trail series

For 12 years the Cape Summer and Winter Trail Series® have been the foundation of short course trail running in the Cape, introducing thousands of people to this wonderful, healthy sport  - from kids as young as five to our most mature runner at an amazing 83 years of age.

Over the same 12 year period the sport of trail running has evolved and grown hand over fist both locally and internationally.  From the uber tough Mountain Challenges, to the internationally acclaimed Otter Trail Run; the 5 day 200km Namibia Crossing, Ultra Trail Cape Town and the more recent craze of 100 milers that have been launched, have all brought a wonderful depth and variety to our sport.

And as we approach 2020, we felt it’s time the Trail Series® evolved too.  So, it is with great pleasure that we introduce the Trail Series® Super League, or the TSSL for short.  So what’s changed? Well we have selected seven of the favorite venues from the original eight, spread them further apart and merged them into a single, annual, Super League Series.  But by far the most exciting change is the addition of an XL route to every race day. The XL distances are all in the region of 20km, perfect for those attracted to - and/or training for -  longer distance races.

We have also been busy pimping the routes, with five out of the seven venues having brand new route variations.  Many of the short courses have been brought down slightly in distance to be more suitable and attractive to the youngsters and beginners in our sport.  Where possible, the long courses have been tuned to fall in the 10-12km range, with a few classic exceptions like Kogelberg, which is just too good to be changed! 

Our 100% recyclable medals will now be on offer at every race, with a special commemorative medal for anyone finishing all seven races in the TSSL.  Thanks to the wonderful support from our venues, kids under the age of 10 still run free - as they have done since our 10th year anniversary in 2017.

To be competitive in the TSSL rankings you need to run all seven races in the same distance class - short, long or XL.  The total accumulative race time over all seven races is what ultimately creates your final TSSL placement. Miss a race and an uncomplimentary system-generated time will be allocated for that race and added to your accumulative time, bumping you down the rankings!  

So whether you run one race, as many as you can make, or all seven to complete the TSSL, at each race you will still find the same Wildrunner organisation you have become accustomed too, the same well marked routes and the same fun and friendly atmosphere that has become the hallmark of a Trail Series®.

Enter the TSSL up front and you will receive a sponsored TSSL running top courtesy of Boldgear, not to mention the convenience of only having to register once for all seven races, thus allowing you the luxury of simply rocking up in time to race.

Entries will open on Wed, 6th November at midday, but for now check out the schedule of races

Share & follow us on Social Media for all the latest updates:

Instagram/Wildrunnerza 

Facebook/Trail Series

#TSSL2020

 

Race 1 and 2 have come and gone, in a blur of mud, drizzle, mist and madness. Perfect winter running conditions, in other words. With race 3 coming in hot this Sunday, let’s take a look at what has rolled out so far:

The big apple bites

On Sunday 21 July, Paul Cluver Estate welcomed the return of a capacity field of runners for the first of four show downs. An exclusive opportunity to run the rollercoaster trails of this mountain biking haven, the grand opening features a typical rolling farmland hills, mountain trails and waterfalls water as well as climbs rewarded by magnificent views of the soaking lush Elgin valley. 

Paul Cluver Estate long course

An icy dawn chill gave way reluctantly to some soupy winter sunshine, but the heat was all out on the trails as the fast end threw down the pace. Storming the long course win was Llewelyn Groenewald. The 15.6km route took him just 1h 8min and 7 seconds, which shaves 6 minutes off Rohan Meyer’s previous course record. Llewelyn was followed by David Sher in 1:16:08, and Peter Tswayo in 1:18:37. Siviwe “the lion” Nkombi was in the mix and pushing hard in second until a few kilometers from the finish when a wrong turn in the final few kilometers cost him a podium spot and a resulted in a DSQ.  

In the women’s race, Lijan van Niekerk took top spot in 1:27:59, with Paulina Juttner and Kristy Zeppel rounding out the podium. 

The punchy 8.8km short course took zero prisoners, with Piettie Oosthuizen smashing first place in a time of 33:50. Less than a minute behind him was Kelton Miller, with Stefan Sander in third. First junior was 16 year old Jethro Dunn, only seconds behind Sander. Regular on the minimee podium was 12 year old Cullen Clarke, in an impressive time of 39:11. 

Nicola Wills on her way to winning the short course ladiesFirst woman home, and 7th overall, was Nicola Wills in 38:42 (seen here), with Megan Mccarley in second, and 15 year old junior, Maritjie Cilliers was third woman across the line. 

With recognition of all categories, including vets, masters and grand masters, prize giving was a chirpy affair as regular rivals set the tone for a series full of banter, and bruises. With an impressive jump in the number of first timers between 2018 and 2019, all eyes are on the wild cards and dark horses among the regular snakes.

Staring down the Tyger

Race 2 at the infamous Tygerberg Nature Reserve will be etched into the memories of many for its heavy mist and mud. Bum slides were aplenty. The usual view of Table Mountain from the top was merely a rumour as the mist lingered, and a classy field of speedsters tackled first the biting climbs, and then the quad-busting downhill to the finish. 

Llewellyn Groenewald leads the CWTS2019

Llewellyn Groenewald nailed top spot once again (seen here in action), in a race performance reminiscent of Raydon Balie’s 2017 edition. Back then, Balie was the first and only to take the new 12.1km course in under and hour, finishing in 57:14. Groenewald has made his mark, finishing in just 54:10. Chasing hard was friend and rival, Jono Black who came second in 56:51, with Peter Tswayo once again claiming third spot in just over an hour.

The women’s race was equally spicy, with local multi-sport champ, Hayley Preen completely dominating. Hayley was 9th overall, and first woman, in a 1:04:16. She was a full 11 minutes ahead of Tania Neethling who came second, and Carla Whitehead was just a minute off Tania. 

In the 8.1km short course, no less than two juniors stood on the overall podium, but Kelton Miller nabbed top spot in just 37:54. Jethro Dunn was second in 41:28, and 15 year old Keenan Loesch scooped third. Nicola Wills had another cracker, winning in 45:51, with Kelsey Nel and (veteran) Lee-ann Dawson completing the podium.

Love it or hate it, taming the Tyger is no easy feat, particularly in the kind of conditions that were experienced this year. The finish line war stories were as hard core as the mud spattered legs that wobbled into the race village throughout the morning. Coffee, egg rolls, burgers and the chance to win big in the lucky draw meant that the heaters and beanbags were kept popular. 

Hier kom 'n ding

Next up is a classic starting at the Taal Monument in Paarl on Sunday 4 August and running into the unique and impressive Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve. The third and fastest race of the series, it is time to stretch those legs. Runners climb steps and run over large boulders of granite rock to the top of the Paarl Mountain where they’ll start their winding descend to the finish. Feeling the FOMO? Enter here www.trailseries.co.za and join the heart of trail running in the Cape. 

With thanks to partners BoldGear, Jaybird and Steenberg Wine Farm for working with Wildrunner to keep growing the trail community, and all its heroes. 

Full Results of Race 1 and 2

Hunting for photos of you doing your trail thing? We publish the top images on our website www.trailseries.co.za within 24 hours of the event, and a full album on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/TrailSeries/ soon after. Tag, share, go wild. 

#CWTS2019

#UnleashYourWildStride 

 

Seasons change, and so must we.
 
Since our inception in 2007, Wildrunner has maintained a position of unquestionable innovation in the trail running arena. In 2008 we launched the Trail Series® -  South Africa's original short course trail running events Series that went on to have races in five provinces in South Africa.  In the 11 years that followed we rolled on with so many firsts - first three day stage race in the Wildcoast Wildrun®, SA's first South African Championships, first stage race in Lesotho and pioneering transfrontier Wildrun experiences to name just a few of many more highlights.  During this time we have enjoyed introducing so many people young and old to this wonderful sport, and seeing all of SA's current elites come through the ranks of the Trail Series® before taking flight in competitions around the world. We have built up an extensive community of 31 000 runners from across the country, and we continue to play an integral role in shaping running journeys throughout Africa.
 
The Gauteng Trail Series® became a popular platform for every level of trail runner to experience new and often unknown trails across the province. We extended it to 4 events each summer and another 4 each winter, and we have thoroughly enjoyed pioneering this sport in Gauteng and getting to know the trail characters from up North. We know that our loyal supporters will be disappointed to hear it, but we have made the very difficult decision to end the Gauteng Trail Series® with immediate effect. Since this events inception in 2008, the South African trail running calendar has changed dramatically. Our business must change and innovate accordingly, so we are freeing up some time and manpower to consider fresh, forward-thinking ideas.
 
The Cape Winter Trail Series® will continue as planned for the current year.
 
We’re never far away, and we would love to stay in touch as we plot and plan for the years ahead. Follow us on @WildrunnerZA on Instagram and Twitter. Stay part of our dynamic Facebook pages (Trail Series, Mountain Challenge Series, Wildrun and Wildrunner.co.za). And subscribe to our newsletter (link).
 
We hope that every one of you continue to support the Gauteng trail running community and all relevant race organisers in the area. We also hope that you’ll look us up when in the Cape.
 
And always, #unleashyourwildstride
 
For now,
 
The Wildrunner Team

Entries of the 12th and final Cape Winter Trail Series® will open on the 24th April 2019 at midday.  Our classic winter collection is on offer once again including Paul Cluver, "The Tyger", Paarl Rock and Kogelberg Biosphere in Kleinmond.  Mark it down in your diaries and don't miss out on the Cape's original short course trail running adventure.  

Check out the events tab for more info or contact us on 072 438 32 42.

Share your intent on Insta or Facebook and give us some motivation and stand a chance of winning entries!  Simply add a photo of you on a training trail run and include the following hashtags: #CWTS19 #UnleashYourWildStride

 

Like we said, same same but different! We’ve freshened up our 2018 Gauteng Summer Trail Series® offering, and look forward to welcoming you and your crew to another summer of trail loving fun.

We have a special offer of 10% off for family bookings that include 2 adults and 2 children between 11 and 17, and don’t forget that kids 10 years and under run free if pre-registered.

 

Hennops Beast - 21 October Race 1
You can't escape the Hennops Beast. This one stays the same!


 
Titan’s Forest - 28 October Race 2
You know how we love diversity when we trail run, well this brand new inclusion into the Trail Series® portfolio brings exactly that!  This spectacular private farm unlocks an exclusive winding trails through lush green forests, over technical rocky hills and ridges, along muddy riverside trails and over the cleanest natural spring water streams the highveld has to offer.



Sunset Garden - 7 November Race 3
The first sunset run for the Gauteng Trail Series®. After great success in sister botanical garden in Cape Town, we've added the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden Sunset Run to the Trail Series® portfolio. Runners make their way through the gardens before a steep lung busting climb to the top of the waterfall. Once at the top, after taking in the view of the city, a fun mostly downhill single track takes runners back to the finish for the short course. The long course runners first make their way down into Hobby Park where they will run through some fun mountain bike trail before making their way back down into the gardens, around the dam and back to the finish line.


 
Enchanted B’Sorah - 11 November Race 4
B'Sorah will host the grand finale with the exciting new addition of an XL course. This venue’s trails just keeps getting better and better and we're so excited to show you what the XL route has in store!

#UnleashYourWildStride

Winter, it’s been real. But we’re ready for some sunshine now. We’re amped for milder mornings, later sunsets and a classic Gauteng thunderstorm or two. Bring on, the 2018 Gauteng Summer Trail Series® with some new and improved additions coming into the mix.

Entries for the #GSTS2018 open on 29 August 2018, and we’re going to give you a few teasers as to what to expect.

Same same…

The vibe, the format, the lucky draw prizes, the music, the photography and the chance for the whole family to get out on to safe trails and soak up a variety of classic Gauteng trails. We have the same partners on board, which means top end prizes from the likes of Raidlight, Jaybird and Steenberg.

But different!

There will be a night run!

There will be two completely new races in the mix, at new venues!

There will be a fresh XL course on the schedule!

 

Feeling sluggish after a lazy winter? Then it’s time to shake those trail shoes and get cracking with a bit of training, as you won’t want to miss out on this classic series with a few plot twists. Race 1 is coming in hot on 21 October. Keep an eye on the socials for more details.

#GSTS2018

#UnleashYourWildStride 

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).