Entries to the 2017 Tankwa Trail, which takes place from 17 to 19 February next year, are open. The 2017 event will mark the second running of the three day stage race which held its successful début earlier this year.
The Tankwa Trail takes in 90km of amazing Koue Bokkeveld trail running in its three stages. The routes follow rugged singletracks through unspoilt fynbos, traverses a scenic mountain pass once used by farmers trekking their produce to market, rolls along idyllic orchard lined jeep tracks and cuts through ancient boulder fields. The landscape is defined by the harsh beauty of the mountain ranges bordering the Bokkeveld and the lush orchards within the valley – this dichotomy is maintained in the race the landscape inspired.
While the running at the Tankwa Trail is tough, like the surrounding mountains, the hospitality of the Koue Bokkeveld is as welcoming and soothing as the sight of the deep green orchards from the top of the pass into the Witzenberg Valley. The race village is hosted at the spectacular Kaleo Manor, which also hosts the Tankwa Trail’s sister event the Tankwa Trek mountain bike stage race. Kaleo’s rolling lawns and grove of ancient oak trees provide the perfect camp site and the standard entry package includs tented accommodation – with each trail runner spreading out in a two man tent. The option is provided however to upgrade to Luxury Tented Accommodation where runners are treated to a spacious canvas tent, real beds and crisp white linen. Alternatively there are 10 Platinum Upgrade rooms available if you’re not a fan of camping in addition to the option to stay in your own camper van.
While Kaleo’s camp site is arguably the best stage race venue on the South African trail running or mountain biking calendar it’s their food which the participants remember most fondly. Entries to the Tankwa Trail include suppers from Thursday to Saturday night, and breakfast and lunches from Friday to Sunday. Kaleo’s chefs lay out an impressive spread at each, with the food on offer best described as gourmet boerekos.
Other highlights of the Tankwa Trail include Dryland Event Management’s excellent route markings and water points stocked to the brim with 32Gi products, home baked banana bread, koeksisters, droëwors and Klein Karoo International ostrich sosaties and mini steaks.
Going into its second year the Tankwa Trail will surely see a marked rise in entries, but the race will retain its intimate vibe; where trail runners leave having made new friends and met potential training partners, in the relaxed race village or while running together across the scenic Koue Bokkeveld landscape. Helping to ensure a relaxed vibe in the race village is the Dryland Chill Zone, complete with complimentary Rhodes Quality pure fruit juices, chocolate milks, lots of sweet treats and more A-Grade fresh fruit – picked right there in the orchards around Kaleo – than you can possibly consume.
Entries for the 2017 Tankwa Trail opened on the 31st of May 2016. You can find out all about the race; enter online; download a training programme; and book massages, airport transfers and accommodation upgrades by visiting www.tankwatrail.co.za.
Fast Facts: Tankwa Trail
Dates: 17 – 19 February 2017
Entries Open: 31 May 2017
Format: Fully catered three day stage race
|Stage 1||Stage 2||Stage 3|
|Start Venue||Kaleo Manor||Witzenberg Valley||Kaleo Manor|
|Finish Venue||Kaleo Manor||Kaleo Manor||Kaleo Manor|
Entry Fees: Team R8 800 | Solo R4 900
Facebook: Tankwa Trail