Types of Events
Eco Trail Runs
One of the greatest attractions to trail running is the unique natural environments it allows us to explore on foot. With South Africa ranking as the third most biodiverse country in the world we are extremely privileged in the wide range of biomes, high level of species endemism and sheer number of birds, plants and animals that line our trails.
At Mountain Abandon we feel as strongly about sharing nature's trails as we do about conserving them. With this concept in mind we decided to launch the Eco Trail Series. Whenever we discover new wilderness areas with opportunities for trail running, regardless of location convenience, available amenities and route distances, we aim to host a trail race. The focus of the runs will be to inspire the local community to become involved in trail running, attract outsiders to experience the beauty of more rural trail locations, and also to highlight the conservation efforts of the region.
All our Eco Trail Series Runs will have locally sourced, environmentally-friendly prizes for top runners and 'eco-medals" for all finishers. A percentage of your entry fee will be contributed to a local conservation effort where applicable. Dog-friendly runs are also a priority of ours so be sure to keep an eye open for these in the future!
Trail Skills Days
We offer both private and group trail skills days. Our group runs typically focus on moving more efficiently over technical terrain, when and how to run uphill economically, and techniques for optimising downhill running. We also delve into the best methods of training for mountain running, as well as the benefits of core strengthening for trail runners. On request for a group with a common goal, or an individual athlete, we are happy to customize the course to develop a particular skill or skill set such as navigation, or focus on race-specific topics like nutrition.
So whether it is to improve your general technical running ability, to move more comfortably on steep terrain or off-trail, or to gain confidence in high-altitude running and mountain navigation, we would love to work with you. Group training is usually R250 to R350 per person, depending on numbers. Private training from approximately R500 per person for a full morning.
Please CONTACT us to let us know if you have a group for training, a specific personal skill request, or even if you simply need a long-run partner for the day!
Mountain Running & Race Specific Camps
Mountain running, especially in the Drakensberg, can be intimidating for many athletes. The weather is unpredictable, the terrain quite unique, and the navigation challenging at best! But the Berg is our home now and we've spent many hours traversing the escarpment and negotiating with the elements. Sharing all that we've learnt through personal experiences, good and bad, is the purpose of our mountain running camps.
If you are training for a specific race and are uncertain about how best to prepare, we also offer race-orientated training camps. Between us we have completed many of South Africa's iconic trail runs which allows us to plan routes with very similar profiles, terrain and technicality to any event for which you may be preparing.
We cater for athletes of almost any skill level by hosting groups of varying levels (see details below) on different weekends so you can join us the camp that best suits your current trail running abilities. Expect a fun but challenging three days of training, sharing and learning with a group of like-minded athletes along the beautiful mountain trails of the Drakensberg. We will cover topics including but not limited to nutrition, hydration, ascending, descending, the use of poles, and navigation - especially night time navigation. This is a great opportunity to hone your mountain running skills, prepare for upcoming races or put your fitness to the test!
Drakensberg Experience Levels
Trail Running Experience
This is our most basic mountain running camp where you can expect a fun weekend of good trails but still with decent elevation. The focus is on sociable running with a relaxed approach to allow everybody to experience the joy of mountain movement within their comfort zone. With the negative effects of COVID on road races we realise that many road runners are making a transition to trail. While they already have the required fitness, they're unaccustomed to pacing on the trail, technical terrain, long ascents and descents, and the nutrition, hydration and gear for mountain and trail running. This is the type of information we will cover on the Trail Experience weekend. The longest run will be approximately 15km of fairly runnable trail.
Next Trail Running Experience: 16-18 April 2021 at Highmoor Nature Reserve, KZN
Mountain Running Experience
This camp is geared towards trail runners with a moderate degree of fitness and decent technical trail exposure. It is ideal preparation for races like the Ultra Trail Drakensberg 100km or 100 miler for athletes with finish time goals of 18-26 hours (100km) or 35-45 hours (160km). While the longest day of this camp is between 8 and 10 hours on the feet, the pace is conservative but consistent. Expect some long climbs and descents and race specific discussions for events such as UTD, Skyrun and Lesotho Ultra Trail.
Next Intermediate Camp: TBC
Ultra Running Experience
This camp is for more experienced trail and mountain runners looking for a solid training weekend in preparation for a sub-18 hour UTD 100km, sub-35 hour UTD 160km or sub-18 hour Skyrun 100km. Athletes should be comfortable on technical terrain and long ascents and descents. Areas of focus will include: navigation and mental preparation for night running; pacing, nutrition and hydration for mountain ultras; and an opportunity to practice solo navigation for confidence building.
Next Advanced Camp: 2-4 April 2021 at Injisuthi Camp, Central Drakensberg