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A makeover for Run the Rivers stage 2

Southern Drakensberg

Members of the Sani Spoors trail building team test out the new trail that will start the final day of the Euro Steel Run The Rivers trail runs on the weekend of January 30 and 31 2021. Picture: Pierre Horn/Gameplan Media

Trail runners … fancy some hard racing on lovingly mapped out trails in the Berg, and the chance to snap a picture to last a lifetime?

Those heading for Underberg for the Euro Steel Run the Rivers in partnership with FNB on January 30 and 31 2021 can look forward to the second day starting with brand new trails designed to give the athletes a never-before-seen view of the Southern Drakensberg.

The team at Sani Spoors has mapped out a new start to the final stage that will lead from the overnight stop at Sinister Pool up onto the ridge above the Elgin valley, where arguably the best view of the mountains will lead to the Superbowl trails that take them back into the uMzimkhulu valley for the rest of the run to the finish.

Maximise views

“We are continually looking at ways to enhance the enjoyment of the riders and runners, and this new section, which starts with a short climb up to the Cobham Road ridge will use existing eland and cattle paths which we have manicured and will offer a really great view of the Berg,” said Sani Spoors’ Pierre Horn.

“While we are racing in the mountains, almost all the first stage has the view of the mountain behind us, and we wanted to create a section where everyone can soak up the view of the Drakensberg. There are lakes below, and you can often see wattle crane there,” said Horn.

“While we are racing in the mountains, almost all of the first stage has the view of the mountain behind us, and we wanted to create a section where everyone can soak up the view of the Drakensberg,” said Sani Spoors’ Pierre Horn. Picture: Pierre Horn/Gameplan Media

As the final stage starts at the overnight stop at the Swartberg Road bridge and no longer at Glencairn, it also eliminates a section of jeep track that took the riders through Petersfield farm last year.

“We believe this will add a lot of value to every athlete’s overall experience,” said Horn.

Stangers team up for sani2c after lockdown challenge

He pointed out that soon after the race each year the Sani Spoors team gathers all the comments from participants and starts planning ways to enhance and improve the trails for the coming year.

Horn added that riders and runners were already visiting the area to start their training, many using the network of trails at Sani Spoors to familiarise themselves with the conditions, but added that there were significant sections of the race route that are on private land and are not accessible outside the race dates.

“We appreciate that people are getting excited, but it is very important that they respect the private landowners and do not use paths or trails just because they think it will be part of the race route in January,” said Horn.

“It is a mutual respect that needs to be kept alive, and it will ensure that the relationship with the landowners remains healthy and productive,” he added.

More info at www.drakadventure.co.za

www.runtherivers.co.za

Run the Rivers Trail Run
Day 1: Saturday 30 January 2021 – 25km
Day 2: Sunday 31 January 2021 – 16km
R500 for both days.

Run the Rivers Lite
Day 1: Saturday 30 January 2021 – 12km
Day 2: Sunday 31 January 2021 – 8km
R500 for both days.

Drak Descent riders in for a treat

Mountain bikers lining up the Euro Steel Drak Descent in partnership with FNB on January 30 and 31 2021 will not miss out and can also look forward to the second day starting with brand new trails designed to give the athletes spectacular Southern Berg views that most visitors never get a chance to experience.

“We are continually looking at ways to enhance the enjoyment of the riders and runners,” said Sani Spoors’ Pierre Horn. Picture: Graham Daniel/Euro Steel

Organisers have mapped out a new start to the final stage that will lead from the overnight stop at Sinister Pool up onto the ridge above the Elgin valley, where arguably the best view of the mountains will lead them to the Superbowl trails that take them back into the uMzimkhulu valley for the remainder of the final stage.

It’s all been created to enhance the experience for visiting athletes, who are reminded to bring along a camera to stop for some truly spectacular vistas – unless you’re raising hard at the front, of course. – Copy supplied

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