Seen here (from left to right):  Vicky van der Merwe and Danette Walley in action during the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race in March this year.  PHOTO CREDIT:  Tobias Ginsberg

Taking place at the much-loved Paul Cluver Wines, Grabouw (Western Cape) on Saturday 18 September 2021, the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 1-Day XPERIENCE has attracted the attention of SA trail running icon AJ Calitz (Melkbosstrand) and well-known tri-athlete Vicky van der Merwe (Stellenbosch).

South Africa’s premier three-day stage trail run, the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN was founded in 2009 and is synonymous with magnificent trails, spectacular views, mouth-watering food, a relaxed atmosphere and great vibe.  In 2021 event organisers, Stillwater Sports, announced a national series of events that will take runners to the Western Cape, North-West Province, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.  

No stranger to AFRICANX, AJ Calitz will be seen in action in the 42km THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 1-Day XPERIENCE at Paul Cluver Wines.  Calitz has an impressive tally of THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race victories behind his name.  In 2014, 2015 and 2018 he claimed gold in the Men’s Team Category with long-time friend and running partner Bernard Rukadza.  In 2016 he teamed up with Ben Brimble to claim gold in the same category, while in 2017 he tried something new by teaming up with Nicolette Griffioen in the Mixed Team Category.  They also claimed gold that year.

According to Calitz, the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race is one of the ‘must do’ races on his calendar.  “I love the camaraderie and simply hanging out after the race.  It’s great that AFRICANX has launched a series of events.  We need more high-quality races in SA and the crew from Stillwater Sports is amazing.  By taking AFRICANX to the North-West Province, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal they’ll be expanding the reach of trail running in SA.  That’s a good thing.  I must admit that I like the team format of the 3-Day Stage Race as it brings something else to the table, but I am up for the solo challenge of the 1-Day XPERIENCE.  I am really looking forward to the climbs and the thrill of competing.  My goal will be to have as much fun as possible in the mountains.  Lockdown has taught me many things and one of those things is that freedom and being able to run in the mountains should not be taken for granted!”

Vicky van der Merwe made her AFRICANX TRAILRUN debut in March this year at the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race where she claimed gold in the Women’s Team Category with friend and running partner Danette Walley.

“I’ve signed up for the 24km THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 1-Day XPERIENCE,” confirms Van der Merwe.  “The AFRICANX routes cater for everyone.  They are absolutely beautiful and the ‘gees’ at the event is amazing.  I had an amazing first-time AFRICANX experience in Grabouw earlier this year and I am hooked.  I love that AFRICANX now boasts a series of events that include 1-Day and 2-Day races.  It gives runners more options to choose from while catering both for beginners and more serious runners.  I can’t wait to experience the beautiful new trails, while pushing myself against other runners.  My goal will be to podium”


THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 1-DayXPERIENCEDate:  Saturday 18 September 2021
 Venue:  Paul Cluver Wines, Grabouw (Western Cape)
 Format:  1-Day Trail Run
 Entry Format:  Individual Entry 
 Entry Fees:  OPTION 1:  6km / R100OPTION 2:  12km / R350OPTION 3:  24km / R600OPTION 4:  42km / R950
THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage RaceDate:  Saturday 19 – Monday 21 March 2022
 Venue:  Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape)
 Format:  3-Day Stage Trail Run
 Entry Format:  Teams of Two Runners (male / female / mixed)
 Entry Fees:OPTION 1:  R3600 per runnerOPTION 2:  R4200 per runnerOPTION 3:  R4600 per runner
THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 2-Day XPLOREDate:  Saturday 09 – Sunday 10 April 2022  
 Venue:  Normandien Farms (Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal)
 Format:  2-Day Stage Trail Run
 Entry Format:  Individual Entry
 Entry Fees:  R2950 per runner

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For additional information on the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day, 2-Day and/or 1-Day events please visit, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email  


THIRSTI is more than just Natural Spring Water; THIRSTI is a way of life. THIRSTI attracts a young, vibrant market with a thirst for life and authentic experiences. 

THIRSTI started production at the end of 2015 with their iconic Still and Sparkling ranges. 2019 saw the release of the ultimate sports drink, ISOFIT+, and a bold THIRSTI Flavours range was added in 2020. 

With its unique taste, attractive design, and a pH level of 8, THIRSTI has made massive strides in its relatively short time in the market with listings in all major retailers throughout South Africa.

THIRSTI has a strong focus on event sponsorships across multiple sporting codes and, in 2019, they became the hydration partner to both the Comrades Marathon as well as The Sharks rugby team. Adding to this, was the 2021 announcement of the ASBA Cape Epic official water partnership.  

For more information about THIRSTI, please visit