Our next Trail Camp
Join the TRAIL magazine team for their fourth Drakensberg Mountain Camp, a trail running retreat in the central Drakensberg from Friday 13 April to Sun 15 April 2018.
During this inspiring weekend, you will run and hike up (and down) Rhino Peak (3,050m altitude) on Saturday, as well as 21km along the Giant’s Cup Trail on Sunday, in the company of experienced mountain runners who will assist you, and help you take your running to the next level.
The Camp starts on Friday afternoon from 2pm for the early birds, and ends on Sunday afternoon.
Add yourself to our mailing list for future camps.
Your hosts at the Drakensberg 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.
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.
- 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.
Thanks to the TRAIL team for such an inspiring weekend (15-17 April 2016). We learned heaps and so enjoyed engaging with the experts. The Rhino summit was very special for me and the best part of the whole weekend was the 4km home from the cave where it seemed to all come together… I absolutely loved running that section!
Shanon MacKenzie, Eston, KZN
— Harrismith mtn Race (@HarrismithMtnRa) April 22, 2016
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).
Want to know what you’ll do?
Check out the August 2016 itinerary:
Itinerary (use as a guideline only for 2018)
|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|
|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|
|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!|
Want to know about future Trail Camps or suggest venues? Email Deon Braun firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consider doing our city-based Trail Clinics, held on part-day Saturday and Sundays.