Cape Town - The Cape Winelands will be home to the first rendition of the internationally recognised brand of MaXiRace held on the African continent when a festival of trail running takes place in October.
Founded in Annecy, France, the original MaXiRace attracts a field of 9 000 runners including a large professional field. The winners of the 2019 Maxi Race Annecy, held on May 26, have the opportunity to race the South African event
The race has been brought to South Africa by a team that includes legendary trail running husband and wife team of Landie and Christiaan Greyling.
“We wanted to share our beautiful trails with the rest of the world as we have raced in so many places across the globe. At the same time, we will also be able to give back to the trail community.”
The couple, who are co-hosting the event with organiser Nicola Collins, will thus not be competing.
The weekend of trail running is designed to attract new blood into the sport with its entry level race of 18km, and also appeal to hard-core mountain runners with 40km, 65km and 100km events. Springbok rugby legend, Absa Cape Epic finisher and Ironman Marius Hurter has been persuaded by Christiaan to compete MaXiRace Cape Winelands.
“MaXiRace is more than just another race, it is a project designed to benefit the communities that the route will traverse,” said Landie Greyling. “Not only will they be used as marshals during the event but we will also be contributing to enterprise development, sourcing local crafters to make our medals and trophies. This makes it personal but also creates an opportunity for them to earn an income.”
The race also supports various conservancies including Banhoek, Franschhoek and Simonsberg and the Stellenbosch Trail Fund, paying them a fee and creating jobs through trail building. Collins said the event had “a massive focus on uplifting these communities, and locals who wish to enter the race will also be considered for sponsorship and training assistance”.
“We also hope to bring an educational aspect of the ‘Alpine culture’ to the community at large,” she said.
“Europeans are so active and spend so much of their spare time in the mountains, hiking, running and spending time with their family and we hope to instill similar passion for our beautiful outdoors in the hearts and minds of locals.”
The race is a partnership between MaXiRaceWorld, Pure Adventures, Amoija Events, MTO and Edunova, and aims to create an event which is not only memorable for the runners but which will have a lasting impact on the communities through which the event passes.