Trail runners heading for Underberg for the Euro Steel Run the Rivers on 30 and 31 January 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.
New trails added to Run the Rivers
While the runners were uniformly happy with the trails on offer at last year’s event, the Sani Spoors team 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 them to the Superbowl trails that take them back into the uMzimkhulu valley for the remainder of the final stage.
“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 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. There are lakes below, and you can often see wattle crane there,” said Horn.
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 really believe that this will add a lot of value to every athlete’s overall experience, and it should be the place where photos are taken to capture the beauty of being part of a race in the Berg,” said Horn.
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 on offer 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 the 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 of the race dates.
“We appreciate that people are getting excited and want to use the race trails, 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 along the way remains healthy and productive,” he added.
The Euro Steel Run The Rivers trail run in partnership with FNB takes place in Underberg on 30 and 31 January 2021.