SOMEWHERE out there is someone who is running in one of the exotic forests across the world, taking in the sights and sounds of nature. These people are known as trail runners who travel far and wide to take part in some of the planet’s most gruelling trail races.
Now anyone can be a part of the action with ready made trail running holidays planned to fill their love for running and travel. South African trail runner Christiaan Greyling has travelled to over 10 countries including Slovenia, France, Switzerland and New Zealand and said that trail running holidays are the new craze. His wife Lambie, who is also a runner, said the sport has allowed them to see the world.
“It allows you to see so many places in such a short while. I think the best place to trail run is the Reunion Island. It has quite a big trail network with its mountains 3000 metres above sea level. Mauritius and Lesotho also have so much beauty and great accommodation options,” he said.
His company Trail Lab Holidays hosts trail training camps across the country, catering for trail runners of all levels. The idea of the camps is for trail runners to get together in an informal environment to run trails and learn techniques and tips in some of the most beautiful parts of South Africa. The ‘Weekender Camps’ helps to prepare runners for specific races. Runners or aspirant runners can custom make holiday packages for them and their loved ones.
“Our camps are held at some of the best locations in South Africa, offering them help with training, meal plans and gear. Besides the camp we also create tailor-made packages for people to run in epic places according to their schedules and wallets,” he explained.
Trail running trips have become so popular that many people book again, but Greyling warns that people need to have an “appetite for trail running.” Thabang Madiba, 33, who participated in the Madagascar trail running event last year said that he was on a trip for trail running in Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria in 2009 when he fell in love with the sport. He has travelled to Spain, Switzerland and Poland. He normally travels a few days before a trip to familarise himself with his surroundings.
“Many racers use the sport as an opportunity to go on holiday and time to spend with their loved ones. My favourite trail holidays was in France Mt Blanc and in Mauritius Bel Ombre,” he said.
Some trail running holidays planned this year:
12-14 May 2017: Western Cape
14-16 July 2017: Karkloof 100 Training Camp Karkloof
4-6 August 2017: Lesotho Ultra Training Camp Maliba Lodge.