Trail Camps with TRAIL magazine

Pondoland Trail Camp

Trail running camps

Regrettably, we are not offering trail camps in 2019.

But if you live in Cape Town or Gauteng, we hope that you’ll join us at one of our 2019 Trail Clinics in those cities.

Our Clinics are two-day experiences that don’t require you to commit your full weekend to improving your trail running. You go home after each day on Saturday and Sunday, unlike the Camps, where you are away from Friday to Sunday.

If you’re still sold on doing any camps we do in future, please add yourself to our mailing list.

Read about previous camps below.

Rhino Peak Trail Camp run
Giant’s Cup Trail Run co-founder Matt Goode on the way up, up, up and up to Rhino Peak, for our Trail Camp recce in November 2015. photo Deon Braun

Your hosts at Trail Camps are Deon Braun (TRAIL founder), Heloise Hunter-Marshall (TRAIL assistant editor), Steven Erasmus (elite runner), Tarryn Lopez (elite runner), Stephan Terblanche (biokineticist), and Christine Terblanche (logistics).

Steven Erasmus grew up in Johannesburg but quickly moved down to the KZN North Coast after high school. This is where he found his passion for outdoor activities. Steven comes from a background of adventure racing and got into trail running after a friend asked him to race Mnweni Marathon with him. This was his first Drakensberg mountain experience and since then takes every opportunity to spend time in the mountains.

His results include wins at Hobbit 100 (2015), Mnweni (2013, 2015), Umko Descent Trail (2016), The Mutter (2016), second place at the 100km Fish River Canyon Ultra (2014), and an eighth SA Ultra Distance Trail Champs (2016), and a tenth at 100km SkyRun (2016).

Tarryn Lopez has been running since a young age. She ran High School Track and Cross Country at a Provincial level and then went over to the USA to compete at a Collegiate level.

Molweni Trail 2016 Tarryn Lopez by Anthony Grote t20
Tarryn Lopez chasing hard over the grassland above the gorge.
photo Anthony Grote

She moved back to SA in 2013 and fell in love with the trails and spends every chance she gets to go exploring in the mountains. She is a qualified Pilates instructor, personal trainer and has a degree in Exercise Science. With her love for trail running and background in sport specific strength training, she will be giving us some strength training tips and exercises to help make you a stronger, agile and injury-free trail runner.

Her 2016 trail race results include wins at Molweni 32km, Ngoje 38km, Umko Trail 8km, and KZN Trail Running Sugar Rush Night Trail 12km, and a second place at Mnweni Marathon 38km.

Runner feedback

13-15 April 2018 Camp: Thanks one and all for a great weekend! Especially for not being put off by the crazy Brit who wasn’t fazed by the forecast and still wanted to head for the hills even if hideous weather was forecast. Thank goodness it wasn’t. I really enjoyed everything you threw at me! I learned heaps and loved the runs (even if I looked broken at the time – that’s pretty standard for me). It was definitely a weekend that turned out to be more than the sum of its parts. Thanks to the TRAIL team for such an inspiring weekend. Lizzie Tier, St Francis Bay, EC

15-17 April 2016 camp. The Rhino summit was very special for me and the best part of the whole weekend was the 4km home from Pillar Cave where it seemed to all come together… I absolutely loved running that section! We learned heaps and so enjoyed engaging with the experts. Shanon MacKenzie, Eston, KZN

Interested in Mountain Camp? Add yourself to our mailing list for future camps.

Previous camps

  • 6-8 August 2016. The first day took three of the 10 participants to the top of breath-taking 3,050m-high Rhino Peak (21km out and back). Snow, winds, and icy trails made this an extreme one for the experience bank, as the remaining seven runners chose to turn back at two different points, just shy of the peak. Safety first!
  • Day 2 was on parts of the Giant’s Cup Trail (17km) to Pinnacle Rock from Cobham campsite. Our first Camp here was held 15-17 April 2016. View the Facebook album.

Why do them?

  • Experience incredible places in the safety of an experienced group of trail runners.
  • Learn and hone vital technical skills.
  • Develop stamina and speed.
  • Tweak your nutrition.
  • Boost your energy levels.
  • Make new friends.
  • Have serious fun!

Who should do them?

These quality weekend getaways are aimed mainly at intermediate to advanced trail runners who can already eat 15km+ offroad runs for breakfast, but want to take their trail running – and health/awareness/impact on the world – to a new level.

Not there yet? We can cater for runners who still aspire to run 15km before breakfast, depending on group size. This will be done through a second group running a slower pace.

Frequent re-groups for tips and feedback are the order of the day.

You’ll gain new insights in everything from nutrition, to gear choices, to pacing, to mental techniques, to how to train for races.

Make 2017 the beginning of the best year of your life (yet).

See our April 2016 Mountain Camp photo album. And our 2017 Pondoland Camp.

Book Now buttonEmail Deon for more info.

Want to know what you’ll do?

Check out the August 2016 itinerary:

Itinerary (use as a guideline only)

Sat 6 Aug 2016
12pm Arrive, meet and greet, enjoy a welcome drink, settle into your rooms, then return wearing run kit (set 1) plus hydration pack for practical demo
12:30pm Introduce yourself, talk about your running background, chat about weekend and objectives
12:50pm Snack break
1pm Heloise: Talk about foot preparation. Hydration packs.
1:30pm Deon: Talk about kit, sun protection, altitude adaptation Deon Himalayan experience
2pm Short exploration around base camp with full kit to tweak.
2:30pm Return, drinks, snacks
2:40pm CLASS: Stephan Terblanche: Preventing injury class 1 of 2
3:40pm Siesta or chill (30min)
4:20pm CLASS: Tarryn Lopez strength-training class
5:20pm-6pm Supper at base camp
6:10pm Prep for night walk, kit checks (set 1)
6:20pm OUTSIDE: Night walk, 30min
650pm Return, watch short films, showers, snacks
7:45pm MOVIE: Watch short films & first half of a full-length trail film
8:30pm Kit prep (done previous evening, using set 2 of your running kit)
8:45pm Turn in. Sunday is going to be a busy day!
Sun 7 Aug 2016
4am Wake, meditate/focus on what you love, and the BIG BEAUTIFUL day ahead!
4:30am Light pre-run meals (fruit, oats, toast)
5am Depart for Cobham to Pinnacle Rocks run
6am OUTSIDE: Start 16km run/hike with emphasis on technique. Teachers will assist one-on-one. Terrain: rocky, technical, flowing.
11:30am Arrive back at vehicles at Cobham, enjoy post-run smoothies/snacks at vehicles, then return for Coxhill
12:30pm Arrive back at Coxhill. Smoothies, lunch and re-hydration. Afterwards, swim, bath, shower, chill, rest those legs, siesta! (90min)
2pm CLASS: Slideshow: My Dad, the Sahara, and What I learned from running in the Himalayas by Deon Braun
2:55pm Short break (5min)
3pm CLASS: Stephan Terblanche: Preventing injury class 2 of 2
3:55pm Short break (5min)
4pm CLASS: Practical demo: Making your own awesome run snacks by Heloise Marshall – rice cakes (made for Sunday run) and oat balls, to take home as padkos
5pm-6pm Supper
6:30pm Prep for night hike, kit checks (bring two lights). Heloise to demo GPX Viewer for Android phones
6:40pm-7:10pm OUTSIDE: Night hike, 30min (optional: if weather is good and everyone is keen). Set 3 of clothing or rough it
7:10pm Bath time, light stretching if you do that (30min)
7:45pm MOVIE: Watch second half of film watched last night. Healthy snacks. (60min)
8:45pm Turn in. Tomorrow is 6 hours of training, plus it’s Graduation Day!
Mon 8 Aug 2016
4am Wake, meditate, focus on what you love, and the BIG BEAUTIFUL day ahead!
4:15am-4:40am Pre-run meals as for Sunday
4:45am Leave for Garden Castle for Rhino Peak ascent.
5:45am Start 6 hour hike/run to top of Rhino Peak and back. Emphasis on moderate pace, and good foot control. Terrain: steep, technical, difficult.
12pm Arrive back at vehicles, quick protein shake drink, then leave for base
12:45pm Arrive back at base camp, smoothies, snacks, shower and chill
1pm Lunch and chat about what we learned this weekend. What were you better at than you expected?
1:30pm Graduation Ceremony: Congratulations to each graduate
1:45pm Depart for home. Bon voyage. Drive safe!
Matt Goode on the way to Rhino Peak, November 2015. photo Deon Braun
Giant’s Cup Trail Run co-founder Matt Goode on the way up, up, up and up to Rhino Peak during our recce there in November 2015. ph Deon Braun

The future

Want to know about future Trail Camps or suggest venues? Email Deon Braun

Want more?

Consider doing our city-based Trail Clinics, held on part-day Saturday and Sundays.











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