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Rain christens the Inaugural Goukamma Trail Run

It is always difficult to determine who derives the most pleasure from a trail run, the organisers when they scout and set up the trail, or the athletes as they run through a stimulating environment. By all accounts the inaugural Total Tortoise Tuff Goukamma Trail Run on Saturday 12th March was enjoyed equally by both athletes and organisers alike despite the rain.

With a most pleasing field of 29 runners, the trail run started and finished at the Sedgefield Primary School. The course, a 16km run, was composed of three distinct sections, the first stage, a flat suburban run to the edge of the Goukamma Nature Reserve. Turning off the gravel road, the second stage was a 7km jeep track and single track stage cresting the towering fossil dunes overlooking Lake Pleasant before descending into a forest of Milkwoods along the lake edge with a ‘Lord of the Rings’ feel to it. The last stage was a gentle contour run back to the school.

The leader from start to finish was one of South Africa’s top trail runners, Nic de Beer, who managed to sprint the first 5.6km in under 19minutes with a lead of 2:30mins over super-runner junior Nicholas Cuthbert in second place. Speeding into the reserve he managed to gain a further 3 minutes over Nicholas on the single track before setting out on the final leg of the run to win in a blistering 1hr05m.

The winning lady, Claire Lemke, entered the reserve stage in an admirable 9th position and finished the race in a stunning time of 1hr31m in an over all position of 8th place.

While the trail run was about racing against time through nature, it was also about being ‘in’ nature. All who ran it raved about the single track through the Milkwoods and most lamented the low cloud base which provided partially misted but spectacular views of the lake from the top of the dune, and some, like Doortjie, appreciated the floral displays, even picking a flower as a talisman for the remainder of the run. In essence, the feeling of the run was that it was spectacular and if the praise of ‘Dit was moerse lekker. Dankie’ as dispensed by Dirk Joubert is indicative of how the competitors felt about the new trail run, it will definitely grow in the future.

Results :

1st Junior Male: Nicholas Cuthbert 1hr14m
1st Open Male: Nic de Beer 1hr05m
2nd Open Male: JC Visser 1hr14m
3rd Open Male: Eddie Mouton 1hr22m
1st Open Female: Claire Lemke 1hr31m
2nd Open Female: Jo Tanner 1hr37m
3rd Open Female: Tania Erasmus 1hr38m
1st Vet Male: Dirk Joubert 1hr22m
2nd Vet Male: Herman Botha 1hr26m
3rd Vet Male: Chris Charter 1hr38m
1st Vet Female: Almari Booysen 1hr37m
2nd Vet Female: Kym Rolfe 1hr38m
3rd Vet Female: Chanel Hossack 1hr41m


  1. […] Total Tortoise Tuff Goukamma Trail Run on Saturday 12th March was enjoyed equally by both […] Trail Running South Africa Filed Under: Trail and Adventure Tagged With: christens, Goukamma, Inaugural, Rain, […]

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