Trail Runners to Tackle the Iconic Mountain Stage in the Tankwa Trail

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The ancient rock formations of the Kouebokkeveld and the orchard lined Witzenberg Valley will play host to the second Tankwa Trail, trail running stage race, from the 17th to the 19th of February 2017. Runners will be treated to three days of superb trail running, old-fashioned platteland hospitality, hearty and healthy catering, an oasis like race village, and a mystery mountain stage.

The inaugural Tankwa Trail, which took place in February 2016, received rave reviews from the intimate field of intrepid trail runners who braved the first event. The race saw fast times being maintained throughout the field, with the area’s plethora of mountain bike trails providing trail runners with relatively non-technical running throughout. So for 2017 changes are afoot…

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As entrants to the DU TOIT Tankwa Trek, one of the country’s premier three day mountain bike stage races know there are numerous geographical features in the region which could provide a stern test of one’s fitness and skills… and those are only the climbs with roads or established mountain biking trails up them.

Notable peaks in the area include the 1 799 meters tall Merino Monster, which rises like a sentinel over the Kouebokkeveld. While the unexplored summits of the Witzenberg Mountains, which the inaugural route skirted by following an old wagon trail also offer tantalising possibilities. The mountain range within which the Merino Monster falls offers the potential for greater altitude gain, but the peaks of the Witzenberg Mountains provide steeper slopes and dramatic boulder fields. Which will it be then, the long hard slog or the shorter, sharper scramble?

The decision has been made, but for would be Tankwa Trail runners the wait continues… In the meantime though, race organisers Dryland Event Management suggest implementing a training programme with a focus on hill repetitions to conquer the mountainous Queen Stage of the 2017 Tankwa Trail.

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With its new signature challenge the Tankwa Trail is set to become a tough outing for even the most seasoned of trail runners, so it’s a good thing then that the famous Dryland Event Management hospitality will be on hand to ease the runners’ weary legs. The race village is based at the Kaleo Guest Farm, in the Kouebokkeveld, where the tents are pitched on lush lawns under a grove of oak trees and the Kaleo wedding venue plays host to the meals and evenings’ entertainment. The catering is more wedding than sports event too, with scrumptious but healthy boerekos on the menu all weekend. And don’t fret if the term boerekos conjures images of carb and meat heavy meals, all the meals are made with athletes in mind and there are vegetarian and banting options too.

Entries for the 2017 Tankwa Trail are now open and trail runners can enter as a team of two or individually. There are also luxury tented and platinum upgrade options available for those trail runners who prefer to stay in style. For more information, or to enter online visit www.tankwatrail.co.za.

Fast Facts: 2017 Tankwa Trail
Dates: 17 – 19 February 2017
Distances: Stage 1: ±30km | Stage 2: ±30km | Stage 3: ±20km
Entry Fees: Solo: R4 900 | Team R8 800
Website: www.tankwatrail.co.za
Facebook: Tankwa Trail
Twitter: @TankwaTrail
Instagram: @drylandtrail