Underberg – The Southern Drakensberg is a hive of activity at this time of year with its mild temperatures and brilliant sunshine and the Giant’s Cup this weekend will attract a number of returning trail enthusiasts eager to take it all in.
The famous Giant’s Cup trail will play host to a two-day trail run that takes runners from the Premier Resort Sani Pass across a 32km route to Castleburn Farm. The second day will then take them from the overnight stop to Bushman’s Nek Hotel, 30km away.
There are a number of reasons why people return to the Giant’s Cup trail and for Johannesburg-based Travis Green it’s fairly simple – the surroundings.
“To get a few days in the mountains is just peace for me and it’s such a lovely part of the world that I have to come back,” Green said.
“The atmosphere and the vibe are awesome and the event is so well organised that you are always taken care of which is fantastic.
“It is a quite a trek for us coming from Johannesburg but we see it as a treat and with my wife coming to do her second Giant’s Cup we really look forward to it.”
Once again the Giant’s Cup organisers have offered those that might not be as fit the option of shorter days and Green believes that those distances are the perfect pathway to longer, more challenging distances.
“You can opt to run the 35km route which will be far more manageable and it will give you a taste of what multi-day running is about but without the longer distances.
“It is a good way to see if you are up for taking on the longer runs.
“35km at altitude will be a test but it is such amazing trail in such a beautiful part of the world that you forget about being tired!”
Green will be returning for his hat-trick of Giant’s Cups and he feels that the event is about more than just the famous trails.
“It is a family affair for us now with my wife coming back for her second Giant’s Cup.
“We feel like it is something we can’t miss and the experience is always great and with it being restricted to a certain number of people makes the experience far more personal,” he added.
This year Running Man Adventures have added the Hiking Giants option where you take on the same trail as the runners but you will head off earlier than the runners.
The event starts on Friday 17 May and finishes at Bushman’s Nek Hotel on Saturday, 18 May.
The beneficiary of the Giants Cup and Hiking Giants is the Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife branch based at the Cobham Nature Reserve.
R500 per hiker will be dedicated to this cause that will focus on local issues within the Maloti Drakensberg Park.
These include alien vegetation, maintenance of the trails, funding of vital equipment for EKZNW staff and assistance with monitoring of critically endangered species such as the Bearded Vulture.
More information can be found at www.thegiantscup.co.za