A full album of the #HMC2018 images now up on our Mountain Challenge Series Facebook page. Like this cracker by @marksampsonct 🔥 #GoAboveAndBeyond They say it takes a village to raise a child. So what does it take to organise a mountain challenge? This crew, and a few. Thanks all runners, crew, suppliers, volunteers and sponsors. Helderberg Mountain Challenge is a wrap for 2018
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#HMC2018 
#GoAboveAndBeyond 
@bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza @steenberg_farm @saggystone Sun's out! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Back of the 15km race is a happy place! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond #sweeps Heavy cloud pulling in at the top of the mountain but good warm vibes at the finish line. Beer by @saggystone going down! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond That finish line feeling 😊 #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Our 24km winner today. Robert Rorich takes it in 3h 12min. Can we just highlight that he ran the @whaleoftrail YESTERDAY! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond @bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza Defending his 2017 title, Robert Rorich heading towards the finish line now #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond @bos_sport @jaybirdsport @raidlightza First woman in the 11km is Hanja Bardenhorst! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Jaco Loots wins the 11km! #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Well run @step.hen_mill and @hayleypreen first man and woman across the line in the 15km with Roger Dickson between them. All three came in one after each other. Hayley has smashed the women's record🔥 #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond Full gas to the finish. @hayleypreen is still first woman and third overall #HMC2018 #GoAboveAndBeyond

trail series

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  

A little further out of the Cape, and a little later in the evening, Race 3 at Meerendal Wine Estate had all the ingredients of the perfect date. Pink sky, good tunes, good food, wine and twinkling lights. You could forgive MC Sean Robson for encouraging runners to look around for their singletrack soulmate on the start line… ‘Tis the month of love, after all.

Meerendal is usually the hallowed ground of mountain bikers, but was all ours for the evening. A course that includes a couple of rollercoasters and some infamous switchbacks along with smooth tracks designed for speed and fun. Warnings of numerous snake spottings on the course were relayed to the runners as they lined up, but that didn’t seem to slow the fast crew at all. As the Series® leader board takes shape, so the competitive edge sharpens.

There was certainly no bromance between Dylan Stevenson, Jono Black and Oriole Bolus as they headed out on the long course. Although Dylan let Jono get ahead of him for a while (to clear snakes off the path, he says) he caught him around half way to take the win in 52:30. Jono followed in 55:20, with Oriole of the infamous Muizenberg Trail Dawgs (we know this because they wear t-shirts that say so) rounding out the men’s podium in 57 minutes. Katja Soggot was untouchable in the women’s race, finishing in 1:01:40, with Julie Huckle second in 1:10:16 and Zoe Homel third in 1:13:08.

In the short course, we once again had some exceptional performances from our PeeWee and Minimee categories and we look forward to watching these names as the youngsters mature in to their trail running careers. Bronwyn George (19) flew in to the finish chute at a blistering pace, taking the win in a time of 24:26. 15 year old Cole Adams was 30 seconds behind him, followed by Cobus Hugo in 25:14. Tanya Posthumus-Fox secured her overall Series® win in a time of 28:12, followed by Bianca Tait, also first vet, in a time of 30:04. Rosslee Guess, who has performed consistently well throughout the series finished third in 30:15.

Other notable performances from the evening included 14 year old Jethro Dunn who topped the Minimee podium in a time of 25:53, as well as 10 year old Cullen Clark who scooped the PeeWee win in a time of 28:35.

Prize giving became its usual performance made up of trail banter, great prizes and the Muizenberg Trail Dawgs cracking open a Tafel Lager or two as the last of the twinkling lights came down to the finish line.

What comes next, is an exciting decision making process. If you are happy with your 3-out-of-4 race results, why not upgrade to the XL at Oak Valley on 25 February? 25km of absolute trail stoke in a breath taking venue, and a great way to finish off what has been a truly excellent Series® so far.

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! 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. 

Our family is growing and we're offering the next generation of trail running champions a chance to compete for FREE! 

In the last 10 years we’ve seen the Trail Series® grow exponentially, becoming the country’s biggest and only national short course trail series. A series that is fit for all types of runners, whether a racing snake or a leisurely stroller. It has become a fun outing for the whole family and as we’ve watched our family grow over the years at the Spur Trail Series® we’d really like to include them in our celebrations.

So as part of our 10-year anniversary, Wildrunner is offering all kids under the age of 10 the opportunity to run the Spur Trail Series® for free.

Please email info@wildrunner.co.za with your child’s name, age and school and we’ll send you a promo code for them to enter.

Race information:

Please follow the link for more information. 

T’s and C’s (Terms and Conditions)

1. Applicable for any child 10 years or younger on the day of the first race.
2. Applicable to the short course only.
3. Only applicable via pre-registration. (ie. Have to enter online, does not apply to on the day entries).

The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens created the perfect backdrop to host just over 1,000 runners on Tuesday, at race 3 of the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series®. With an electric atmosphere in the air, the first of the races set off at 19h00, with several top South African trail runners storming out of the blocks as the sun set behind Table Mountain.

In the 10km long course Championship, a new face to the Spur Trail Series® scene, Justin Fritz, took everyone by surprise as he blitzed the course and sprinted across the finish line almost four minutes ahead of the competition. He managed to break the 40 minute barrier and crossed the line in 39:56, looking fresh and ready for more. A few minutes later, a cluster of runners rushed home in short stride with Raydon Balie, Rory Scheffer, Nicholas Rupanga and Jarryd Dunn all crossing the line with less than 20 seconds separating them. Balie claimed second position with his time of 42:34 and third place went to Scheffer with a time of 43:40.

In the ladies long course race, Hayley Preen once again proved her class as she took her second win of the Series in a time of 48:41. She looks set to claim her first Championship title in a month’s time at the final race of the Series, at Oak Valley. In second place, Kate Mapham also impressed, beating the recently recovered Katya Soggot to the line in a time of 50:37 - Soggot taking third position in 52:53.

Short course battle shapes up
The 5.8km short course Challenge made for some exciting racing as it culminated in a sprint finish between Andre Afrika and Stefan Oosthuizen. Afrika managed to pip Oosthuizen to the post with a time of 25:11, in a repeat of race 1’s results. In third place, Dawood Goeieman moved up one spot from race 1 with a time of 26:52 - only seconds ahead of Daniel Arendse and Robert Shaff. The racing between these top five runners always makes for an exciting finish and we can’t wait to see what happens at the final race of the Series at Oak Valley.

Linda Detering started in the second batch, chasing all the way, and managed to make up enough time on Tina-Marie Meyer to claim first place. Her time of 30:01 meant Meyer had to settle for second position with a time of 31:41. Polly Else claimed the last spot on the podium, coming home third in a time of 32:33. 

It was a fine way to continue the Spur Trail Series® after the disappointment of having to cancel the second race of the Series due to wildfires and a wonderful way to celebrate Wildrunner’s 200th event on the trails. We look forward to many more and to seeing everyone at the final race of the Series on 28 February at Oak Valley. If you don’t have your entry for this race yet, enter now and book your spot on the start line!

A big thanks to all the runners and our fantastic sponsors - Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Sport, Protea Hotels and La Sportiva SA.

Click here for the full results and here for more photos.

On Saturday evening, 16th January 2016, the Wildrunner team watched helplessly from the start/finish location for race 2 of the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series®, as the forested hills and farms of Lebanon in the Elgin Valley were torn apart by vicious wildfires. 

At 9:49pm we were left with no choice but to cancel the event.  The CSIR centre just to the east  (upwind) of our routes, had at this stage been surrounded by the fire.  On consultation with local disaster management and the owner of the farm it was clear that the fire was continuing unabated into the heart of the Lebanon plantation and onto the Spur Trail Series® routes.  To continue with the event as planned would have been irresponsible and negligent.

Since making this announcement on all the channels available to us at the time, we have received a number of queries regarding refunds, postponements and ticket transfer as well as suggestions of donating entry fees to the much needed volunteer fire fighting efforts in Grabouw.

In summary refunds, postponements and transferring entries to another race in the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® are not feasible options  - a brief explanation as to why this is, is given at the bottom of this communication.  

The good news is that after careful analysis of what expenses have not been realised, we have concluded a figure of R35,000 that we are able to donate to the Volunteer Wildfire Services (VWS).  This includes a R10,000 donation from Spur Steak Ranches.  BOS Sport have also agreed to donate 20 cases of BOS Sport to help keep those weary firemen and women sharp and hydrated!

We thank you all for your understanding and support.  At this time, our thoughts go out to all of those who have been grossly affected by the fire in the Elgin Valley, and to everyone still on the frontline of the fire.  May everyone return safely to their families.  If anyone would like to contribute further in any way please make contact with VWS by email on newlands@vws.org.za.

We look forward to seeing you at Kirstenbosch Gardens on the 26th January for the next installment of the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series®.  


Kind regards, 

The Wildrunner Team


Refunds, postponements & transferring entries
Refunds:  Due to the specialised nature of the services rendered by our company and third party contractors, entry fees received are invested in the cost of staging the event. The reality is that come race day the majority of the costs required to host the event have already been committed. It is with regret that the event  was cancelled at the last minute, however the cancellation was attributed to circumstances  beyond our reasonable control and  for your own safety. Consequently, we have no alternative but to enforce the 'no refund' policy  reflected in the terms of entry, which comply with  the  requirements  of  the  Consumer  Protection  Act.
Postponement: We cannot postpone for three primary reasons.  Firstly, we cannot use the same venue for obvious reasons.  Secondly, events take anything from 3-6 months to plan and execute. From booking venues to fulfilling our duties with regards to the Safety & Recreation Act, disaster management and the numerous other channels that professional event organisations are required to follow in the build up to event day.  As a result a new venue is not an option.  
Transferring entries: The primary reason we cannot transfer your entry to another race in the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® is that this is in effect a refund and for the reasons given above this is not a feasible option.    

Effect on the ‘Series’ Championship & Challenge?
Essentially the Series will now consist of only three races, all of which count towards the Championship & Challenge. I.e. runners who wish to complete the Series still need to run three long courses or three short courses to complete the Series and receive a medal.

 

The Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® kicked off with a bang and a bluster as almost 800 runners took on the howling south-easter at the Tygerberg Nature Reserve.
 
There was excitement in the air as runners started trickling in at the start venue and, with the Tygerberg hills looming over them, the reality of the challenge that lay ahead started to set in. Uncomfortable as the wind was, it brought welcome respite against the usual summer heat.
 
The familiar faces of Bernard Rukadza, Raydon Balie, Franz-Eric Streicher, Michael Gombart and Katya Soggot were joined at the start line of the 12.1km long course Championship by up-and-coming youngsters Jarryd Dunn, Hayley Preen and Megan Leslie and it was clear from the outset that the racing at the front of the field was going to be fierce.
 
We were not disappointed and Balie put in a strong performance, showing his intentions for the Series, and claiming his first win of 2016 with a time of 55:07. Rukadza, on tired legs due to training for an ultra, crossed the line in second place in a time of 56:59, with the impressive Dunn not far behind in 1:00:02.
 
The ladies race was dominated by Preen, who is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. She crossed the finish line more than five minutes ahead of her closest competition in a time of 1:06:04. In second position was the surprise package of the evening, Sanja Steyn from Zimbabwe in a time of 1:11:44. An old Spur Trail Series® favourite, Katya Soggot had to settle for third place with a time of 1:12:14 as she recovers from injury.
 
Afrika, Leslie going for gold
In the short course Challenge there wasn’t time to blink as the up-and-coming Andre Afrika swept around the 8.1km course in a blistering time of 35:42. Behind him, Stefan Oosthuizen and Juan Carstens were chasing hard but they could not keep up – Oosthuizen claiming second place in a time of 37:14 and Carstens completing the podium with a time of 39:23.
 
Megan Leslie once again showed her class as she claimed another first place in the short course race with her time of 45:09, ahead of Tina-Mari Meyer in 46:53 and Linda Detering in 48:20.
 
It was a thrilling start to what promised to be another memorable Spur Trail Series® and we can’t wait to continue this Sunday when the Series moves to the beautiful Lebanon Forest in the Elgin Valley.
 
A big thank you to our awesome sponsors, Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Sport, Protea Hotels and Outward Ventures for making these events possible and to everyone who come out to the races and make it all worthwhile.
 
We’ll see you on Sunday!
 
Click here for full results and here for photos.

On another incredibly hot summer day in Gauteng more than 500 runners showed up at the final race of the Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series® at Leeuwenkloof to cap off a fantastic Series of trail running. 

There was to be no respite from the incredibly hot Gauteng summer and by 7am the thermometer was already close to 30 degrees Celsius. Some runners succumbed to the heat and had to pull out of the race to find comfort and an ice cold drink in the shady finish area, but the majority showed their grit and determination and pushed through to finish what has been a tough Series because of the sweltering weather conditions throughout.

Fidel Ncube showed his strength in the 13.8km long course Championship race and beat his closest competition by almost five minutes, making it two out of two wins for this Series, as he crossed the line in 55:00. Unfortunately, he couldn’t take part in a third race this summer and missed out on the Series title because of this but we’re sure he’ll be back in winter to claim his first Championship title. Nicky Ndhlovu and Daniel Jenner were locked in a head-to-head battle for second place, with Ndhlovu just pipping Jenner to the line by four seconds in a time of 59:49. The overall Championship title went to Tim Cable who secured his victory after three consistent performances in the first three races of the Series.

The ladies long course Championship title went to the talented Maphuti Phaka who came back to claim her third victory in three races. Phaka excelled in the heat and there was simply no competition as she raced across the line in 1:05:08 - more than eight minutes ahead of the second placed lady. Benita Kritzinger took second place with her time of 1:13:14 while Michelle Ronne completed the podium in 1:15:35.

Youngsters taught a lesson by experience
In the 8.8km short course Challenge the 33-year-old Ryan Mathaba beat several younger runners to the line, proving that youth doesn’t always beat experience. Mathaba timed his race perfectly and pulled away from 16-year-old Ezra Ferreira in the final stages of the race to beat him by 30 seconds in a time of 33:15. Third across the line was another youngster, Janco Ferreira in a time of 34:58. With this victory Mathaba made it three out of three to wrap up yet another Challenge title.

Anita O’Brien had to settle for second place on the day behind a blistering Jeannie de Beer who came home in 40:43, but her consistent strong performances at the first three races of the Series meant she wrapped up the Series ahead of the young de Beer. On the day, O’Brian crossed the line 44:05 with third place going to Abby Long in a time of 49:15.

The competition in the younger categories is very encouraging and, with five runners under the age of 17 placing in the top ten, we are looking forward to trail running in Gauteng and South Africa becoming stronger and stronger as these youngsters move onto the main stage.

A massive thank you to our sponsors, Spur Steak Ranches, BOS Ice Tea, Protea Hotels and Graham Beck Wines, for their amazing support during the year. We look forward to a much cooler visit to Gauteng in June 2016 for the Spur Gauteng Winter Trail Series®. But first, we’re heading to Cape Town for the Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® in January.

Click here for full results and here for more photos.
 

SERIES RESULTS
Short course Challenge Series 
Open men

  1. Ryan Mathaba
  2. Janco Erasmus
  3. Henco Erasmus

Open women

  1. Anita o’Brien
  2. Jeannie de Beer
  3. Elzani Smith

Veteran men

  1. Chris Dorfling
  2. Patrick Mynhardt
  3. Carlos Teixeira

Veteran women

  1. Phylis de Fouw
  2. Marisa Marais
  3. Brenda Taylor

Master men

  1. Johnie Jonker
  2. Rainier Ludwig
  3. Carl Fickenscher

Master women

  1. Sonja Bohnsack
  2. Mariana Kinnear
  3. Karen Stander

Junior

  1. Ezra Ferreira
  2. Daniel Rademan
  3. Xavier Nel

Minimee

  1. Ian de Fouw
  2. Caleb Rademsn
  3. Daniel Ellis

Peewee

  1. Luke Fritz
  2. Corne de Fouw
  3. Matthew Vaughan

Long course Championship series
Open men

  1. Tim Cable
  2. Sheldon George
  3. Pierre Poulain

Open women

  1. Maphuti Phaka
  2. Mari de Jager
  3. Anrie van Wyk

Veteran men

  1. Frans Bonokwane
  2. Attie Chambers
  3. Nick Reed

Veteran women

  1. Benita Kritzinger
  2. Lana Dyer
  3. Anke Langenhorst

Master men

  1. Jay Bradley
  2. Brian Chamberlain
  3. Herman van der Merwe

Master women

  1. Santie Kelsey
  2. Sonja van der Vyver
  3. Beate Schulte-Brader

The Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series® came to life this weekend with more than 500 runners turning up to race some of the quickest trails in the north as gentle inclines, switchbacks and inviting descents made for a fun and fast day out.

In the men’s 13.5km long course Championship race Clinton Ferreira, race 2’s runner up, went one better as he ran home in a super time of 56:20 to claim top spot. Tim Cable was following not too far behind and claimed second over the line in a time of 56:42 while Michael Joubert also broke the hour mark, coming home in third place overall in 57:09.

In the ladies race, veteran Benita Kritzinger showed that age is no barrier and stormed home in first place with a time of 01:07:29. Denise de Souza was over a minute back in second place, recording a time of 01:08:33 while third over the line went to Mari de Jager in a time of 01:11:00 to cap off an impressive overall podium.

Rademan and O’Brien sprint home for top honours
After coming second in the first two races of the Series, Daniel Rademan was hungry to step on the top spot of the overall podium in the 6.7km short course Challenge race. It was this hunger that proved the difference and he outsprinted Janco Erasmus on the line to take home bragging rights with a time of 26:27. Erasmus was right behind him in 26:29 with overall third position going to Henco Erasmus in 27:04 to round off a super fast podium!

In the ladies race, Anita O’Brien picked up where she left off at race 2 and once again claimed top spot in the short course race, clocking 31:43, with Phyllis De Fouw not too far back to take second overall and first veteran lady with a time of 32:36. Junior, Ane Schoeman picked up the last spot on the overall podium with a quality time of 34:15.

The Series now takes a break but with a whole host of categories up for grabs, we are looking forward to the final race in this 2015 Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series® on the 6th of December at Leeuwenkloof. If you haven’t entered yet, be sure to get your entry now and end your trail running year on a high!

A big thanks to our sponsors; Spur, BOS, Protea Hotels and Graham Beck Wines.

Click here for results and here for photos.

 

The Spur Gauteng Summer Trail Series® and Spur Cape Summer Trail Series® will once again be broadcast on SuperSport this summer. Make sure you run the races and get caught on camera by our paparazzi and then tune in on the following dates to check out the shows. Who knows, this could be your 15 seconds of fame!



Please note, these dates and times are subject to change. Please check final broadcast times closer to the time.