Trail runners in for a treat at the Fairtree Simonsberg Contour
According to event co-ordinator and route developer, Meurant Botha of Dirtopia, runners can look forward to a trail festival of note loads of singletrack sections covering over 20km across the 2-day event for the long route. Runners can enter one day or both days and on Sunday 11 February there will also be a 7.5km fun run for the not-so-fit.
The Fairtree Simonsberg Contour Stage Race was launched in 2017 in collaboration with Fairtree Capital, the Simonsberg Conservancy, local landowners and event organisers Dirtopia to showcase and expand the expansive singletrack trail network on the Simonsberg Mountain.
Although the 2018 routes will cover less farm road sections, it remains important for the event to invest in the legal, open-7-days-a-week trails. The Dirtopia trails team is currently building new sections that will add greatly to the diversity of the first day’s route.
“To ensure that runners have a pleasurable yet competitive race, we have decided to limit runner numbers on each of the 25km and 15km distance options every day. While the route offers ample opportunity for riders to spread out before entering the first sections of trail, we want to offer participants ideal conditions for an amazing experience,” says Botha.
The mountain has recovered spectacularly following the devastating fire in 2016, which damaged 90% of the trails and destroyed a large section of the forest canopy and participants can look forward to spectacular scenery. Longer route riders can expect around 1500m elevation, while the shorter route option will focus on a fun trail experience with an 800m climb. A detailed route map and description are available online at www.fairtreecontour.co.za.
Entry fees vary according to route selection and whether runners opt for one or both days: 25km both days (R650.00), 12km both days (R500), 12km and 25km respectively (R580.00), 12km on either day (R270) or the 7km fun run on the Sunday (R175). The entry fee includes timing, a goody bag, breakfast, lunch, water points and a medal. As an Early Bird Special, all entry fees will remain the same as 2017 entry fees until 31 December 2017.
Runners familiar with Delvera’s trail runs must not expect the same routes as normally used for the popular trail runs hosted at this venue. Routes have been swopped around completely and runners in the 25km do the entire ascent of the Klapmutskop, the only annual opportunity to do so in a trail run. This requires climbing a few steps towards the end of the first climb as we enter the hiking trail routes on the koppie. The reward is stunning views over the Boland from an elevation of 523m. The 15km runners do not do the entire climb to the top, making for a slightly easier ascent but they still top out at around 400m above sea level.
Entries are limited so enter online www.dirtopia.co.za to avoid disappointment. Meal vouchers can also be booked for family members and friends who would like to come and support and wait at the finish carnival with loads of kids’ entertainment.