Trail running is the hottest social activity right now and there are events ranging from short 5km races right up to ultra distances. The introduction of parkrun SA has seen non-runners transform themselves from couch potato to Comrades Marathon finishers. The health benefits of exercise are obvious but the pure entertainment value is why mass participation in running events has exploded.
Trail running purists tend to disagree that a run on the golf course or at a parkrun counts as trail running. It may not be as technically challenging as running on loose rocks and up the side of a mountain, but judging by your pace, you will notice a slower average than when running on a smooth, hard road surface.
Parkrun offers the pleasant experience to newbie runners without the pressure of having to race. The consistency of these events has made it a success and the best part is that it is free, anywhere in the world! For more on parkrun, visit www.parkrun.co.za. Register once for free and run forever.
Night trail runs have recently seen a rise in popularity. Runs on golf courses mostly range from 5 to 10km and attract hundreds of mid-week participants. Generally, these routes are flat and easy. Night runs add a different adventure to running with vibrant social and entertainment value. All that is required is a head lamp and an entry!
If Parkrun or night gold course runs aren’t for you and you’re looking for a real adventure, the Big Box night trail series is for you. The Big Box night trail series offers a 5km and 10km trail run that is very different from a golf course. The event is run on the St. Stithians College campus in the Northern suburbs of Johannesburg. The route winds through forested areas with loads of twists and turns and is well marked. The Higher Ground Restaurant and pub creates the perfect spot to have post run drinks and dinner with a breathtaking view of the Sandton CBD. All finishers also receive a LARGE medal! For more information and entries, visit www.nighttrail.co.za.
8 time OMTOM finisher. 6h37 Comrades Marathon. Founder of Born 2 Run Athletics Club and B2R Joburg Chairperson. Learn more about Born 2 Run: http://born2runac.co.za/