Southern Cross Multistage Trail Run | 3 Days

August 2013

Race central is one of the least known South African National Parks gems in the form of the Ebb and Flow rest camp in Wilderness. The park is one of the triumvirate of Garden Route National Parks on offer in the area made up of: Knysna, Tsitsikamma and Wilderness.

Day one showcases the surrounding Outeniqua Mountains loosely translated as ‘they who bare honey’ and the panoramic views toward the distant ocean are breath taking. In this case however, runners will be left breathless due to the continual climbs and descends through the Protea strewn terrain providing 29 km of thrilling single track.

Day two offers runners one-on-one time with some of the only indigenous yellowwood forest in South Africa. Light-dappled single track, meandering through thick bush over numerous rivulets and the eerie rasping call of the KnysnaTauraco (Loerie) guide you through the 30 km route. Not as hilly as the first day but the legs will start to feel the accumulating distance.

Day three leaves the hills and forest behind giving runners the chance to get up close and personal with some of the best sandy beaches, bouldered bays and river crossings the Garden Route has to offer. Following the famous OuteniquaChooTjoe train route from George to Knysna it guarantees a unique perspective of the area after which a three-kilometre beach section adds to the accumulated pain in the legs. Finally runners head inland along the shore of the Touws River and back to the finish line, and with this leg being relatively short at only 20 km it offers a very fast finish, at least for the racing snakes.

Jon O’Hanlon