Always looking for fun challenges on the mountain trails… last year we did Cape town’s iconic 13 Peaks Challenge together, and then later on in the year we joined the Gone to Gone Challenge. This year we stumbled upon the Fullsend Trail Series Challenge and we have loved it all the way. The Fullsend Trail Series was a way to bring Trail running groups from greater Cape Town together and share their routes and connect with other trail runners.

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Three routes, three regions and over three months. All the routes were circular, so I could head out at my slow pace and my speedy crew could literally run circles around me. Perfect day out for our family… over and over again. Also, the top runners from the all the months are running a final race in Stellenbosch this weekend. It’s going to be exciting for all sorts of elite runners… but just so that you are aware… I am not one of those. I simply took the challenge and hiked the routes.

The Caracal – Silvermine – February

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The first challenge was in Silvermine South a route that started at gate 2, ran over the mountains towards False Bay…
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Absolutely epic views as far as the eye can see and round through the fynbos to places I have never seen before…
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Best puppy day ever… and high above Kalk Bay…
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Past the waterfall, which was dry, say hello to the heat of summer, and back to the start at the parking lot. Lovely route, close to home and fabulous. It was definitely one of our best days out on the trails, ever.
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Lesson Learned:

New routes definitely add a whole level of fun to outdoor adventuring and there are plenty of routes close to home that we still have to explore.
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The Tahr – Stellenbosch – March

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New month and a new route, we were so excited to head out to Stellenbosch to try out the Tahr… this was the hardest route for us by far… and to be honest, the hike I gave up on several times… but my legs kept on marching and eventually I made it.
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It was a very early start for us… travelling to Stellenbosch before the sunrise, because everyone knows that an early start is the best kind of start.
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And up to the first peak for sunrise. Where we met a hiker in trouble, he asked us for help. What we didn’t realise initially was that he was having a heart attack. Several hours later, after waiting for him to receive the medical attention that he needed we found ourselves on a technically easy trail… but in the heat of summertime and the vertical route, it became really challenging. Beyond challenging. One peak was enough for me, but we soldiered on and up the next one.
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I am just going to say… vertical… heat…
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Have never been happier to finish a hike in my entire life… the vert, the heat… all were NOT a good recipe for very long day out.

Lesson Learned:

I am a finisher… My feet will carry on and finish a route long after my heart has given up, and I really gave up several times.
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The Dassie – Devil’s Peak – April

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This is a lovely route, from the entrance to Newlands Forest… a wander up to the contour path and then up Newlands Ravine, which is one of my favourite ways up Table Mountain… over the top and around the front, past the blockhouse and back to Newlands Forest…
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Another early start…
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This place is magic… and that’s all I saw of my kids, a little dust, as they dashed off with the crews for crew day…
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And beautiful Newlands Ravine…
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Cape Town weather cooled down to an Autumn nip in the air… and an all together terrific trip around Devil’s Peak…
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Not to mention more than a little forest bathing in Newlands Forest…

The kids loved that they could try out Adidas trail shoes…
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Lesson Learned:

There were so many friends and supporters along the way on this route. When the going gets tough, look out for friends to support and encourage you.
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And another great day in my Best Balega Socks…

Massive thank you to Fullsend Trails for organising everything, honestly all we had to do was show up. Good, Free, Fun on the Cape Town Trails… Thank you for all the treats and spoils, and mostly just welcoming everyone to your challenge… from the speediest speedsters to the slowest snails… that was a fabulous challenge.

You can follow the Fullsend Trail Series on Instagram and find all the routes on Strava.

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