shared (yet).
  5. Trail Poll. Are the legs feeling fresh – or are the niggles niggling?
  6. Calendar. New virtual events and hopeful races in late June.
  7. Gear. Local, lekker! Enduren Nutrition Endurance Energy Drink.
  8. Competition. Get your entry in to win Suunto 7 smartwatch worth R8,000.
  9. TRAIL, print & digital. Read issue 35 online, anytime.


DEON: South Africa, I'm impressed!
This week I drove through Durban's Glenwood to a biokineticist appointment. There were a ton of people exercising at 7:45am. I think all that spare time has created a new generation of exercisers. An industry insider told me that Sportsmans Warehouse had bumper sales, especially of footwear, the moment lockdown allowed its doors to open.

South Africa's problems may be as dysfunctional and worrying as the next country, but I think it's safe to say we are not afraid to self-medicate with exercise.

The bio meeting went well. A big thanks to biokineticist Stephan Terblanche for his assistance. Apart from being an excellent injury-prevention speaker at our Trail Camps a few years back, he is consistently the most-recommended bio in Durban when I've spoken to friends. He assessed my big toe tendon six weeks after the surgery to reattach it, and gave me a few simple but potent exercises.

So, how are YOU doing? Hit reply and tell us.

The COVID-19 experience has affected everyone in some way. What a crazy situation. There's a sentiment that life is not fair. But since death has a 100% success rate, maybe we should accept that death is an essential passage of life. I think fear of COVID-19 is about being unwilling to accept our mortality.

Of course, wear your mask in public, keep a respectful distance from others, practice hand hygiene. But don't forget to exercise your mind too. I'd recommend you watch or listen to this Rich Roll conversation with Dr David Katz. The summary is an opinion I'm seeing elsewhere from other sources I trust. In summary, you're highly unlikely to die (at least right now, from coronavirus).

To put things in perspective, World Health Organization data reveals that seven million people die every year from air pollution. That's 19,100 people every day... And nine out of 10 of us breathe air containing high levels of pollutants. But there's almost no media fuss or public resistance to it, is there? Some enemies kill by stealth. Others have much louder barks, but smaller bites. But they sure can cause misery in other ways.

So get out there again tomorrow morning and exercise your right to make your own intelligent decisions for a healthier and better South African society for all.

Have a fantastic Friday. Happy trails!

Deon Braun, TRAIL founder publisher

HELOISE: Remember the start of 2020?
We were all lining up goal races, thinking of what we'd be up to in autumn, winter, and spring. We couldn't possibly have seen where we were headed.

Have you found a new goal? Or are you holding out for the event you had your eye on to go ahead? I have a few personal goals, new best times and strength, and will let you know if and when I reach them!

I've been getting articles up on our website consistently throughout lockdown. The latest is our TRAIL 32 TrailHealth article about trail runners with type 1 diabetes. Keep them in mind when you are suffering throught the shared streets with your sweat-soaked mask on! 

Heloise Hunter, TRAIL associate editor

Mark Easter is lucky to live on the edge of the Magaliesberg. He had to dodge puff adders and baboons during his weekend solo trail run. “The hazards make it more fun,” quipped Mark.

His photo may appear in a future TRAIL print 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.

UTMB cancelled, this time for real

The world-renowned Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc has decided to cancel its 2020 races due to COVID-19 travel and event restrictions. We mistakenly reported in last week's newsletter that it, instead of the similarly-named Mont Blanc Marathon, had been cancelled. Read their official announcement.

UTD event video live

An event video like you've never seen: home footage taken by runners and their families, expertly edited together to tell the story of imagination, spirit, and resilience. Watch the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg Lockdown Edition video now.

When recreating this silly pun we'd seen elsewhere online, with a gentle reminder, we weren't expecting the heated interactions that ensued! 

See what the fuss is about on Facebook, and add your own commentary on Twitter.

If you're on the fence about mask-use when sharing a space: Here's some evidence on their effectiveness in preventing the spread of COVID-19, and debunking the idea that wearing a fabric or surgical mask to exercise is harmful to your health. 

Even if you're not concerned about becoming infected, be aware that many fit and fast fellow-runners may have conditions like diabetes. Let's keep the trail running community one noted for its respect and consideration, with a culture of looking out for each other. 

This week's poll is super close! Weigh in.

Does your body feel injury-prone or refreshed now that you're running again?

Add your Facebook vote!

  • Our web calendar has been updated with seven new virtual events. We have also added new postponements and cancellations. Use it to help identify events you would like to do after we move to lockdown Level 1.
    Most event organisers are offering a money-back guarantee should governmental restrictions prevent their race from happening, so don't stress about losing your entry fee. At the same time, your entries help keep the organisers afloat in the months ahead of the race.
  • Since there will be few, if any, events to report on in our next issue 36 (on sale 22 June), we will be dedicating that space to 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. You may be in our next issue.

Enduren Nutrition Endurance Energy Drink

R14 (50g sachet), R235 (1kg tub), R380 (2kg foil refill) |

Enduren is a high performance, completely natural nutrition range. It is specifically designed to raise energy levels, enhance endurance, prevent dehydration and aid recovery, without side effects. Since 1999 it has powered world-class athletes to numerous world-class results and world records in trail running, mountain biking, mountaineering, watersports, motorsports, and ball-sports. Endurance Energy Drink is natural and flavourless, with superior three-step energy release, no colourants or additives, and has been put to the test in the field.

Stockists 082 466 2759 | | Made South Africa

FEELING LUCK? You can only win if you enter, and a Suunto 7 smartwatch worth R8,000 is up for grabs until the end of June. But don't put it off and then forget. Enter now.

It's easy to get points, and the draw is done randomly. You have as good a chance as anyone!

To enter, visit the page and scroll down to click on the widget below the image immediately under the intro text. It might take a few seconds 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.

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?

Not got the latest issue yet? No stress. You can get the latest issue of TRAIL from Spar, Pick n Pay, and Clicks during your lockdown food and medical supplies shop.

But if you're preferring true isolation to flatten the curve, digital is a perfect solution. You can download TRAIL 35 worldwide via Amazon, App Store, Google Play, Zinio, and Magzter.
Print magazine available at 600+ stores nationally, most of which have remained open (Clicks, Pick n Pay, Spar). Unfortunately, stock in CNA stores is being uplifted now since our distributor RNA is closing down its operation in June. TRAIL 35's cover runner is Eric Ngubane.


  • Meet the team
  • Buy print issue (Spar, Clicks, Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books, Salomon Concept Stores, selected BP petrol stations, and specialist running stores.)
  • Buy digital issue
  • Ask about advertising


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