The beauty of the Mandela Trail Run

by Kayla Hinchliffe

Now I finally understand the reasons behind all those – what I thought was crazy at the time – early mornings my parents have exposed me to in the past. The beauty of the country, the satisfaction of a run was why they did it.

My recent love for running has driven me to have my turn, waking up early and hauling my parents out onto the road and in the country for short races, something they used to do to me when I was younger. As my mom says – “it’s payback time”.

On Sunday, we left 15˚C Durban, thinking it was freezing, little did we know we were heading for a 6˚C start at the Mandela Trail Run. It was so special to be part of the start of this race hosted by KZN Trail Running. All dressed up in my layers and other warm gear we started the 8km Trail in the bitter cold.

The start of the trail presented a hill of note, with single file “walking” all the way to the top of the hill, but definitely worth the long walk, as we caught our first glimpse of the spectacular hills leading towards the Drakensberg.

The tables on the trail were exceptionally well-stocked with chocolate, chips, sweets, biscuits, coke and water and the marshals were super friendly.

The trail followed an undulating course through some farm land, a few more hectic hills and eventually headed back parallel to the N3 with the Mac trucks tooting their horns for the runners and down the treacherous hill from the start. This time, having to negotiate all the rocks and shrubs of grass on the way down – taking us to a very well organised and festive finish.

It was definitely an awesome event to be a part of and one I will be back for next year – hopefully conquering the 15km trail this time.

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