Two out of two Cape Summer Trail Series® races have brought a little drizzle to our drought – can we go full on down pour for the next two? We’re guessing the entire trail community would be stoked to jump in to a puddle or two.

Tuesday 30 January was another magic evening at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Both the short and long course events sold out beforehand, and the Trail Series® Facebook page became a bit like the stock exchange with some mad last minute trading of subs. The crowd poured in from 5pm, and enjoyed a pre-race snack or cup of coffee as the pros went about their warm up routines.

The A batch in the long course kicked off with their usual pre-race banter. Jono Black and Dylan Stevenson were off the blocks at high speed. Dylan pulled Jono up the climbs on this rollercoaster of a route, and Jono regained ground on the flats and downhill sections as the two friends fought it out. The course took runners through a section of the hallowed gardens, and then straight up towards the contour path with plenty of single track and mountain stair action to keep all on their toes. In the end, Stevenson finished just 20 seconds ahead of Black in a time of 41:46. Stephen Millard wasn’t far behind as he closed the men’s podium in a time of 43:19. Katja Soggot enjoyed a huge win in a time of 48:14, followed by Megan Skowno in 54:02 and Julie Huckle in 55:52. The last of the runners in the long course came off the mountain an hour later, well after dark, and for many their first taste of night running.

In the short course, youth dominated in a big way as Tom Byron (16 years) took the win ahead of Jethro Dunn (14), followed by Clayton Booysen (35). The top three times were 28:53, 29:03 and 29:49 respectively. On a course that delivers very little “flat” these finish times indicate a lot of budding talent in SA trail. Even the Peewee division (10 years and under) chewed this course up post-bedtime. They aren’t as cute as they look on the start line folks, the kids are MEAN out there! Cullen Clarke (10 years) finished in 32:17 with 8 year old Nicholas Etherton chasing him in a time of 32:30. In the women’s race, Rosslee Guess finished in 33:05 with Jada Linstroom in 34:04 and Tanya Posthumus just 2 seconds after her.

The magic of night running held the full field of runners in its usual grip, and the crowed eventually filtered out full of smiles and trail stoke after prize giving and lucky draws were done.  

Next up is the picturesque sunset run at Meerendal on 7 February. For all those who missed the Kirstenbosch experience, and those wishing for more night running adventure, please enter online before the day to guarantee your spot. This course runs predominantly on the perfectly manicured mountain bike single track of Meerendal. A playful, undulating course that offers a solid dose of pure fun. Remember that headlamps are compulsory.

With thanks to the great brands and businesses that add so much to each event; Raidlight, Peak Performance Fitness, Steenberg, Mountain Dew and WWF.

A selection of images is on our website, with many more on the Trail Series® Facebook page. So like, tag, share and update your profile pic or wow the family whatsapp group! Full results are here.  

The Cape Summer Trail Series® is back!

Whether you line up for full on and flat out, or rock up and chill out, the Cape Summer Trail Series® hosted by Wildrunner has something for everyone, even the kids.

The Series®, now in its 11th year, was built on the premise that trail running needed a transition zone, and it became just that. Athletes crossing from road running to trail have experienced this transition in a non-intimidating, fun environment that allows them to test some new gear, and learn from more experienced trail gurus. Equally, the Series® has been the springboard of professional trail running careers, and a place where the sharp end got sharper, using the various races as challenging time trials to increase strength and speed. We’ve seen whole families transition from Sunday morning slouches to fit and fabulous, as they take on a healthy dose of sunshine and trail magic with fellow outdoor lovers.

The Trail Series® has grown to enjoy a national footprint, but the Cape is where it has its roots. The 11th edition holds some exciting surprises, but never a shift from its intended place on the trail running calendar.

Entries for the 2018 Cape Summer Trail Series® are now open, and as always we have to limit our numbers per race. Run 3 of the 4 long or short courses to automatically compete in the Championship or Challenge and receive a medal. Or, you can take part in as many of the individual events as you like, and step up to the XL course at the end of the Series®.

Race one is 21 January 2018 at Lebanon Forest. Runners get an exclusive morning of running through the Valley Farm orchards and the Lebanon Forestry mountain bike trails. A trail filled with glorious singe track and picturesque views. A superb morning of running through a mixture of pine, Fynbos and orchards.

Start your 2018 on the trails, and, like us, never look back. 

You would have been forgiven if you thought the third race of the Spur Cape Winter Trail Series™ took place on a summer’s day as the sun shone down on over 900 trail runners at the Taal Monument in Paarl.

Traditionally known as the fastest course of the Series, this year was no different with the winners of both the long and short courses putting in scintillating performances as they blitzed their way around the Paarl Mountain Reserve before finishing at the inspiring Taal Monument.

In the 13.5km long course Championship, Tsungai Mwanengeni and Liandi van der Westhuyzen took control of the Series as they both claimed their second victories of the current Series. They now only need to put in another consistent performance of the final race of the Series to secure the title.

Mwanengeni showed the value of his experience as he beat the young gun, Raydon Balie to the line in the 13.5km Championship race in a time of 55:58. Balie wasn’t far behind in 57:44 and it’s clear that with a bit more experience he is going to become a tough competitor on the trails. Third over the line was Damian Will in 58:23 as he made it onto the podium for the first time in the Championship.

Liandi van der Westhuyzen was back in top spot after losing out on first place at the second race of the Series as she crossed the line as the first lady in a time of 1:09:52. The second lady home was the relatively unknown Helen Wolfaardt in 1:11:54 while Ellie Courts showed that she just gets better with age as she came home in third place in a time of 1:12:48.

Short course battle shapes up
The racing has been exhilarating in the short course Challenge and this weekend was no different as Dawood Goeieman, Llewelyn Jacobs, Eugene Poss, Andre Afrika, Daniel Arendse and Bruzano Britz continued their fast-paced battle at the front of the short course field. 

This week Goeieman managed to cross the line in the front as he blitzed the 7.5km course in 31:04. Only 17 seconds later, Andre Afrika took second place in 31:21. Third and fourth place was split by just four seconds as Eugene Poss claimed third across the line in 31:39 with Llewelyn Jacobs breathing down his neck.

Liezl du Plooy took full advantage of the perfect conditions and secured her first win of the Series as she romped home in 42:50, just ahead of Lynn Brennan who was across the line in 43:27. Third lady home in the short course was Karen le Roux in a time of 49:55.

It was a spectacular day on the trails for all involved and we can’t wait to take on the fourth race of the Series in two weeks’ time at Kleinmond. With the quality of running we’ve experienced thus far, the racing at the final race is sure to give us some more quality times in another stunning location. Click here to get your entry for this race now!

A big thank you to all the runners for the support and for making our events super special and also to our sponsors, Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Ice Tea, Protea Hotels and Graham Beck, who play a big part in the Spur Trail Series™ success.

Click here for results and here for photos.

 

Approximately 1 000 runners were met with a perfect Cape winter day as they made their way to the Paul Cluver Estate in the Overberg for the first race of the Spur Cape Winter Trail Series™ and the Spur GLB46 Ultra.

The early wake-up call was definitely worth it as the cold front that hit the Western Cape in the preceding week left behind crystal clear skies, bubbling brooks and views that went on forever.
The Spur GLB46 Ultra started off first with almost 100 runners taking on the ultra distance across the Groenlandberg. There was an epic battle at the front of the field with Dylan Solms, Damian Will, Eddie Lambert and Chad Gordon chasing each other all the way. Solms led the way for most of the race but Will made his move in the final kilometre of the race and eventually took the win in 3:50:38, only two minutes ahead of Solms. Third across the line was Lambert as he broke the 4 hour mark with a time of 3:58:01.

The ladies order stayed the same from the first checkpoint on course, with Ronel Nattrass coming home in a time of 4:34:15, followed a few minutes later by Alana Doyle in 4:40:26 and Ursula Turck in 4:42:01.

The long course Championship followed a route of 15.6km along the foot of the Groenlandberg and included a hill that took most runners by surprise. Raydon Balie made the most of the conditions and stormed home in a time of 1:18:15, more than five minutes ahead of his closest competitor, Pieter Calitz who crossed the line in 1:24:45. Jonpaul Bolus completed the podium as he claimed third place in 1:25:42.

Defending champion in the ladies long course Championship, Liandi van der Westhuyzen continued where she left off in 2014 and finished almost ten minutes ahead of second placed, Carla Beyers. Her winning time of 1:34:56 showed her dominance while Beyers’ time of 1:44:32 was also class. Yvonne Mouton took third position for the ladies in 1:45:37.

Short course battle shapes up
It didn’t take long for the form of Dawood Goeieman to make his way down the final hill to claim the 8.8m short course Challenge in a superb time of 33:16. He was followed shortly by Llewellyn Jacobs in 33:27 and Oliver Stewart in 33:46 who breathed down his neck all the way.

Mariella Dierks took control of the race from the get-go and was the only lady to break the 40-minute mark as she took first place in 39:55. Second went to Liezel du Plooy in a time of 44:09 while the familiar face of Katie Leslie crossed the line third in a time of 44:28.

It was a glorious morning in the Cape countryside and everyone who made their way to Paul Cluver had a super fun day in the mud.

A big thanks to our amazing sponsors, Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Ice Tea, Protea Hotels, Graham Beck and Runner’s World for the support and to all the amazing runners who make the Spur Trail Series™ one of our favourite events on the calendar.

Click here for photos and here for full results.

Entries for the second race of the Series are available here until Thursday, 23 July at 10h00am.

 

After four weeks of trail running fun in Gauteng, the popular Spur Trail Series™ moves to the Western Cape as the Spur Cape Winter Trail Series™ kicks off next weekend at the Paul Cluver Estate in Grabouw. The Series will kick off with a bang as runners can choose to take part in either the short 9km Challenge, the long 16km Championship or for those looking for an extreme challenge, the Spur GLB46 Ultra will take place on the same day. With most of the entries gone, time is running out for runners to secure their spot on the start line of one of the most popular trail running series around.

We can look forward to some fast times at the Spur GLB46 Ultra as winner of the Helderberg Mountain Challenge, Dylan Solms is set to go for gold in the men’s race, while Ryan Winter will also be in the fray. Hanlie Booyens and Kathleen McQuade-Little are sure to be battling it out for top honours at the front of the ladies field.

The long course Championship is sure to provide top notch racing again, with Raydon Balie who will be hoping to go one better after two previous second spots in the Championship Series. Liandi van der Westhuyzen will be back to defend her winter Championship title from last year, but they will both be up against some stiff competition during the course of the Series. Both Nick Rembeyi and Llewelyn Jacobs are stepping up to the long course Championship and their presence are sure to keep Balie looking over his shoulder.

The battle in the short course Challenge will be fierce as always, with runners having to go all out from the get-go to gain the initiative over such a short distance. With several top short course Challenge contenders moving up to the longer distance, the Challenge title is up for the taking and we can’t wait to see who will join the Spur Trail Series™ winners’ circle this year. 

While the front runners will be giving their all to get to the finish line first, the vast majority of the entrants will be there to enjoy another fun day on the trails and with spectacular venues like the Paul Cluver Wine Estate, Tygerberg Nature Reserve, the Taal Monument and the Kogelberg Biosphere this is a definite for all participants.

Limited entries are still available and online entries for race 1 will remain open until Monday, 13 July at 10h00am.

The schedule for this year’s Spur Cape Winter Trail Series™ is as follows:

  • 19 July: Spur GLB46 Ultra – Paul Cluver Estate, Grabouw
  • 19 July: Race 1 – Paul Cluver Estate, Grabouw
  • 26 July: Race 2 – Tygerberg Nature Reserve, Bellville
  • 2 August: Race 3 – Taal Monument & Paarl Nature Reserve, Paarl
  • 15 August: Race 4 & XL – Kogelberg Biosphere, Kleinmond


For more information and to enter the Series click here, or find out more about the Spur GLB46 Ultra and the Spur Kleinmond XL.