“I Did My First Trail Run — Here’s What Went Down On The Day”

Um, this was so far out of my comfort zone.


Ondela Mlandu |

I’m not one to generally back down from a challenge. In fact, I thrive on challenges. I love taking myself out of what I know and delving deep into the unknown, which is why taking part in a 10km trail run was something I needed to do.

The Steenberg Spring Trail Run

Steenberg Wine Farm hosted their annual Spring Trail Run — and, as unpredictable as Cape Town weather can be, we welcomed September with heavy rain and slippery slopes. That didn’t stop me. All the runners that took part enthusiastically pushed their way through the vineyard uphills and I thoroughly enjoyed the wine and water pitstops along the way.

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The routes

The two trail options were a 5km and a 10km loop through the vineyards. I must admit, I was very confident at the start of my race, but the uphills showed me who was really in charge after the first ascent.

READ MOREHere’s What You Need To Know Before Buying Your First Trail Shoes

A trail run for a good cause

A portion of the proceeds and donations raised on the morning went towards helping the True North Vrygrond Early Childhood Development project. True North partners with pre-school principals and teachers to provide quality care to young children in the Vrygrond community located near Muizenberg.

READ MORE: 4 Really Good Reasons Why You Should Try Trail Running

Steenberg’s Marketing Co-ordinator, Natalie Ferreira says: “Steenberg Vineyards is a lifestyle brand which promotes balance. We strive towards the creation of memorable experiences and aim to show our guests that we are more than just the sum of our parts. Doing all this whilst being able to make a difference in our communities is a point of pride.”

READ MORE6 Strength Moves For Trail Runners

Tips from a rookie

  1. Mentally prepare yourself for a trail run.
  2. Have the right gear, especially trail running shoes for the various terrain.
  3. Go easy on the uphills, and power through the downhills.
  4. The minute I stopped taking my running time seriously, I realised I wouldn’t enjoy the run as much so have fun!

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know Before You Try Trail Running

More trail running adventures?

I’ve come to realise that not everything is for me. I have immense respect for my colleagues at Women’s Health, who take on 21km and even 45km trails. Trail running is not for the faint-hearted.

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

READ MORE ON: Fitness Fitness Advice Trail Running