Trail Runners’ Dream ZONE

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Trail Runners’ Dream ZONE

Along the N3 Gateway we have a plethora of Trail Running events taking place during the year.  As a relative newbie to the trail running world, I was super keen to test a few trails myself and well I must just say,  I am all for ‘destination running‘, no more returning back from holiday feeling the need to hide in a gym for a month!

So let’s head to the trails….

Firstly, the KwaZulu-Natal area provides beautiful forests, riverside running, hills and of course the inspiring Drakensberg Mountains. We start with an area not too far from Durban to ease you into your run:

Virginia Farm and Trails, Eston, is found just 1 hour from Durban and 50 minutes from Pietermaritzburg. Here you have 80km of trail to discover sugar cane, timber plantations, dams and streams. If you are new to the trail running game, it is a great option to get much needed hill time, where you are still 200 feet above sea level. Bonus: Hot showers on your return, allowing you to enjoy your refreshments whilst feeling refreshed.

Be on the look out for the Eston Xmas Classic – takes place end of November and allows for an 8km or 18km trail run.

Getting into the plantations of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, we head to the Sappi Plantations of the  Karkloof.  Head out from the Karkloof Country Club and take in the incredible scenery of the plantation and indigenous forests on the various single track trail options. You can chose from a 5, 10 or 20km option. Enjoying easy undulating tracks to serious rocks, uphill and technical options.

There are plenty of events to take part in, in this neck of the woods, the Karkloof Classic is just one to name.

Image: Jacques Marais

Drakensberg Trails set in the serene Northern Drakensberg, offers you a higher altitude run; with extreme views to stop and capture; flats and extreme climbs! A perfect destination running venue, where the family can either laze at the accommodation you are slumbering at or join in and attempt the mountain bike or running trails with you.

Sign up for the Royal Drak Challenge offering you a choice of a 5, 10 or 20km run plus for the more adventurous  RunTheBerg 2-day stage race event later in the year.

Now that you have climbed the Drakensberg mountains and are aclimatising to the thinner air, you may consider the Lesotho Ultra, their byline says it all “Where mountain meets the Sky“. Set in the Maluti Mountain Range of Lesotho, this is a race for the fit and those wanting a true trail running challenge. A bucket list for many! This year’s race is set for the 22 – 24th November 2019.

Why we love it, the natural pools along the river below offer the perfect ice bath recovery! And of course….

the scenery….

If you are looking for high altitude training, then get yourself to  Afriski in the Summer period. A cool 3,222 metres above sea level, a week of training and you are ready for your race.


Should you be heading out in our trail-filled N3 Gateway zone, please do stop and absorb your location, whilst capturing the view with your eyes, and take a pic and post it on Instagram tagging us @n3gateway. We would love to spread the word of a fun trail with our followers!


Lori Voss

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