Trevealens urges trail runners to try the uMzimkhulu trails
Underberg – For Underberg locals Ross and Gina Treleaven, the snowballing popularity of the GWK Run The Rivers in partnership with FNB trail runs come as no surprise as the accessibility and scenic appeal of the routes are unrivalled amongst local trail running events.
“It is magnificent and unique,” says Ross Treleaven. “It is quite unlike anything else.
“The race starts alongside smaller tributaries and then you run next to the uMzimkhulu itself, which makes the runs spectacular. And there is the added bonus that you can stop and drink the water from the river at any stage,” he says.
The pair have been supporters of the trail run that was the latest addition to the FNB Drak Adventure Weekend but is showing faster growth in entry numbers than the Euro Steel Drak Descent MTB race and the N3TC Drak Challenge canoe marathon as word spreads about the unique appeal of the trail runs.
“We share the same trails as the mountain bikers, and while it is pretty technical riding for them, in trail running terms it is not difficult. Running and riding this single track are two totally different things,” he said.
Treleaven pointed out that the relatively short distances of the races make them very accessible and do-able to relative trail running novices.
“The main race is 25km and 16km and there is the new GWK Run The Rivers Lite option which covers only half those distances each day which makes it easily within reach of social runners,” he said.
“That second day that takes in the Thrombi Gorge is absolutely spectacular, and will be a truly memorable experience for any runner, not matter how fit they are.
“The distances are such that they are actually quite walkable, which is a serious option for anyone in town for the weekend wanting to appreciate the scenery and being part of the event,” he added.
His wife Gina, who is also a seasoned trail runner concurs. “I only did the second day last year and the scenery was spectacular. It is a trail run quite unlike any other,” she said.
“The other attraction for this race is that the trails are so well marked that there is absolutely no way you can get lost,” added Ross Treleaven.
“The trails are flowing and manageable, and while there is some climbing, I am not surprised that it is growing at the rate that it is,” he concluded.
GWK Run the Rivers Trail Run
Day 1: Saturday 19 January 2019 – 25km
Day 2: Sunday 20 January 2019 – 16km
R400 for both days.
GWK Run the Rivers Lite Trail Run
Day 1: Saturday 19 January 2019 – 12km
Day 2: Sunday 20 January 2019 – 8km
R400 for both days.
There is currently no closing date for the GWK Run the Rivers Trail Runs.