Discover trail running and obstacle course racing

Challenge yourself, your family and your friends to try something adventurous in 2016.

Trail running and obstacle course racing (OCR) are fun and adventurous sports that are accessible to everyone - all you need is a pair of old trainers to take part - and offer something for all fitness levels. This makes them the perfect sports to try out in 2016.

In South Africa, there is an abundance of trail running and OCR events that take place every weekend in every province. The best thing about these events is that they are all hosted in spectacular outdoor venues, including indigenous forests, game reserves and mountain ranges.

Below we've listed some of the top family-friendly trail running and OCR events. These events cater to all fitness levels, beginner and experienced, and offer a variety of distances, ranging from 2km to 90km.

  • Jeep Warrior Series

    1. Jeep Warrior Series - KZN, Western Cape, Gauteng and Mpumalanga

    OCR has taken South Africa by storm over the last few years and it's not hard to see why - it's accessible, fun and challenging. OCR is about playtime for kids and adults, getting down and dirty, facing challenges, overcoming fear while having fun in nature, giving a helping hand and sharing stories of achievements and epic fails afterwards. The Jeep Warrior Series is South Africa's most popular OCR event.

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  • Ingeli Sky Marathon

    2. Ingeli Sky Marathon and Trail Run - KZN

    The Ingeli Forest Resort and its beautiful surrounds are trail running paradise, with the Ingeli Mountain range providing the absolute challenge. With four distances on offer, the event caters for all fitness levels, from experienced trail runners to novices just starting out. The event allows participants to experience some of the most scenic parts of the Ingeli Forest, including waterfalls, streams and amazing views.

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  • Drakensburg Northern Trail

    3. Drakensburg Northern Trail - KZN and Free State

    The Drakensberg Northern Trail Run is set in Oliviershoek Pass amidst the spectacular Northern Drakensberg, on the border of KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State. The family-friendly trail running event offers a great weekend of running and walking for all ages and fitness levels. You don't need to be a "trail runner" to take part, you just have to be up for spending some time in the mountains.

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  • Merrell Autumn Run

    4. Merrell Autumn Run - Gauteng

    The Merrell Autumn Run is the perfect Sunday morning adventure for Gauteng trail runners. Set in the beautiful Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (which have been voted Johannesburg's best place to get back to nature for 9 years in a row), the event offers three distances catering to all fitness levels and ages. The 2km loop is perfect for children, while the longer 6km loop and 12km circular routes present more of a challenge.

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  • Spur Trail Series

    5. Spur Trail Series - Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN

    The Spur Trail Series has been designed for all types of trail runners, from beginners to pro athletes at the top of their game. The series offers are a number of different events across the year in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, all with one thing in common: dynamic routes in wild and exciting places.

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  • Impi Challenge

    6. Impi Challenge - Gauteng, Western Cape and KZN

    The Impi Challenge is a muddy trail run / obstacle course event that caters to all athletic abilities. Set in beautiful outdoor venues in Gauteng, Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, the event offers a fun, family-friendly atmosphere where athletes can participate in teams or as individuals.

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  • Muizenberg Monster

    7. Muizenberg Monster - Western Cape

    The Muizenberg Monster takes place entirely on the beach - no roads or mountains. It's a fun event that caters to the whole family, with three distances on offer: a 6km fun run, a more adventurous 10km and the main 20km 'Monster' event.

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  • Montagu Mountain Mania

    8. Montagu Mountain Mania - Western Cape

    From super fit trail runners to children and everyone in between, the Montagu Mountain Mania trail run offers an exciting outdoor adventure. The event takes place at the picturesque Avalon Springs Hotel and offers a number of distances for runners and hikers. The routes take athletes along ravines, mountain streams and craggy cliffs with awe-inspiring rock formations along the way.

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  • Lourensford Harvest Market Trail Run

    9. Lourensford Harvest Market Trail Run - Western Cape

    Held every month to coincide with the extremely popular Lourensford Harvest Market, the trail run reminds you that it's not about your race time, but about being one with nature. Three distances are offered - a gentle children's route, an 8km and a more challenging 15km. The trail offers gorgeous views over the estate and after your exhilarating run you can visit the Harvest Market to enjoy some of the delicious local food, wine and beer.

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  • Merrell Hobbit Journey and Trail Runs

    10. Merrell Hobbit Journey and Trail Runs - Eastern Cape

    Step into the magical world of Hogsback! Extreme trail runners will love tackling the iconic and notoriously demanding two day, 90km staged run which travels through the enchanting indigenous forests and up the Amathole Mountains to Cata Mountain. The event also offers less demanding 38km, 16km and 5km routes.

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Tired of doing the same old thing? Read our guide on the top 10 Eco-adventures in South Africa to discover new and exciting experiences.

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