The 2017 edition of the 1000 Hills Challenge is around the corner. This highly anticipated event has become one of KZN Trail Running (KZNTR)’s premier races and, considering the breath taking beauty of the route, it is little wonder why this event is a highlight on the trail running calendar!

Taking place on Sunday, 30 July at the picturesque Msinsi Nagle Dam, the 1000 Hills Challenge now features four distances: a 38km, 20km, 10km and newly introduced 5km route.

Speaking about the challenge, Lauren Booth of KZNTR said that the two longer distances offered a few enjoyable challenges. “The 38km and 20km routes are known to be tough and technical,” she said. “Completing them comes with serious bragging rights.”

However, she added that the incredibly scenic area, offering panoramic views of Nagle Dam, the unspoilt bushveld and even a tunnel under the dam, made the challenges well worth it. Sweetening the deal is the fact that the 20km and 38km entries include a long sleeved, technical race shirt and a post-race massage as part of the premier, 1000 Hills experience.

“Nagle Dam is a rural setting that offers spectacular scenery,” Booth said. “Runners doing the longer courses will circumnavigate the entire dam as well as explore parts of the river above the dam, including an adventurous river crossing and steep climbs. The 10km course cuts through the middle of the dam using an exciting tunnel and runs around the bottom half of the dam. Runners can expect to see some wildlife like Zebra and Impala in the Msinsi Reserve. The run promises a unique perspective of KZN that only those willing to explore on foot will rarely get to see.”

The 10km route has been hailed as one of the most beautiful trails by many, and is well worth the experience. “The 1000 Hills 10km has to be one of the nicest routes ever – love this event and the area,” commented well-known local trail runner, Alison Chadwick, of last year’s event.

Meanwhile, the 1000 Hills Challenge also sees a new 5km course introduced this year, making it accessible to all levels of trail runners, young and old.

There will be a Kidzone available for children aged two years and above, with experienced child minders available so parents can enjoy the trails knowing their little ones are cared for.

Food and beverages will be on sale and the event boasts a festive atmosphere as runners and spectators cheer each other on.

Pre entries close on 28 July and it is advisable for runners to log their entries online before that on takes place on the day from 6:30am. For more information, email

Kate Gaunaris enjoying a thrilling downhill section on the 38km, 1000 Hills Challenge route.
Images credit goes to Graham Daniel.