South Africa

You need to look no further than B’Sorah for that ultimate running compilation of bushveld diversity, from riverside trails and forest, to open savanna.  Underfoot it’s a kaleidoscope of fast open, to rocky hilltops and everything in between. The poplar forest closes out the final trails along which you need the footwork of Springbok winger to avoid the close packed trees.  As a stage for the closing race in the GSTS18, you could get no better.

Like the weather, the racing was hot.  For the most part, the leaders in the Series had done what they had to secure the Series win, but in many instances, second and third places were to go down to the wire. In the Championship Open category, ‘just’ 43 seconds (or 3.4sec/km) was the closing difference in the race for 3rd place, with Andrew Currie nabbing the final spot on the podium from Stephen Atkinson.  But by far the closest was the 3 second gap separating 4th & 5th in the Veteran men's Championship race, with Carl Sandrock the victor over Loic Cadion and in doing so stealing the final step on the podium from his rival.

In the Challenge Series, the closest battle was in the Masters race, with Gerrie Coetzee and Johnie Jonker tying up the Series on points at the line, leaving us to separate gold and silver based on their acculative time.  After crunching the numbers, Gerrie Coetzee proved the victor by just 1 minute 32 seconds over the four race series.

Check out the overall Gauteng Summer Trail Series® results here

The final race

It was another commanding run by Bernard van der Kuil, taking line honours in the 12.8km in 58:01.  Charging in to take second over the line was a rampant Marelize Retief, finishing only 4 minutes behind Bernard.  Tim Price rounded out the top three over the line in 1:02:33. Leon Scholtz completed the men’s podium with a 4th place over the line, closely followed by Sandra Mansvelder in 5th to take 2nd in the ladies race in 1:04:33.  Kerryn Prowse completed the ladies podium in 1:16:09.

The master men’s podium was separated by 20 seconds, with Leon Limper snatching the win from Douw O’Kelly by 12 seconds in 1:10:31 (10th overall), who in turn pipped the eventual 2018 Masters Champion Gert Steyn by only 8 seconds.

In the 6.6km Challenge route is was Rob Donkin in first in 29:02, followed closely by 14 year old ‘Minimee’ category Series champion Tiaan Dorfling in 30:58. Johan Kruger made the top three in 31:03.  Special mention needs to be made of 10 year old ‘Peewee’ Series Champion Scott Williamson and 11 year old Lean Scholtz finishing 4th and 5th over the line respectively. Lean’s race result secured him a matching 2nd place in the hotly contested ‘Minimee’ competition, behind a rampant Tiaan Dorfling - super impressive given he is 3 years his junior!

Charine Kruger led the ladies race in the Challenge, breaking the tape in 32:39.  Leanri Williams and Dominique Walters concluded the ladies over the line podium. 12 year old Claire Fisher ran in an impressive 17th overall and 3rd in her ‘Minimee’ category.  This final result secured her 3rd place in the overall Series, snatching the final podium place from Thina Makapela by 1 point! Just five seconds behind Claire in the final race was 14 year old Kaylen Scholtz. Christa Coetzee took charge of the Masters ladies race, winning in 40:08, some 4 minutes ahead of Sue Botha.  The veteran ladies race was separated by a mere 3 seconds, with Marinette le Roux the victor over Elke Thompson in 42:24.

Johan Kruger, Chris Dorfling and Craig Marshal were all separated by only 52 seconds in the battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively in the Veteran mens race, 2 minutes back from overall race winner Rob Donkin.  The open category was even closer, with just 46 seconds separating the podium, with Ryan Marshall, Ryan Walters and Daniel van der Walt finishing in that order.

Check out the final race results here

Full Facebook photo album

That’s a wrap then

A huge thank you to our sponsors and partners Jaybird, Raidlight, Steenberg, Pepsi Max and Petzl (sunset race) for their amazing support.

Last but definitely not least, a huge thank you to all of you for your support and participation!  If you have any comments or feedback please feel free to email info@wildrunner.co.za and if you took pictures or have stories to share please include either @wildrunnerza or the hashtag #GSTS18 on your posts so we can like and share!  

The Gauteng Summer Trail Series® was brought to you by Wildrunner

Spoiler alert: It’s going to be HOT!

If you live in the Cape, then you're one of those who has been tossed between scorching heat and some winter throw backs of late. Some of it has been so sizzling that your bios read "In a Relationship with an Air Conditioner". Well that’s just a taste of what’s coming at you, because the 2019 version of the Cape Summer Trail Series® is getting all fired up.

On our summer menu…

15 January           Kirstenbosch Sunset Run 

This one always sells out, so get involved early with an online entry. Choose between the 10km Long Course or the 5km Short Course. You get an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a sunset from within the beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Run past the fragrance gardens, up onto the fringes of Cecilia Forest along the contour path. After the beautiful mountain trails, there's a playful technical descent followed by a magnificent indigenous forest. Then back into the gardens and through the magical setting of the cycad forest, and onto the festive finish line.

20 January           Lebanon Forest

The Long Course is 13.4km, and Short Course 6.3km. A beautiful morning of running through the Valley Farm orchards and the Lebanon Forestry mountain bike trails. A trail filled with glorious single track and picturesque views with a heady mix of pine, orchards and fynbos. Good food, good tunes and all your favourite trail peeps will be waiting on the finish line.

30 January           Meerendal Sunset Run

Charge the headlamps, this one must not be missed! For race 3 we head out into the Durbanville Wine Valley and onto Meerendal Wine Estate. Long Course is 12km, and Short Course 6.2km. Run off into the sunset and take in the beauty of an iconic Table Mountain view in the distance. 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. We’ve got you covered for a food truck dinner during prize giving.

3 February          Oakvalley

The magnificent country estate of Oak Valley is a fitting scene for the final race in the 2019 Cape Summer Trail Series®.  This is exclusive access to hallowed mountain biking trails through an eclectic landscape from pine forest and open fields to riverine forest and apple orchards.  This is the ultimate feel good run that in practice is a fast, fun and non-technical course. Three options here with a Short Course of 7km, Long Course of 15.1km or an XL of 25km. The XL is an ideal ‘upgrade’ for those who have either banked the Series (3 out of 4) or want to just race something longer. The finale is always a real buzz of celebration, friends and family in a truly beautiful setting.

Remember…

Run 3 of the 4 long / short courses to automatically compete in the Championship / Challenge and receive a medal or cherry pick the races that you wish to run (note: medals for finishers of the Trail Series® Championship/Challenge only). The Trail Series®, heading in to its 12th year, is where your cross over to trail running begins, your trail speed improves and you get to run new routes within the safety of a professionally run event. It’s about friends, family and fun times in the great outdoors.

 

The heat is on. See you soon! Entries via www.trailseries.co.za

#UnleashYourWildStride

#CSTS2019

 

What an adventure on Titan’s Forest trails in race 2 of the Gauteng Summer Trail Series!  A brand new addition to the trail running scene, it was with great anticipation that trail runners lined up at the start line from 7 am on Sunday to run this magic piece of private Broederstroom property.  Majority of the route focus was the spectacular forests that lined the source of the Broederstroom spring. Being able to drink from the spring during the run was a really unusual highlight for many.

 

The trails were undeniably busy, with a huge variation in steep technical climbs & descents, fast winding trails through the forests complete with lots of tricky valleys and slate-covered ridges.  Diversity second to none. This busy run meant you hardly had time to realise where you were before you found yourself back at the finish! Carl Sandrock commented, “It’s like a complete cerebral overload!” We think this summarised the Titan’s Forest experience to a T!

 

For the full race results click here

For all the photos, click on the Trail Series Facebook page

 

13km Championship race

Shorted from 14km before the start due to some unforeseen circumstances, the Championship (Long) course took on more of everything as we stretched out the route to cover a large portion of this magnificent property.  

 

28-year-old Bernard van der Kuil totally owned the route, completing the 13km in 56:38, over 5 minutes ahead of second place Leon Scholtz.  Craig Makopela rounded out the top three in 1:02:47. Behind Bernard in the Open Senior category, Stephen Atkinson took 2nd place with Tim Price rounding out third.

 

Wildcoast Wildrun record holder Marelise Retief and Penny Bowren were separated by just 53 seconds in the ladies race, with Marelise taking her second race win in a row in 1:03:19.  Their respective times put them at 4th and 5th place over the line respectively. Michel Botha completed the top three over the line in 1:18:30. In the ladies open/senior category Thea-Mari Franken moved into 3rd behind Michel Botha.

 

The veteran men's race is was Leon Scholtz in the lead in 1:01:51, with Craig Makopela and Mark Phipson in 2nd and 3rd respectively.  Karen Ellithorne lead the charge in the Vet ladies race, winning in a time of 1:34:28. Karen was chased hard by Sharon Masson in 2nd, just 9 seconds back, and third was Sarah Hanson in 1:36:22.

 

Gert Steyn held on to a narrow 32 second lead over Martin Stumbles in the men's Masters race, with Douw O’Kelly rounding out third.  Behind a rampant Penny Bowren in the ladies Masters competition, came Lois Spies in 2nd and Jacqueline du Toit in 3rd.

 

And last but not least a special shout out to George Lupton-Smith for his lead in the provisional Grand Masters category!

 

7.4km Challenge race

14 year old Tiaan Dorfling clearly revelled in the technical trail, dancing his way to the finish line in the 7.4km Challenge course in an incredible time of 30:11 - over 10 minutes ahead of second placed Rob Donkin, who in turn was less than two minutes ahead of his 12 year old son Joel.  That puts two 11-14 year old “Minimee” into the top three over the line! Rounding out the minimee category was Stuart Phipson in 42:46.

 

Charine Kruger completed a top 10 finish in the short course ladies race in 45:47, with a two minute lead on Leanri Williamson.  Domenique Walters rounded out the top three ladies over the line just one minute back from Leanri in 48:51.

 

In the 6-10 year old “Peewee” category is was the usual all guns blazing approach by the little runners.  10 year old Scott Williamson took line honours in this category in 45:36, which also secured him a top 10 placing.  Chasing him down with pedal to the metal was Kayden Durrie (10yrs) and rounding out the top three was Noe Cadion - also 10 years old.

 

In the Veteran category, the ladies race was won by Janette Bewsey in 58:21, followed by a close tussle for 2nd and 3rd between Elke Thompson and Marinette le Roux - with Elke managing to eek out a mere 4-second advantage at the line.  The Veteran men's race was won by Rob Donkin (2nd over the line) in 40:08, followed by Johan Kruger in 45:44 and Jason Reeves in 48:05.

 

Gerrie & Christa Coetzee took charge of their respective Masters categories.  Tyrone Gower and Johnnie Jonker took 2nd and 3rd respectively in the men's race, and Eva Alexandrova & Linda van der Gryp 2nd and 3rd respectively in the ladies.

 

Two down, two to go

The second half of the 2018 GSTS takes on a sunset garden running experience at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens on the 7th November and concludes with the magnificent B’Sorah - one of the all time favourites!  If you are not entered already, make sure you don’t miss out on one or both of these two by entering on www.trailseries.co.za


Huge thank you to Titan’s Forest for hosting us and to our key sponsors Jaybird and Raidlight!

11 years in, and the magic just keeps building. Every year a combination of familiar faces and brand new recruits arrive at the Trail Series® venues, each with their own objectives. Some come to test their legs at their very first trail race, others come to enjoy the social aspect of a short of medium distance trail with friends. The fast pack get out there to kick up the dust, and every year a few new trail stars are born.

With Race 1 and 2 already in the bag, the 2018 Cape Winter Trail Series® has been no different. On Sunday 22 July a capacity crowd streamed in to Paul Cluver for either the 15.5km long course, or the 8.6km short course. With some exciting route changes since 2017, both distances proved a balanced combination of challenge, reward and fun. 

Over hot pancakes and breakfast burgers, the post-race stories emerged. Who is Cana Peek? The young Stellenbosch student who was first spotted winning the JMC 24km earlier this year, took top spot on the long course and has reportedly won every trail race she has entered between the two events. Ryan Ball, in the junior category, cruised ever so easily to victory in the short course. Both Cana and Ryan are runners to watch. The Mini Mees and Pee Wees chatted and laughed over cups of Pepsi before prize giving; far cry from the fierce competition they throw down on the short course. The youngsters marvelled at the Grand Masters.

The amphitheatre was packed for prize giving. Raidlight gear, Steenberg Wine and the highly coveted Jaybird Bluetooth earphones in the lucky draw mix. You don’t have to be a podium runner to leave feeling triumphant. “See you next week!” as cars streamed out, taking sweaty, satisfied runners and their crew home. Not a sniff of the Monday blues about.

On Sunday 29 July a similar crew climbed the grassy bank to line up for Race 2, at Tygerberg Nature Reserve. This hidden gem of a space is not widely known to many, and it holds plenty of well-kept secrets. As the sun rose, the full moon hung low and heavy next to Table Mountain on the horizon. Runners peeled off their layers, sipped hot coffee and prepared to do battle. And a battle it was, with a tougher course than Race 1, and far, far more climbing on the menu, but no less fun.

The fast pack had to fight a little harder for their positions, but Cana Peek did not disappoint her new fan club, coming in second overall in the long course, and first woman. Marion Leiberich was hot on her heels, only a minute separating the two woman who were 2nd and 3rd across the line, behind Emmanual Dlamini. Ryan Ball also had to fight for first spot in the short course, with fellow junior runner Stephen Millard only 31 seconds behind him. Some cat and mouse racing up on the trails of Tygerberg.

(Above) Cana Peek

 

(Above) Ryan Ball

 

A festive atmosphere above the finish chute rounded out another day of winter trail magic. Good food, great tunes and endless laughter as the crowd hung around to bring the very last runners over the line.

Next up is the Taal Monument on Sunday 5 August. Race 3, and the fastest course of the lot.

Results for Race 1 and 2  

You know what they say about a Gauteng winter…

 

It’s dry, but you can run it!

 

Actually, SA weather patterns are all over the place at the moment so who really knows what the new season will bring. What we DO know, with 100% certainty, is that it will bring another fun-filled Trail Series® courtesy of Wildrunner!

 

From the Bushveld of B’Sorah on 17 June, to the majestic Leeuwenkloof on 8 July, runners of every age and ability will be spotted doing what they love most, rain or shine. The single track stoke will be high, the post-run chill zone will be buzzing.

 

 

What to expect…

 

The Trail Series® concept was designed as a safe, fun opportunity to transition in to trail running. At every race, you will find a combination of competitive runners, beginners, kids and social weekend warriors. You can select your seeding to optimise your race experience (this seeding cannot be changed during the series). You can race hard, or party hard, but you should be fit enough to get through the short course by running the flats and downs, and walking the climbs. Slow is fine, and there is no specific gear requirement other than a smile for the cameras. There is always hot coffee on arrival, and a mix of food vendors before and after your race. There are prizes for category winners, and plenty of exciting lucky draws so don’t leave too hastily.

 

Kids 10 and under run free – but must be pre-registered (email info@wildrunner.co.za for your promo code).

 

There is a Short and Long course races at each of the 4 special venues, with an XL added at Leeuwenkloof.

 

Entries are open!

 

See you all soon.

 

#GWTS2018

#UnleashYourWildStride