Trail Camps with TRAIL magazine

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Matt Goode on the way to Rhino Peak, November 2015. ph Deon Braun
Matt Goode on the way up, up, up and up to Rhino Peak, November 2015. ph Deon Braun

Trail Camps Mafadi Injisuthi issue 22 in 2017

Trail Camps 2017

Dates of our next Camp in Pondoland are 10-13 August 2017. (Wednesday 9 August is a holiday.)

Venue: Clearwater Trails, Port Edward, southern KwaZulu-Natal.

Distance from Glenwood, Durban: Approx 170km (1h 53min). Map.

Distance from Johannesburg: 728km (7h 07min). Map.

Cost: TBC

  • Accommodation at Clearwater Trails.
  • All meals, non-alcoholic beverages, trail nutrition, and snacks once you arrive, until supper on Saturday prior to Sunday morning departure. All meals are 100% wholefood plant-based.
  • Run nutrition (healthy wholefood plant-based, but bring your favourite training foods along too if you want).
  • Guided runs and hikes in the Umtamvuna Nature Reserve.
  • Two night runs/hikes.
  • Injury assessments and group rehab session by experienced biokineticist Stephan Terblanche.
  • Warmup sessions and strength class by qualified Pilates instructor and elite trail runner Tarryn Lopez.
  • Trail Camp A3 certificate.
  • Snakebite first aid booklet by Johan Marais worth R40.
  • Nuzest Good Green Stuff samples worth R60.

Please note: All activities are weather permitting. Should inclement weather be experienced, a decision to run alternative routes will be made based on the safety considerations.

Interested in Trail Camps?

Can’t make this one? Get onto our Trail Camps mailing list for future camps.

Previous Trail Camps

The TRAIL magazine team and guest runners enjoyed the third Mountain Camp, an awesome trail running retreat in the Drakensberg, from 29 March to 2 April 2017.

During this inspiring weekend, they ran and hiked up and down Rhino Peak (3,050m), as well as 21km along the Giant’s Cup Trail.

This Camp started on Friday afternoon, and ended on Sunday afternoon.

Our lucky entrant who entered before midnight 15 March 2017 was Leslie Bryson, who won an entry to the brand-new Drakensberg Rockjumper two-day event on 28 and 29 April. The Rockjumper is a two-day trail run with distances of approximately 15km each day.

drakensberg-rockjumper-logo-2017

It is an ideal event for those just getting into trail running or runners keen on the shorter distances. The prize is for the No Frills package – race entry, race garment, but no accommodation or meals included.

Pinnacle Rock group at Winter Mountain Camp, 2016
Pinnacle Rock group at Winter Mountain Camp, 2016

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

Trail Camp Pinnacle Rocks Tarryn Lopez, Steven Erasmus, and American based in Angola, Matthew
Run coaches Tarryn Lopez and Steven Erasmus at Pinnacle Rock with Matthew, an American based in Angola, who flew out especially for the 2016 Clinic.
Steven Erasmus at Mweni Marathon. Photo Terence Vrugtman
Steven Erasmus at Mnweni Marathon, a happy hunting ground for him.

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.

Tarryn Lopez is the Molweni 2016 women's title winner. Photo Deon Braun
Tarryn Lopez is the Molweni 2016 women’s title winner. Photo Deon Braun

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.

 

Riverlea Cottage accommodation mountain view
The view of the mountains from Riverlea Cottage in winter.

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!
  • Riverlea Cottage accommodation lake reflectionsDay 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.
pinnacle rock mountain camp steven erasmus 2016
Steven Erasmus dwarfed by 30m-tall Pinnacle Rock at Mountain Camp 2016

Runner feedback

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

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

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.

Email Deon for more info. Book now.

Want to know what you’ll do?

Check out the August 2016 itinerary:

Itinerary (use as a guideline for 2017)

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 Coxhill Farm with full kit to tweak.
2:30pm Return, dress warmly, drinks, snacks
2:40pm CLASS: Stephan: 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 Coxhill (dhal)
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: 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 Coxhill
12:45pm Arrive back at Coxhill, 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 / camps@trailmag.co.za.

Want more?

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

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