29 July 2017
South Africa’s iconic five day Whale Trail hiking route is offered as a challenge to runners capable of embracing all 53km of spectacular mountain fynbos, technical rocky ridgelines, sandy beach stretches and endless, mind blowing, beautiful vistas in one day.
The Merrell Whale of Trail event is the only opportunity each year for a maximum of 175 nature loving athletes to run hard on this trail while treading lightly on the earth.
Just a 3 hour drive from Cape Town along the Southern Cape coast, close to Cape Agulhas, the route takes runners on a journey from the Potberg nature reserve to Koppie Alleen in CapeNature’s flagship De Hoop Nature Reserve. The first 26km winds through fynbos covered mountains with spectacular views of the Breede River Valley and then descends to the enchanting Noetsie Bay, turning west and winding along the rocky shores of the Indian Ocean, with a mix of sandy beach and coasteering trails.
Chaperoned by Whales
Bang on the peak of whale season, runners are left wondering who is watching who as scores of the annual migratory Southern Right Whales continually breach out the water, spy hopping and waving their fins at the passers-by, making the best and most enthusiastic cheerleaders.
It has become a must-do for those who have already tackled the more conventional runs out there. Bragging rights on this one are substantial!
The finish area at Koppie Alleen is a festive affair. Situated right above the beach, spectators may forget to look for their runners while mesmerised by the whales, exploring the dunes and many rock pools packed with prolific life – thanks to the long standing protection offered by the marine reserve – or enjoying the food freshly prepared by the caterers.
The historic and picturesque De Hoop Collection, situated alongside the Ramsar wetland vlei offers not only sublime accommodation but also excellent guided birding excursions, nature walks and boat trips, mountain biking trails, and soon a spa for the ultimate indulgence. Traffic in your way on the walk to dinner comes in the form of herds of eland, bontebok and the rare mountain zebra.
Just 175 Entries
Keeping it personal and keeping it pristine. Just 175 runners will get the chance to run this route in 2017.
Entries will open on 15 October 2016.