Running through the Magoebaskloof forest is one of the most humbling, yet rewarding runs I have ever experienced!

The Magoebas Ultra Trail Series is most certainly not for the faint hearted!!! After my expedition in Lesotho last year, October my thirst for more trails in our beautiful country grew and when I laid my eyes on this run I knew I had to feed my cravings. I therefore decided to take part in the 20km section of the race which consisted of 1000m of elevations, technical paths and some pretty epic views! 

My partner and I set off for a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg to the mountains which host the Magoebaskloof Forest. On arrival I collected my race pack and was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the mountains we were soon to encounter. The area itself is very untouched giving one the sense of complete calmness and bliss once you enter it. Once I collected my race pack we headed to our bnb  soaking up the views and  to get my gear prepped for the adventure ahead.

On Sunday 20 March 2022 my alarm went off, my body was ready and my soul was even more excited to take part in yet another exciting adventure! The runners were whisked away in shuttles to the start of the race at the base of  Debengeni Waterfall. The buzz at the start of the race, races through your veins which gets your blood and adrenalin going. The scenery at the start was absolutely mesmerizing.  As an outdoor enthusiast this place really overflowed my soul with content and blissfulness.

3..2..1 race time, at the start of the race we headed out for an intense climb with many athletes choosing to walk the first 700m. My adrenaline however was overflowing and I managed to tackle the first climbs with ease. The run took us past some of the most spectacular forestry however the footpaths were very technical which required a lot of focus as soon as you entered the forest. I was originally chasing a sub 2 hour time however this goal quickly changed with the technicality and elevation gain from the race. My focus then turned to absorbing as much as I could from the surrounding, people running the race and the allowing my body to focus on the path ahead.

After about 10km of climbing with technical terrain my legs got a bit of break at the top of the Magoebaskloof Forest. The forest boasts some of the tallest trees in Africa known as the "Magoebaskloof Giants", these magnificent trees are humbling. In the last 10km of the run my legs felt extremely strong and with my soul fully rejuvenated so I powered on, motoring through the forest. 

3 hours, 16 minutes and 04 seconds later I crossed the finish line at the Debengeni Waterfall, feeling uplifted and moved by the entire experience. Every tough run changes you however once I completed this run I felt more entuned with my body and mind. It opened up a space that I haven't quite felt before, a space of pride. I was extremely proud to run that race, to run with such amazing people, explore such incredible spaces and visit a space that was so untouched.

So the big question remains, would I do it again? 

ABSOLUTLY!!! 

This race changes you, yes it does test you but more importantly it rewards you with an experience to embrace a space that remain so pure and that is priceless!


 

written by
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Cailin Whyte

Head of Sport from Cape Town

Age group: Open
Club: ASICS
Coach: Michael Obery

My Disciplines
Fitness Strength Training Half Marathon Trail 10k

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