Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon continues to move steadily onto world stage

The Lesotho Ultra Trail (Photo Credit - Anthony Grote |

The Lesotho Ultra Trail (Photo Credit – Anthony Grote |

As entries for the 2014 Lesotho Ultra Trail continue to pour in from around the world, including Spain, Belgium, Austria, England, North America and Australia, as well as continued local interest from aspirant skyrunners in Southern Africa, the International Skyrunning Federation (ISF) has announced that Africa’s first Ultra SkyMarathon® will be recognised as one of their official World Ranking ultra races for 2014.

Being one of only thirty six top global events in this category, as well as one of only two events selected from the African continent, the Lesotho Ultra Trail heads into only its second year with already some big shoes to fill. Continue reading

Daniel Rowland’s Jungle Trail Run & 5 Tips for taking on a multi-day stage trail run

Daniel Rowland

Daniel Roland – 2013 KAEM Winner (HermienWebb Photography)

Zimbabwean born Daniel Rowland joins us once again on this edition of Trail Talk SA. Daniel won the 2013 Atacama Crossing as well as the 2013 KAEM and now has his sights set on the Jungle Trail Run in Peru in May which forms part of the Beyond the Ultimate trail running series.

Daniel talks about his how he trains in specific ‘blocks’ and what his taper for this race will entail. Daniel also gives us 5 tips for the brand new trail runner starting out in the sport as well as 5 awesome tips to taking on your first multi-day stage race.

If you would like to follow Daniel’s journey you can visit his website here, Facebook page here or drop him a tweet here.

If you would like to subscribe to our weekly podcast on iTunes here or on RSS feed by clicking here.

Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge set to thrill again for the fourth time

Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge

Spectacular views at the JMC 2013 (Image by Andrew King)

The countdown has started to the Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge (JMC), one of the highlights on the South African trail running calendar.

The fourth running of the JMC will take place on 4 May and will for the first time form part of the exciting Mountain Challenge Series (MCS) with a total prize purse of over R50 000. The main race on the day will be the 36km while there will also be shorter options – the JMC Lite 22km and the Jonkershoek Mountain Run (JMR) 10km.

The two shorter races ensure that there is something for everyone on race day, from the elites to those who are still new to trail running, but the main attraction will definitely be the “big daddy”, the 36km race between the top guns of South African trail running.

The race has gone from strength to strength since it first took place in 2011 with top runners such as AJ Calitz, Thabang Madiba, Michael Bailey, Iain Don-Wauchope, Bernard Rukadza, Katya Soggot, Landie Gryeling and Linda Doke all participating in previous years.

Last year the JMC served as the South African Long Distance Trail Running Championships and this year it will again be one of the qualifying races where the national trail running team that will compete in the USA later this year will be selected. For this reason, all the big names in trail running are once again expected to take part in this epic challenge. Continue reading

South African Skyrunning Series kicks off with successful Ingeli Skymarathon®

The Ingeli Skyrun

The Ingeli Skyrun (Photo credit: ©Anthony Grote)

The South African Skyrunner® Series 2014 blasted off to an exciting start with the successful staging of the Ingeli Skymarathon® this weekend.

Dubbed “the green mamba of trail running” for the several nasty “bites” of ascent the route delivered, the 42km course through the Ingeli mountain range in Kwa-Zulu Natal covered 2 100m of vertical gain, making it one of the toughest races of this distance in the province.

The race was won in 3:37:19 by one of South Africa’s up and coming trail stars Lucky Miya (Saucony), who dominated the race after overtaking early leader Jock Green (Salomon) after the 9km mark. Prodigal Khumalo (Mr Price) finished in a close 2nd place (3:42:05), followed by Lesotho Ultra Trail winner Andrew Hagan (Vibram Fivefingers) just six minutes later. Continue reading

Ryan Sandes Runs Transgrancanaria & Landie Greyling’s Multi-Stage Trail Run Workshop at SSISA – Trail Talk SA Episode 19

Ryan sandesThis week on Trail Talk SA, Brad Brown:

Caught up with Ryan Sandes shortly before his departure for the Canary Islands to take part in the Transgrancanaria this coming weekend. Ryan tells us about how his year has gone from a training perspective and what he hopes to achieve in 2014. Ryan also talks about the Ultra-Trail World Tour.

Found out about the Sports Science Institute of Southern Africa’s Multi-Stage Trail Run Workshop that is taking place on 3 March in Cape Town from Landie Greyling. Landie, who will be one of the speakers on the night tells us what you can expect if you attend the workshop (You can get more info and sign up here). Landie also talks about the upcoming AfricanX that she is running just a few weeks from now. Continue reading

Trail Talker of the Week – Jack Davis

Jack Davis.IMG 5

How did you get into  trail running? Not really sure, after around 4 years of road running, and really enjoying the ultra stuff on the road, it was the next logical step, and it had all the ingredients of what I was looking for – adventure, tougher running, longer times out on the trail, self-sufficiency rather than an 89km buffet table..

How long have you been trail running? My first trail race was the 4 peaks in 2011, and from then I was hooked.

What is your favourite distance to run and why? I think any distance that starts going into the ultra sphere – especially on trail, really excites me, its starts testing one on all levels. Fitness, mind strength, nurtitional plans, weather. Being out in the mountains for 5 plus hours really exposes a person to the rawness of nature, the power of nature and shows us how insignificant we really are. We learn so much from being out there, about ourselves, others and the world we live in.

Who is your biggest trail running inspiration and why? I tend to follow the American scene quite a bit, and there are some amazing runners there. Timmy Olsen and Tony Krupichka are really out there. I appreciate the way they live their lives and how their spirit runs free. These guys seem to really “live the dream” which is great to see.

Obviously locally Ryan is great follow and look up to. He has really put SA on the map and continues to push the boundaries.

What is your biggest or best running achievement? What are you most proud of? I was really stoked with my puffer run this year! I have been wanting to get out on that route for a while now, and it’s a really cool race. I am proud of my Otter run this year. Tough race but I feel I managed it well.

What is your favourite trail running quote? Continue reading