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!

Like we said, same same but different! We’ve freshened up our 2018 Gauteng Summer Trail Series® offering, and look forward to welcoming you and your crew to another summer of trail loving fun.

We have a special offer of 10% off for family bookings that include 2 adults and 2 children between 11 and 17, and don’t forget that kids 10 years and under run free if pre-registered.

 

Hennops Beast - 21 October Race 1
You can't escape the Hennops Beast. This one stays the same!


 
Titan’s Forest - 28 October Race 2
You know how we love diversity when we trail run, well this brand new inclusion into the Trail Series® portfolio brings exactly that!  This spectacular private farm unlocks an exclusive winding trails through lush green forests, over technical rocky hills and ridges, along muddy riverside trails and over the cleanest natural spring water streams the highveld has to offer.



Sunset Garden - 7 November Race 3
The first sunset run for the Gauteng Trail Series®. After great success in sister botanical garden in Cape Town, we've added the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden Sunset Run to the Trail Series® portfolio. Runners make their way through the gardens before a steep lung busting climb to the top of the waterfall. Once at the top, after taking in the view of the city, a fun mostly downhill single track takes runners back to the finish for the short course. The long course runners first make their way down into Hobby Park where they will run through some fun mountain bike trail before making their way back down into the gardens, around the dam and back to the finish line.


 
Enchanted B’Sorah - 11 November Race 4
B'Sorah will host the grand finale with the exciting new addition of an XL course. This venue’s trails just keeps getting better and better and we're so excited to show you what the XL route has in store!

#UnleashYourWildStride

Winter, it’s been real. But we’re ready for some sunshine now. We’re amped for milder mornings, later sunsets and a classic Gauteng thunderstorm or two. Bring on, the 2018 Gauteng Summer Trail Series® with some new and improved additions coming into the mix.

Entries for the #GSTS2018 open on 29 August 2018, and we’re going to give you a few teasers as to what to expect.

Same same…

The vibe, the format, the lucky draw prizes, the music, the photography and the chance for the whole family to get out on to safe trails and soak up a variety of classic Gauteng trails. We have the same partners on board, which means top end prizes from the likes of Raidlight, Jaybird and Steenberg.

But different!

There will be a night run!

There will be two completely new races in the mix, at new venues!

There will be a fresh XL course on the schedule!

 

Feeling sluggish after a lazy winter? Then it’s time to shake those trail shoes and get cracking with a bit of training, as you won’t want to miss out on this classic series with a few plot twists. Race 1 is coming in hot on 21 October. Keep an eye on the socials for more details.

#GSTS2018

#UnleashYourWildStride 

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.