Cape Odyssey Multistage Trail Run | 5 Days

This is an excellent endurance running event through 5 beautiful towns in the Western Cape The race will start in Hermanus and pass through Paul Cluver Wine Estate, Grabouw, Franschhoek and finally finish at Boschendal Wine Estate.

Stage 1: Hermanus to Kleinmond – 28 km

The runners start at the Old Harbour on 4km of tar past the new harbour. Then comes some dual track to Sandbaai where they join the coastal path to Onrus for a 500m beach section, a taste of what is to come. A 4km coastal path heads past Onrus and Vermont on some single track through Mudge Point Nature Reserve to Hawston. Then comes the main challenge of the day – a beautiful stretch of 11 km on the beach, finishing at Kleinmond.

Stage 2: Kleinmond to Paul Cluver Wine Estate – 57km

Almost immediately after they leave town, runners will begin following the Palmiet River. Still heading north, there is the 7km of narrow trails through Lebanon Forest with pine and blue gum trees shading them before dipping under the N2 highway for an 8km stretch through the orchards to the finish of the longest stage of the race

Stage 3: Paul Cluver Wine Estate to Elgin/Grabouw – 42km

Again the runners visit Groenlandberg. A steep and rutted jeep track with loose, fist-sized rocks will challenge tired ankles and make it a tough climb so early in the stage. The 800m altitude gain will reward runners with a superb vista of the Elgin Valley and Theewaterskloof Dam. But runners should save some strength for the rolling hills down towards the Elgin Country Club.

Stage 4: Elgin/Grabouw to Franschhoek – 44km

The day begins with a gentle climb up to Nuweberg. Then some single track meanders towards Boesmanskloof, crossing the Riviersonderend River and the swing bridge. Theewaterskloof Conservancy’s curious but timid Nyala and Mountain Zebra see runners to the foot of Franschhoek Pass. A tough 7.5km climb goes over the historical Catspad which dates back to 1819. The route ends with a steep, but fast single-track descent into Franschhoek.

Stage 5: Franschhoek to Boschendal Wine Estate – 31km

Athletes will be relieved about the relatively short 31km stage. It begins on open tarred and gravel roads leading them to the obstacle of the day – Matoppie. The tough climb is loose and stony, but the descent sees a clear and beautiful view of the Berg River Dam. Soon, the runners will navigate some out-of-service railway tracks where they’ll see the tall trees of Boschendal in the near distance before one last river crossing and the spectacular avenue up toward the finish.

Jon O’Hanlon