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Weekend Wanderings – 16th & 17th March

Last days of heat, spring has sprung out and autumn is causing the sun to come up later and later. Keeps it cool for those morning jogs and still enough time for early bike rides.


Cordwalles Mudman _ Sun 17th Midmar

Third one in this years series, swim-mtb and run, usual 2 distances and you can enter as a relay team, so anyone in the family that doesn’t sink is in for the swim leg. You can also do a paddle instead of the swim if you are scared on the water. Full distance (R170) is 750 m swim, 20 km MTB and 5 km run, half distance (R150) is half of that, funnily enough. There is a kiddies race which is always good, and they have put on a half distance mtb / run option for those weeding out of the swim.

If you have not done the mudman before, it is the most fun on a Sunday, no beer but you can stop over in Howick or Hilton for a quick one or five to reward yourself for participating. If you have done it before, same applies.

DeLoites Marathon and Half Marathon – Sun 17th (Ballito to Durban) 

This is a really nice route, plenty of crowd support, rolling hills to test the legs but still quite quick. Unfortunately there are no late entries, a quirk of the road running fraternity that causes endless irritation to those of us who wake up on the day with less of a hangover than we thought and want to participate. If you have pre-entered, your wallet is emptier than last year but they claim these prices are justified, going up in accordance with the fuel prices and Deloites fees!! Anyway, have a gas there, remember you need a lift or bus to the start, finish on the beachfront and have a dip in the waves and a beer at the pub.

Other than these 2 events, I do not know of any others except the usual park runs on Saturday to keep the juices flowing. Also there is apparently a new one from St Ives, who excitingly are going to reopen their restaurant soon, which is great for the region. This run is a nice route, quite challenging but satisfying.

Take the MTB out for a spin in the hills, up the Curry’s Post road and in and out of a few of the dirt tracks and forest roads is fun once you have cleared the hill, otherwise the good old Bisley Nature reserve ride is easy. Karkloof have still got some closed routes due to logging. Riding or running through Pietermaritzburg is like off roading due to the poor state of the local infrastructure. This is thanks to a useless and inactive but well paid Umgeni Municipality led by some Mayor resulting from cadre deployment. We should fire the whole lot and hire people who are qualified to run a municipality without prostituting to local businessmen and developers.

Get your fresh foods at the various farmers markets after your park runs, or even delivered to you (BuyLocal on facebook) to stay healthy and keep the local producers in and outsiders out!! Local buying uses less logistics, packaging, and puts the money in the pocket of the producer rather than commercial value cold chains.




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Weekend Wanderings – 9th & 10th March

Great weekend just done, mainly multi sport, weather was fantastic for the Mudman at Albert Falls, bit more iffy for the Howick MTB, but it cleared up as the days went on, can’t help the weather, but you can help yourself, not like a politician does but raiding the public purse and giving jobs and tenders to unqualified friends,  but by making healthy choices and choosing to exercise no matter what the distance.

Blythedale Trail Run – Sunday 10th March (Blythedale)

Another great trail run organised by Andrew and team from KZNTR, part of the summer series I believe and I think well worth the extra travel time, especially if you get to stay over in the area. A good mix of forest, cane fields and beach, what a pleasure, makes one believe that maybe South Africa is good to stay!! there is 20 km (R180), 13 km (R145) and 6 km for the kids (R105) with beer at the end, not to much otherwise kids drive home. DO THIS ONE THIS WEEKEND.

Greg Minaar Downhill – 9th & 10th (Cascades)

Specially for those downhill MTB loonies, this goes on all weekend in sleepy (and currently filthy) Pmburg. Check your tyres and head, also check tyres on you vehicle as this is the pothole capital of the world thanks to our inactive and incompetent Municipality.

Not much else on this weekend, there is a pre-running of the Umgeni Water at Baynesfield to test the route, and there must be a MTB casual ride somewhere out there, Karkloof, Virginia Trails, Giba Gorge, Aloe Ridge.

Lets get out there, support local business and eat fresh, responsibly grown produce.


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Weekend Wanderings – 2nd & 3rd March

March already, bundles of events happening this weekend, fully into the multi sport calendar, road and trail running events thick and fast before we head into the downward spiral into what promises to be a dark winter, looking at the incompetence within Eskom and the 25 year old Government in SA.

Sappi Howick Classic – Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd (Howick High)

Trail Run

There is a trail running option on Saturday morning run by KZNTR, starting from 11 Karkloof Road, which is about 6 km up, near the Karkloof Market, grab some goodies whilst you are there, hopefully someone will bring beer. There are 5 km (R105), 10 km (R145) and 20 km (R180) options. As usual in this area, fair share of hills to climb, but the run is through plenty single track forest so nice and cool. 20 km and 10 km are basically up hill until their respective halfway marks, then back down again, FUNFUNFUNFUNFUN, Starts at 7 am, so plenty of time to get there.

On Saturday, there is also one of those weird Enduro MTB races happening, also register on ROAG.


Sunday is one of the hardest MTB races in this area, the Howick Classic, 20 km (R120) and 40 km (R170), plenty of steep hills and ROCKS to keep you on your toes, or on your ass if you do not watch the path. Don’t be scared, hit those rocks at pace to get through, dithering will only see you and your cleated feet in the trees.

Epworth Mudman – Sunday 3rd (Albert Falls)

This is one of the better Mudman events, and it has got even more accessible, NO SWIMMING INVOLVED, which will be music to the ears of those that swim like BOB. This is due to several crocodile sightings, hungry little buggers seemingly introduced by an errant croc farmer in the area, or global warming.

It is now a run/mtb/run event, long course being 5 km / 20 km / 3 km (R170) and the half is 2.5 km / 10 km / 3 km (R150). The only way to spoil this one is if they make you run up that bloody hill 3 times instead of 2, but I suspect the run may take place along the dam banks. There are relay options for those that want to involve the whole family structure or even friends ( maybe not friends after) who can supply the beer. MultiSport rules!!

Durban Ultra – 3rd March (Durban beachfront)

What a fantastic venue for a triathlon, bumpy water and flat running, medium hills on the cycle route, full road closure. Only drawback for this event is the price, so if you have managed to hit the credit card and pre-entered (no late entries) then have a gas, hopefully the wind eases off for the day, they always have an alternative swim option if the seas are still too rough. The sprint distance is about R530 (basically mudman), and the ultra distance (double mudman) is R2450, too rich for my mediocre abilities, but good training for the Iron Man dudes and dudets.

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Weekend Wanderings – 23rd & 24th February

What a weekend in store for the brave and crazy, plenty of running, and HOT!! Hydrate plenty and remember the natural health supplements are there to assist with recovery and inflammation caused by your excessive speed and endurance!!

Isikhwehle Trail Run – Sun 24th – Baynesfield

The Baynesfield estate is well known for its running and MTB trails, and this promises to be a great run. There are 3 options, 17 km (R120), 10 km (R100) and 5 km (R80) on offer, so something for everyone. I do not have access to the route info, but the 17 km is likely to involve a good gradual hill to begin with, nice through the plantations and along gravel road and single track through the forest, with a corresponding downhill jaunt then flat along the river and back up to the club house. The 10 km will probably be flat mostly, small hill up into the plantation to gain access to the single track through the forest, then back down to the river and along a great single track riverside trail. For those not into road running, this is the pick of the weekend. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO WALK when tired so NO PRESSURE (also try to avoid photos when walking, gets embarrassing).

Maritzburg Marathon – Sunday 24th (Maritzborough)

Annual marathon, one of the better qualifying for the comrades crazies in terms of time. Usual 42 km, 21 km and 10 km options through the city centre from the Casino. The city centre is disgusting at the moment due to usual strike action and pathetic inaction from the Muncipality not collecting rubbish, but hopefully the race organisers and Municipality will solve this otherwise you need to outrun the dog sized RATS. Easy route, only really one gradual hill and a short steep hill.

Three Cranes Challenge – 22hd to 24th (Karkloof)

One of the great stage running options, can be done by medium to very fit. The race consists 29 km first day, 40 OR 25 km second day and 23 km final day, all around the Karkloof hills and trails. First day is tough, Gilboa type climb and then along the top of the kloof, fantastic scenery and views. You can also do part of the canopy tour near the end of the run if you are not chasing time, very nice option. Second day heads out of Bushwillow towards Mbona, no escaping climbs in the Karkloof, but if it gets too much you can downgrade to 25 km instead, gets rid of the main climb. Third day is early start, then up Gilboa, damn that is steep, and along the top and back to race village.

Overall package is around R2250 for the 3 day, and you can take a 2 day option for R1750, pricy but you can travel there every day, or select camping options and race village.

These are the main events happening around Pmburg, get on to one of them, take your MORINGA and have a joll.



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Weekend Wanderings – 9th & 10th February

The opportunities abound, the race calendar is full and there is plenty to keep us and our kids occupied these sunny weekends.

Wartburg MTB and Trail – Sat 9th (Wartburg)

Combination of trail running events and MTB, one of the best on the calendar in terms of scenery and levels of difficulty. The trail run options are 7 km (R70) and 14km (R100) and are run on the MTB route. They are early enough so you can do a double on the run and the MTB, good training for the triathlons and mudmen events coming up. The MTB evetns are 62 km (R180), 45km (R150), 25km (R110) and the kiddies race. They are also offering a multisport option with the 14km run/25km ride and 7km run/25km ride. These routes are quite tough, lots of short hills, long hill to finish.

Hilton College Trail – Sun 10th (Hilton)

Ever popular despite there being no beer afterwards (you can always get in at Crossways for a pint), with the not so popular cliff to climb in the 12 km (R145) and 22 km (R180) options. The 6 km (R105) is a delight for tor those who are taking it easy, good for a double weekend combination with the Hilton Park run. This is a well run event and always draws a god crowd.

Threshhold Hillcrest Marathon – Sun 10th (Hillcrest)

For the roadies, there is the Hillcrest Marathon, many hills in Hillcrest but that is part of the fun. Good training for those fools doing the Comrades this year.

Midmar Mile

Need I say more, this iconic event is on both Sat and Sun this weekend, many many swimmers cavorting in the waves of the not so pristine Midmar dam, think I may take some home remedies for the swimmers after breathing in the pleasant waters of Mpopomeni settlement offshoot!! Despite this, always good fun and packed to the rafters with swimmers and supporters. Saturday are mostly the team events, and Sunday the great individual events, challenge your mates!! Late entries can be done at registration at Cascades Thursday and Friday and at the dam on Saturday.

Get out there, forget your worries and woes, dismiss anything a politician may say, lets not pay tax until corruption in the public and private sector is stopped, it is a drain on society. Those that steal steal from the people and the lack of infrastructure and support then gets blamed on past imbalances by the thieves themselves who whoop it up in Dubai. For that matter, ban trips to Dubai!!

Have an eventful weekend, no excuse.


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Weekend Wanderings – 2nd & 3rd February

I have not reported on last weekend races as I have not been participating for couple of weeks, therefore no first hand knowledge, hopefully back on the road next week.


Valley View Trail – Sun 3rd Feb (Umkomaas)

Organised by KZN Trail Running, this looks to be spectacular in terms of scenery, less so in terms of the amount of puff required. There is a 6 km (R105), 12 km (R145) and 20 km (R180) . The 6 km pretty much runs along the river, really nice running/walking. The 12 km involves a slight step up the valley side, and the 20 km a LARGE step up the side of the valley, but rewarding those who can still see a great vista, rest of the run is flattish consisting of trails along the river and through the orchards, what a great venue for a trail run, same place as the MTB events last year I believe. This is the pick of the runs this week for sure.

Aquelle Mudman – Saturday the 2nd (Hermannsburg )

This is the first of 4 popular mini offroad triathlons, really great fun and a test of your fitness. Long event is 750 m swim, 20 km MTB and 5 km trail run, shorter version is half those distances but don’t wimp out, give it a bash, you have all day whilst the rest of us quaff beer after the finish. These are well attended and fun, long version is R170 and half is R150. You can also enter as a relay team (each doing a different discipline) if you are not confident of doing the whole thing, or for the young guys to get their feet wet in the triathlon arena without too much schlep. Probably the best events in KZN, and being a Saturday allows you to go for the trail run on Sunday, what a weekend.

Wagendrift Challenge – Sunday 3rd (Wagendrift Dam)

Well, after the last speel, this one looks dam good. Your choice of multi sport events, you can do a biathlon (swim 1 km, run 5 km) at R130, or triathlon (swim 1 km, run 5 km, cycle 10 km) at R180. You can also choose to do either one as a half distance option, or even as a team event if you are feeling hungover. Wagendrift is a fantastic place to run and MTB, and probably the cleanest water in this province, no upstream high density areas to spill raw sewage into the dam unlike the mess closer to Pmburg.

DG Panel & Paint – Sunday 3rd (Sydenham Grounds)

Can’t forget you roadies out there, a 32 km and 16 km in Durbs by the sea, get those tekkies laced up and ready, the half distance are coming thick and fast, but not long before the full marathons start.

Spoilt for choice this weekend, Saturday and Sunday busy, don’t forget the park runs on Saturday as well , Pmburg, Hilton, Ashburton, Piggly Wiggly, Shongweni, Hillcrest all within cycling distance!!!! Have a gas, may see you as a walker on the Valley Trails. Stay fit and healthy, take Moringa every day to combat tiredness and fatigue, you will ace those times this year.

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Weekend Wanderings – 26th & 27th Jan

Weekend Wrap

Kearsney Striders half marathon was again a great success, getting the cobwebs off many of those feet and still feeling aftereffects of Christmas pudding and too much beer, drowning the sorrows that the political and social situation in Southern Africa force upon us every day.

Heard nothing from the Drak race except some canoe stuff.

Well done to those that got out, this is one way we can forget the present and enjoy that burning ache that seems never to get easier with any amount of exercise.


Gilboa Challenge – Sunday 27th – Bushwillow Park Karkloof

This is the first REAL challenge for the year, straight up lung busting thigh quivering ass-kicking hill in the Karkloof, followed by a beautiful cruise along the top of the ridge with views forever (if you can forget that first 3 km). The reward is a girly screaming descent back down towards Bushwillow Park, suddenly emerging at the dam wall and the end, nothing to it!! This truly is one of the must do events, the up is TOUGH but it is tough for everyone, not just YOU. The main race is 15 km (R180) and the intermediate is 10 km (R145), so take the family have a picninc, there is a beer brewer so NO EXCUSES!!

PDAC 25 km – Pinetown – 27th Sunday Watercrest Mall

This is a point to point so get there early (like EARLY) if you want to do a road race this weekend, I do not know this one as have never felt the urge to get there at 3.30 am to be transported to the start. Always fun running through this area though, gentle ups and downs and plenty support.

Not much in the way of mountain biking so make use of the Karkloof, Virginia Trails, Aloe Ridge or make your own way through the Worlds View tracks or open road, Bisley rude is always pleasant even when it is raining.

Nexrt week sees the start of the mini triathlons, Tinman coming up, swimming events etc. so hope to see you there, still on BORING ass-sitting duty, but will be back.

STOMACHS IN CHEST OUT (Repeated many times)!! Do not listen to any politicians or social commentary, it will make you depressed, sick and angry all at the same time. One day we will use intellect and common sense to rule, but until then we are stuck with politicians.

This will no longer be appearing in the Witness newspaper as they have decided to cut back on editorials, staff etc, so lets make a go of getting this information out there by sharing and caring, the more participation the better for all.

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Weekend Wanderings 19th & 20th Jan

Weekend Wrap

Last weekend saw the Ronnie Davel in Hilton, spectacular affair as usual and well attended, the Amarula shots at the 13 km mark were most welcome as everyone tries to get rid of the CHristams Pud.

KZNTR held the Table Mountain run, this time as a stand alone event instead of as part of their Summer Series, that is really a very nice run, although quite tough, and is community driven as well.


Kearsney Striders Half Marathon – Sat 20th (Kearsney)

The first road race on the KZN calendar, 21.1 km (R170) and 10 km (R120) this one is quite tough, keep some energy for the last hill. The route is from Kearsney down towards Bothas Hill, then up that bloody Alverstone Hill, down the other side towards Hillcrest, then up and down and UPPPP. It is a noce run though, but be prepared.

Drak Challenge – 19th & 20th (Drakensburg)

There is a canoe race, but normally there is a corresponding MTB and trail run, which are great routes and you get to wander along the river giving advice to the canoeists, things like don’t fall out, watch the rock etc. A good weekend out, normally much red wine to be had.

The TinMan is coming up in Durban soon, this requires pre-entry so get prepared, also the start of the Mudman series in Feb at Hermansburg, fun part of the year.

Get out there, get good and get fit. Best supplements are natural ones, Moringa leads the Super foods group at the moment so get yours. I am out of action for couple of weeks but will follow the races with awe, be talented!!

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Weekend Wanderings – 8th & 9th December

Weekend Wrap

This is a shortened version as there is no telephone or internet at my house thanks to some beaut who decided to cut his own tree down and smashed the ADSL and Telkom lines, thus rendering me commentless on the internet and short on research time. I have had to go to a coffee shop to get this done, shame on me!!

Hilton Trail (KZNTR) – another good run through the Hilton conservancy area, Down the valley and back up the cliff, many aching asses and calves but well worth it, even Lainey did this one on Sunday, about 400 people overall and a great day. Yours truly STILL IN TOP 20 to end the year!!

Stihl Sharks Adventure – Again well attended, mainly the Durban crowd and those looking for the last MTB races for the year, trail and MTB were on offer and weather was perfect.

Capital K – apparently this was on, close to 100 participants, not a fish myself and have not heard anything from those mermen what did it (Hardman?? feedback please!!)


Wessa Trail Night Run – Sat 8th (Umgeni Nature Reserve)

What a hoot, 5 km (R110) and 12 km (R155) trail runs on offer in one of the most scenic settings, hang on this is a night run, even better, can’t see the hills looming!! These 2 courses are well worn, just careful in the evening around the Black Eagle trails, some drop offs for the unwary. Start time is 6 pm so no excuses about watching dumb Springboks etc. Should make it back before dark for beer.

Only MTB race I can find is the McGregor one, good luck to those who are travelling that far, otherwise there are plenty trails near to us, Karkloof, Virginia, Aloe Park, Giba Gorge and many up and down the coast, so take your bike on holiday, leave the family and get it out there!!


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Weekend Wanderings – 1st & 2nd December

Weekend Wrap

Alley Roads Tri – 170 odd athletes (must be in this event) braved the dodgy winds for the last tri of the year, cold water didn’t stop Darryn Purtell and Gillian Saunders taking the honours in the Olympic distance at 2 hr 12 and 2 hr 22 min. Quick enough!!

Sani Stagger – Nearly 400 braved the 42 km, with Mthembu taking more silverware home in a time of 3 hr 13 for the men, pretty quick in those conditions, with the 21 km down run taking only 1 hr 13 min for the leader. There was also a trail run, I did not know, of 38 km and 21 km as part of the event, well attended by about 220 people.

Lesotho Ultra – The 50 km Ultra was competed by 90 brave souls, winning time was Eric Ngubane at 5 hr 38 min, and the 38 km had a modest 46 participants.

Drak Extravaganza – This did not escape that poofy wind this weekend, but still managed 80 odd finishers in the road races ( many non-finishers) and about 75 MTB riders braving the howling gales. Shows determination!

Eston Xmas Classic Virginia Trails – This is always a good outing, potential to take the family on trail run and MTB to get the blood going, I could not find results yet for this so presume it went splendidly.


Hilton College Summer Series Trail Run – Sunday 2nd (Hilton)

This is the last KZN Trail Running event of the year and is always popular, even though there is no beer. Tough route for the 22 km (R175) and the 13 km (R140) which go down into the valley, beautiful and downhill most of the way, but then what goes down comes puffing up what becomes a compulsory walk straight up the cliff. Magnificent views and all that once yuou catch your breath. The 22 km then joins the 7 km (R100) down through the Hilton forest and back to the start.

Stihl Sharks Trail Adventure – Sunday 2nd (Shongweni)

This is multi discipline stuff, and you are able to combine the mid-distance run and MTB if you are quick enough. The trail runs start at 6.30, 18 km (R175), 9 km (R135) and the MTB start at 7,30 for the 40 km (R215), 8.30 for the 20 km (R175) and a 10 km much later (R95). The route here is great, you get to see some of the fantastic new housing developments being allowed to spring up in this once pristine Giba Gorge area, and has a mix of single track and jeep track. There is Xmas market here, so that means beer so worth the effot to get down to Shongweni and give it a go.

There is also a night run at Giba Gorge on Wednesday the 5th, so get your Xmas lights on battery and go run.

Get out there, Christmas is coming with cake and beer, get your metabolism spinning this weekend in preparation for carbo overload.