Discover trail running in South Africa as well as exotic destinations worldwide through TRAIL magazine, published four times annually. 100 pages per issue. Discover the how, why and where. Become a better trail runner as TRAIL looks at this rapidly growing global phenomenon from every conceivable angle.

South Africa
TRAIL magazine Pty Ltd
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4 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
lessons from races

Trail races can teach us valuable lessons, if we are open to learning from them. I’m just back from the 16th edition of the Addo Elephant Trail Run (see page 18). I didn’t run this year (I did my first 100 miler there in 2019 and it was amazing), but it was special to witness the highs and lows of many of the 457 starters in three races. The lesson at Addo – as at all ultras I’ve ever attended – was the power of humility. Competitive sports are often dominated by people with inflated egos who think they deserve special treatment. But ultra trail runners seem to escape this dusting of the hubris brush. I’m always impressed by their humility. They know that any single run can end very differently. It…

1 min.
learning to love suffering

At what point do you become a runner? I know the right answer is “when you run” but internalising that identity is a whole other thing. For me, the turning point was enjoying the pain. My masochism started a long time ago. I realised that the number of scabs and bruises I’d notice on a Monday were proportional to how much fun I’d had over the weekend. I relish running my hand over the raised stinging skin and remembering the activity that caused them. Then there are the muscle aches. It didn’t take long for me to enjoy the ache in my muscles the day or two after a hard workout. Even the abdominal DOMS which made sitting up or laughing hard painful give a sense of satisfaction about what my body…

2 min.
your trail running life in focus

pics@trailmag.co.za trailmag.co.za TRAILza TRAILmag #trailmagpix on Instagram & Twitter BURNING UP THAT HILL Endurance athlete Richard van der Spuy powers up a climb during a 20km summer run from Noordhoek. “My running buddy took some time out from running as he was suffering from extreme fatigue and was close to burnout,” says photographer Jim. After doing six ultras in one year, Richard took a year off from long distance running. In that time he modified his diet, and focused on strength. “He’s a determined bugger, and is now back stronger than ever. I’m so happy to have my 100 mile partner back in action.” Jim Faulds, Cape Town jimfaulds1 LION500 Durbanite Dawn Nunes descending Lion’s Head at sunset. “This was my first Lion’s Head summit. I was excited to exercise 12 weeks after my hamstring operation!” She ran with Kosta, aka Lion500, who has…

4 min.
my words my viewpoint

letters@trailmag.co.za trailmag.co.za TRAILza TRAILmag C’EST LA VIE I have been exercising my whole life. I am a multi-disciplined athlete, training for triathlons and duathlons, with lots of cycling, achieving mid-pack /silver medal results. I did three or four ultra triathlons a year. I met TRAIL publisher Deon Braun around 1990 at a triathlon in Umhlanga. That was when he too was a multi-disciplined oke. I am now 50 years old, and due to back and neck issues, have been told it is advisable to give up running (trail and blacktop, and even MTB). I was told this 10 years ago, after the stabilisation and decompression of my back’s L4/L5 discs. But I thought ‘Hey, what do they know?’ and continued to cycle, swim, and run. I couldn’t perform the quality times I used to put in,…

9 min.
addo elephant trail run

EASTERN CAPE 6 –8 Mar 2020 Hot, hotter, hottest.” That’s how Dr Johan Jordaan (39) of Bloemfontein described his journey to his third Addo 100 Miler to us after he’d finished in seventh place (29h13min). This year’s race had 457 starters over the three distances (100 miler, 76km, 44km) gobsmacked at just how hot it was, especially the 100 mile runners in the infamous 17km stretch known as the Valley of Tears. This undulating, tough, and technical section takes most 100 miler runners around six hours to complete before they reach the famous Ellie’s Tavern checkpoint. From there, they have another 32km of digging deep – very deep – to the finish at Zuurberg Country Inn. The air temperature at checkpoint 13 – the entrance to the Valley of Tears – on Saturday at…

2 min.
international events

Bandera Endurance Trail USA, 11 January 2020 Joburger Mike Nash placed 23rd in 11h10min at the oldest 100km in Texas, just ahead of winning woman Kerrie Wlad. “There was a huge storm the night before, which made the trails very muddy,” Mike told TRAIL after the race. “The mud stuck to shoes, making them feel like lead weights. “The temperature hovered around 15°C during the day, but went down to freezing during the night. I was very glad to be done by sunset. “It was a different experience for me being able to run a 100km race with just a waist-belt and water bottle, as there were no mandatory gear requirements!” Frozen Otter Ultra USA, 18 January 2020 Underberg’s Steve Black is used to extreme mountain conditions, but this was his first experience of stage four frostbite. “The race…