Two K-Way athletes are in France for the 5th IAU Trail World Championships, which take place on Saturday. AJ Calitz and Nicolette Griffioen, together with their South African teammates and runners from 38 other countries, make up the 287 participant count for this gruelling 85 kilometre run.

The IAU Trail World Championship is held annually and this year the event is hosted by France. The 85 kilometre race starts in the town of Annecy, which lies at the northern end of Lake Annecy. The route climbs into the mountains only a few kilometres from the start and circles the lake, taking in the surrounding summits for an accumulated 5,200 metres of vertical ascent over the course distance.

Although Calitz has competed abroad before, this is 22-year old Griffioen’s first time in Europe and first international race. She is the newest member of K-Way’s athlete family.

AJ Calitz

She has had a strong year already with wins at the Buffelspoort XTERRA and the Ultra Tail Mount Moodie 80km in January and a strong second place at the recent 32km Molweni Trail Run. Griffioen crossed the line only 20 seconds off the race winner.

“Annecy is really beautiful – both the mountains and the town,” she says.

Griffioen is expecting the course to be technical and tough with unrelenting climbs and descents and with very few flat sections.

“Our team manager, Altus Schreuder, went to see sections of the course on Wednesday. He returned saying that ‘a proper world champs’ awaits us and that the course is ‘definitely not boring’,” she adds.

“My goal is to finish the race only,” Griffioen says. “Being my first international race, I don’t know any of my competition except my South African teammates; I have no idea how I’ll place. I’m testing the waters to gain experience.”

With a 03h30 start, it is a given that the temperature in the very early morning will be chilly. The weather on Saturday is predicted to be sunny during the day. The runners can see snow on the peaks of the mountains surrounding the lake from their hotel; they’re expecting unpredictable conditions on the summits and know that cold and wind up high is almost guaranteed.

“I am going to go out relaxed, enjoy the views and see if I feel good enough after halfway to pull back some ladies,” she says.

Calitz and Griffioen’s Team South Africa teammates include Eric Ngubane, Graeme McCallum, Iain Don-Wauchope, Jock Green, Chantel Nienaber and Su Don-Wauchope. There is a team competition element where accumulated results count towards selecting a winning country.



  • ·         Event: 5th IAU Trail World Championships (run on the Tecnica MaXi-Race® course)
  • ·         Date: Saturday, 30 May 2015
  • ·         Venue: Annecy, France
  • ·         Start time: 03h30 (France is currently GMT +2, same as South Africa)
  • ·         Distance: 85 kilometres
  • ·         Vertical gain: 5,300 metres
  • ·         Number of participants: 178 men and 109 women (287 total)
  • ·         Number of countries represented: 39 for the World Champs
  • ·         Course Records: Men: Sebastien Spehler (FRA), 8:45; Women: Caroline Chaverot (FRA), 10:15
  • ·
  • ·         Start list: on IAU website (
  • ·         Follow online during the race – live (this looks like the page where splits will appear – use the ‘Following’ tab -
  • ·         Facebook: Trail Run SA -

§  Maxi-Race:

Cape Union Mart is calling for submissions for their annual Cape Union Mart Adventure Film Challenge 2015.

Anything goes as long as it has an outdoor theme – sports, adventure, outdoor culture.

The winning submission will be screened in South Africa in connection with the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2015, and the winning film-maker will receive a R10 000 cash prize and K-Way gear to the value of R2000.

To enter, upload your five minute short film to YouTube.

Then complete the online entry form on the Cape Union Mart Banff website and include the link to your video. Film submission information is included on the page. Entry deadline is 30 June 2015. (the date on the website address says 2014 but it is for 2015).


Trail running has exploded in South Africa over the last seven years or so, and with more and more runners hitting the trails there is a demand for knowledge and advice. Roving Trail Camps,

Local legend: Linda Doke

run by Ghaleed Nortje has combined one of the Western Cape’s finest wine farms, two of Cape Town’s best trail runners and some amazing trails in the Cape Winelands for an amazing trail running experience, the first trail running training camp to be held in Western Cape.

Roving Trail Camps is a professionally run trail running camp for novice and seasoned runners alike. The first of its kind in the Western Cape, the camp will be held the weekend of 29 – 31 May at Boschendal Wine Estate in the beautiful Franschhoek Valley.

Says Nortje, “We wanted to offer a weekend getaway that would include excellent food, warm hospitality, interesting talks by Cape Town trail running personalities, Linda Doke and Martin Kleynhans, in addition to other experts in their fields, and some fantastic trail runs on an exclusive part of the estate.”

Participants get to enjoy the wine and accommodation at Boschendal, and will enjoy delicious meals and a screening of the Trails in Motion film festival movies, which have already been shown in multiple countries around the world.

Topics covered by the speakers include technical running, nutrition, strength and conditioning and recovering after your runs, as well as demonstrations.

Boschendal Wine Estate

“Both beginners and professionals will benefit, this will be a social weekend allowing runners to learn from the specialists and from each other. The runs will have a slower and faster group in order to accommodate everyone. The emphasis is on learning and enjoying this beautiful area that we will be running in, as well as a great weekend getaway in a magnificent part of the Western Cape.“ Says Nortje.


Weekend itinerary:

Friday 29 May

  • Come ready for a gentle 5 – 10km run to introduce yourselves!
  • Official Welcome at Boschendal Estate


Saturday 30 May

  • Breakfast
  • Group run warm up, 5km
  • Pilates talk including 20 minute session
  • Run instruction to improve technical skill and exploring the estate trails
  • Biokineticists talk including 20 minute cool down session
  • Lunch – food talk and demonstration
  • Join the public Trail film screening;
  • Followed by Dinner


  • Nutrition
  • Bio Recovery – rehabilitation, rolling, strapping etc.
  • Gear – General emphasis on required kit for the main run.
  • Own time
  • Sport Massage (1st)
  • Wine Tasting
  • Trails film screening
  • Dinner: Farm to Table dining at Boschendal

Sunday 31 May


  • Transport to start of the run.
  • Group run with instruction and application of skills learned. Emphasis on trail safety and required kit for the run.
  • Sport Massage (2nd)
  • Lunch at Boschendal Wine Estate


More information at

Contact Ghaleed Nortje on 082 887 3011 or email


Next Ocean2Ocean is on Saturday 25 April 2015

A 50km guided mountain trail run.

More info here:


Back in the day – before I found my trail running feet – I used to own one pair of hiking boots at a time, generally the basic Hi-Tec model. Comfortable and suitable for basic day-hiking – no waterproofing to speak of. They would last me

Hi-Tec Para Boots

maybe five years and then get replaced by a similar pair.

Trail running means I spend much of my mountain time in trail shoes. Comfortable and light, they are also more than suitable for day hiking, without the ankle protection that high-top boots provide.

Last year I got to try out the Hi-Tec Para Boots, and in the snow and serious wet conditions, they were awesome. The new neoprene material is pretty hardy, soft and immune to snow and water. The boot is heavy though and not particularly suitable for summer hiking.

So I was pretty chuffed to get hold of a pair of Hi-Tec Altitude V I Wp

earlier this year. They are similar to the comfortable Hi-Tecs of old, just waterproof and sturdier. Having waterproof boots that don’t cost the earth is a big win and something not around in my early days of hiking. This is particularly useful for winter hiking in the Western Cape, where the mountains sometimes resemble a sponge that’s being soaked in water and squeezed. A rather beautiful sponge, but water oozing out of every nook and cranny is only great when your feet don’t get wet. With these boots they don’t.

A hike in Orange Kloof, a particularly wet, beautiful and protected part of Table Mountain was a great opportunity to test my boots, they passed with flying colours, leaving my non-webbed footed friends with…well wet feet, while I walked comfortably though water with no need to rock hop, keeping my feet dry at all times. Made even better when it started to rain. You can’t put a price on dry feet.

Having enjoyed these boots for the better part of this year, I was already suitably impressed but they needed a real test. This test presented itself when we took on the mighty Hex River Traverse, which consisted of a 13-hour day of walking on rough, uneven terrain, mostly with no path to speak of. With most of our party in trail shoes, I was more than happy to have the boots on, both for protection for my feet and support, as we had heavier than usual backpacks.

It wasn’t all comfort though, with the sloped uneven terrain taking its toll on my feet, and a few blisters popping up. Nothing a plaster here and there couldn’t fix up. The boots ultimately passed with flying colours and my hiking companions in their trail shoes passed more than one envious look at my boots.

These boots are definitely the new simple, comfortable and hardy pair of boots, that I got used to use all those years ago. They are light, hardy, have a a good grip and they’re waterproof. Now if they can last me five years, that would really be something.

Here’s to a good few more years.

ALTITUDE V I WP Pic: Andrew Beetge


Red Bull LionHeart played out on Saturday on Cape Town’s Lion’s Head where runners faced off against each other in elimination rounds. For the third year in a row,

Calitz The LionHeart

K-Way athlete AJ Calitz  dominated the event to claim a hat trick of LionHeart crowns. He set another new course record of 25.54 in the process.

“LionHeart is one of my favourite races of the year and I always look forward to it,” says Calitz. “When I get to the start line I remember how hard it is. This year was no exception.”

Last year the competitors ran a 3.7-kilometre qualifying circuit in the morning with three elimination rounds in the afternoon. This year runners qualified for the 22 men’s and 11 women’s places by using Strava – a free-for-download GPS route tracking app – in the lead-up to the event, which meant four ascents during the race.

“It makes a difference to race four times, instead of three,” says Calitz. “Luckily, more ascents suits me.”

Fortunately the forecasted rain stayed away on race day, although gusty winds high up on the peak made for cold temperatures and tricky conditions underfoot on the technical and rocky terrain.

LION TAMERS - AJ Cailtz & Landi Greyling

“I had friends and family waiting at the bottom with my warm K-Way jacket, some food and water so that I could keep warm and recover after each heat. My wife, Paulette is an amazing support at these events.”

Calitz had a tough draw, running against Ben Brimble in the first heat and quarterfinal and then against Thabang Madiba in the semifinal and final.

“The first three rounds were a lot faster than last year and we had to push from the word go,” he says.

“I was very nervous before the final as Thabang beat me at Otter in September and he was tipped as the man-to-beat at LionHeart this year. But I stuck to my guns and did what I had planned; to start the climb hard and break early. My plan paid off and I had about a 40-second gap at the top. I managed to keep the gap until the gravel section where Thabang’s leg speed would be a real danger. Gladly the gap was big enough and I could hold him off.”

Calitz ran the final in 25.54, beating Madiba by 21 seconds and again setting a new course record – a time that is almost one-minute faster than his record set in 2013.

Landie Greyling won the women’s race for a second time (33.58), beating Cape Town runner Megan Leslie in the final by only 29 seconds. 16-year old Leslie is the newest member of K-Way’s junior athlete stable.


1 AJ Calitz  25.54

2 Thabang Madiba  26.15

3 Martin Kleynhans  29:39

4 Ben Brimble  30.37



1. Landie Greyling 33.58

2. Megan Leslie  34.27

3. Amy Burton  36.20

4. Allie Townsend  37.22


November is a running mixed bag for record-setting trail runner AJ Calitz. With the high-intensity Red Bull LionHeart event only a week before the ultra-distance Salomon SkyRun, he will be changing gears and attempting to stand on the podium at both events. On road, the equivalent would be a 5,000-metre champion aiming for Comrades glory. Can this K-Way athlete do it?

AJ going for his hat trick

Two years ago Calitz set the pace at the inaugural Red Bull LionHeart, a 4, 4-kilometre duel from the base of Cape Town’s Lion’s Head peak to the top and back down again. Rather than a mass start, the race pits runners against each other in a head-to-head duel. Contenders run again and again, knocking out rivals on their climb up the ranks. Last year Calitz defended his title and beat Thabang Madiba by a mere 11 seconds to claim his second LionHeart title – and setting a new course record (26:46) at the same time.

Calitz has been training on Lion’s Head in preparation for this year’s event, which takes place on Saturday 15 November. When asked how he aims to pull back more seconds from his previous record runs, Calitz replies, “It is always possible to go faster; I am a lot faster on the downs this year”.

He finds the stretch of jeep track to be the hardest section of the course. “Coming down from the top is quite a rush!” he adds.

Calitz is back for the third time. Aside from defending his crown, he is attracted to the race because of its man-on-man heat setup. “Whoever is prepared to hurt the most will win,” he says.

A week later Calitz transitions physically – and mentally – from the fast-paced action of LionHeart to the 100-kilometre mountain race, SkyRun. He has been out in the Witteberg mountains, familiarising himself with the route and the terrain.

“Yes, it helps a lot to be familiar with the course; route knowledge is 60% of the race at this event. To be fair, with racing at altitude and living at sea level I have to manage my expectations.”

Last year the race was cut short due to bad weather. Howling wind, torrential ice-rain and fog brought dangerous conditions to the mountains and Calitz, who was chasing race leader Iain Don-Wauchope, was nearly hypothermic and he withdrew from the race. He learned from this experience.

“Last year was rough,” he says of his first experience at SkyRun. “I learned that I should start slower because it is a long day out. Also, I have to focus on navigation, pacing and nutrition from the start.”

Red Bull LionHeart is on Saturday, 15 November 2014. If you are not able to cheer from the slops of Lion’s Head, the race can be followed online through the Red Bull LionHeart website ( The Salomon SkyRun ( starts before sunrise on Saturday, 22 November 2014 from the town of Lady Grey in the Eastern Cape.  The most up-to-date content during the race will appear on the event organiser’s Facebook page (Pure Adventures).

Also follow K-Way on Facebook (K-Way SA) for images and news of Calitz as he takes on these two gruelling events.

Lucky Miya & Martin Kleynhans

The 18th edition of the Three Peaks Challenge, a 50km mountain and city run, took place on Saturday in Cape Town. The men’s race was won by Martin Kleynhans (5:24:59), with K-Way athlete Lucky Miya (5:37:01) taking second place. Katya Soggott again won the women’s race, finishing in 6:15:44, only 42 seconds outside the women’s record, which she set last year.

“Conditions were very hot,” says race organiser Gavin Snell, “particularly later in the day in Platteklip Gorge and on Lion’s Head. A large number of participants complained of cramping.”

Snell says that Miya had a good lead at the end of the second peak but, not being a local, he had little knowledge of the route and he lost valuable time later.

” A friend volunteered to show me some parts of the route when I arrived in Cape Town on Thursday, but I still took some wrong turns here and there; but I quickly found the right way again,” Miya explains.

WINNERS: Martin Kleynhans & Katya Soggot

Speaking about his run he says: “At Devil’s Peak and up Platteklip I felt great and strong. It’s a tough section with very lovely trails on this beautiful mountain. I managed to open a big gap of about 15 minutes. Then, right at the beginning of the last peak, Lion’s Head, I started cramping and it was really a tough mission to get to the top. Martin Kleynhans caught me here and was so kind to offer me tablets to stop the cramps, which helped a lot”.

“I’m very happy with my second place,” Miya says. “What an incredible experience with wonderful support on the route and at the checkpoints. I’m very blessed to have this opportunity from K-Way to explore the Three Peaks Challenge.”   Results2014-Final

Devil’s Peak Table Mountain Lion’s Head Total time
Men’s Results
1. Martin Kleynhans 1:48:50 2:16:07 1:20:02 5:24:59
2. Lucky Miya 1:48:44 2:00:50 1:47:27 5:37:01
3. Dom Wills 1:50:09 2:19:06 1:33:27 5:42:42
Women’s Results
1. Katya Soggott 2:05:17 2:34:33 1:35:54 6:15:44*
2. Caroline Balkwill 2:18:25 2:53:45 1:58:54 7:11:04
3. India Baird 2:39:48 3:04:18 2:00:35 7:44:41

The Three Peaks Challenge website is

For 18 years runners have assembled before sunrise on Long Street for the start of a race that takes them up and down Cape Town’s three peaks. Devil’s Peak, Maclear’s Beacon (via Platteklip Gorge) and Lion’s Head. Participants have 14

Three Peaks Challenge

Mark Pikker checking in at Lion's Head

hours to complete this 50-kilometre Challenge, which is presented in proud partnership with K-Way.

Looking at the line-up, race organiser Gavin Snell has his money on K-Way athlete Lucky Miya.

“Aside from Lucky, who is coming from Joburg for his first Three Peaks, no other names stand out for a hands-down win; he is the outstanding favourite. But, there are always new people who come along to run that are completely unknown. Three years ago we didn’t know who AJ Calitz was; he won his first Three Peaks in 2011 and again in 2012. He holds the course record for the fastest time ever.”

“But,” Snell adds, “Lucky doesn’t know the route and this may open the door for strong runners, like Dom Wills, who have the experience and speed and know the route.”

As Miya has never been on the course, his objective is just to make it through without taking a wrong trail.

Lucky Miya

“I’m completely in the dark about the route. I would have loved to come down early to scout the route but due to my work commitments this has not been possible. I’ll have to struggle and survive on the day,” he says.

In August Miya flew to Colorado to run the 21-kilometre, uphill-only Pikes Peak Ascent. He placed 19th overall and 4th in his age category.

“My experience and training from Pikes Peak will boost me a lot but Three Peaks will require great fitness to go up such challenging steep climbs,” he adds.

“I’ve had a busy year and I can feel the fatigue now so I won’t be going out 100%,” Miya explains. “On Saturday I’m going to have fun and be part of this event that my sponsor, K-Way, also supports. This year I will learn the route so I can go hard in 2015.”

Three Peaks is the type of event that runners return to year-after-year. Even race organiser Snell is in for his 18th run. “And then there is Brian Key,” says Snell. “He is turning 76 in November and he’ll be running his 13th Three Peaks. Until a few years ago he was still running in the Top 10, even at the age of 70! Katya Soggott will be running her 3rd Three Peaks; she holds the women’s record.”

The Three Peaks Challenge, held in partnership with K-Way, starts at 5am on Saturday, 1 November 2014. 150 runners will attempt to ascend all three peaks by 7pm – a 14-hour allowance. The course record of 4:50:21 was set by K-Way athlete AJ Calitz in 2012. Spectators are invited to watch the runners from Tafelberg Road, where there is an aid station, or at Greenmarket Square, basecamp for the day. More information can be found on–


The untamed wilderness of the Wild Coast in South Africa is the perfect destination for hikers and runnerssource:, a paradise for those of you who love to explore natural treasures.This stretch of coastline reaches from the Mtamvuna River in the north to the Great Kei River in the south, offering incredible views and hiking trails: high dunes, cliffs, sheltered bays, wild beaches, ancient forests, hills and valleys.

Wild Coast’s top hiking and running routes

The five-day Wild Coast Meander is the established favourite hiking trail. It covers 56 kilometres of the southern Wild Coast from Kob Inn to Morgan Bay. Local guides and porters from Xhosa communities accompany hikers and carry their bags, so you won’t have a problem on the longer, harder stretches of the trail. Shorter options are available too. You’ll stay at small seaside hotels each night, dining on local seafood and recharging for the next day.

More strenuous but definitely worth the effort, the five-day Wild Coast Hiking Trail goes from Port St Johns to Coffee Bay. Again, the hospitality of local people and the warmth of overnight accommodations will make you feel welcome. Porters are available if you need help.

Another option is the 59km Drifters Wild Coast Trail, along the northern Wild Coast. It explores some of the best known landmarks of the area, as Cathedral Rock and Waterfall Bluff.

The Diaz Cross Trail extends for 80km, from Woody Cape in the Alexandria State Forest, going north via the Diaz Cross and Kenton-on-Sea to the mouth of the Great Fish River. On this trail, you’ll be able to enjoy luxury accommodation each night and porters carrying your bags.

Trail running is another growing activity in South Africa, and the Wild Coast’s varied landscape offers the perfect setting for this outdoor pursuit.

There are different trail running events taking place in the beautiful sceneries of the Wild Coast, like WildRun, a three day, 112km trail running stage race starting at the Great Kei River and finishing at the beautiful Hole-in-the-Wall.

Take a luxurious break from your adventurous along the Wild Coast

As you see, a variety of organised running and hiking events and packages are available, with overnight stops and accommodations from rustic, safari-style experiences, to much more pampered and luxurious in private lodges. Even if you are an adventure-seeker traveler, prefer exploring nature and hike rocky peaks, you might as well treat yourself with a more luxurious stop over the Wild Coast Sun Casino for some gambling excitement. However, before hitting the green table in the Plantation Room, you might as well practice a little bit in order not to lose your money. Online casinos are the solution, as you can play online taking advantage of bonuses and learning tips and trick to bet safely. Plus, there are different online casinos apps now that can be downloaded for the iphone which allow you to practice while you are on the go in a very easy and fun way.

The incredible natural beauty makes the Eastern Cape’s Wild Coast ideal for hiking and running, discovering dramatic landscapes and rocky headlands.

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