Forest Run 2018 postponed to 2019 but…

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Hi fairies and elves,

I have decided not to present Forest Run in May this year. As many of you know, in March last year I started a new company YOLO Colours. Our main product is the fabulous YOLO Compost Tumbler. The first few months were slow (as expected) and then it picked up after Decorex in August. I’m thankful that January has been very busy. I’m doing Homemakers Expo in late Feb and so things should go up another notch. Plus, I’m involved with project #2, which has a tight deadline.

I am already sleeping too little and I just can’t see my way to having a week to cut and mark trails before the event much less the many, many hours of organising, coordinating and admin ahead of the event.

By this time next year my business will be more established and, I hope, will free me up to play in the hills of the Vredefort Dome. I had all kinds of plans for this year, like a new shorter 8-10km route, but I’m just not getting around to it.

I’ve had five consecutive years of Forest Run and so this break is actually well timed.

Even though I won’t be presenting Forest Run on 19 May 2018 as planned, I would like to invite you instead to join me on a dirt-road run just outside of Parys town on this same day.

We’ll start with our Parys parkrun (5km) at 08h00 (I’m the Event Director here) and then we’ll drive to the airfield (5km outside of town), park there and then run what we call the ‘Vaal Eden Road loop’ (25km). OR, start running from parkrun (about 35km for the loop).

(You don’t have to do parkrun and you can start running from town or from the airfield. I’ll send out a map.)

No charge. No entries. No RSVP. Just read my instructions and show up.

I’ll post details here and on the Forest Run FB page and probably in an email to my email list of past Forest Runners, but that’s it.

Bring your own hydration pack and snacks. You can run at your own pace (route is easy to follow, terrain is uncomplicated and scenery is great). Your friends/partners who don’t run are welcome to join on bicycles.

I hope to enjoy your company on 19 May 2018.




The beauty of the Fairy Forest

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When I moved Forest Run last year from Lakenvlei to the Vredefort Dome, I didn’t think I could keep the same event name – until I explored the farthest side of the route where only the 46km runners go. This is why Forest Run is still called Forest Run. This is a beautiful 4 minute video by Helena Pienaar.

Helena and Jonatan joined their folks Martie and JP at the spot where the 46km runners begin their loop. They had an early morning 2.6km to walk into their point and then took the opportunity to hike a section of the route. If you ran the 16km or 30km and want to know what you missed on the ‘far side’… Here is Helena’s beautiful video that shows the magic of the ‘Fairy Forest’. Stars in the video include Helena herself (she did the editing too), her brother Jonatan and her parents Martie (she made this year’s date squares) and JP. Enjoy.

Buffelskloof from Helena Pienaar on Vimeo.

Forest Run 2017 results

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I’ll write more about this 5th edition of Forest Run in a day or two but for now the full results are up. Congratulations too all the Forest Runners. This area is deceivingly challenging. We were blessed with perfect conditions that made this a beautiful day.

Forest Run 2017 Results

Trail cutting

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We have had some BIG days of trail cutting. After excellent summer rains, vegetation growth has been c.r.a.z.y! I’ve had the most amazing trail cutting team of Karen, Ricky, Moses, Wilfred and Sylvester. They have spent long days out there with me and the cutting hasn’t been easy this year. We’ve still got another day or so of cutting to do but fortunately it looks like we’re over the most challenging sections. You can read more in this post.

the Team.jpg

Here are some photos from the past few days of the terrain and area. There were many places where we couldn’t even see the tracks! It is all beautiful and almost ready for you.

Read the rest of this entry »

Falling in love with the area again

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I know the Forest Run area pretty well. I’ve traversed all the trails in the area, drawn a map and I’ve spent a lot of hours out there. From the first, I fell in love with the area. This weekend I fell in love with it all over again. Read the rest of this entry »

Forest Run area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

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The Vredefort Dome, where Forest Run is held (in a part of the area – the best part IMHO) is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Curious about what they have to say about the area, I found their website.

“The Vredefort Dome is 120 km south west from Johannesburg. The property represents a unique geological phenomenon formed about 2 023 million years ago and is the oldest and largest known meteorite impact structure on earth.”

Check it out the Vredefort Dome on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Forest bathing

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Ever heard of ‘forest bathing’? I can totally vouch for this practice of “just being in the presence of trees”. OK, at Forest Run you’re not exactly going to ‘just be’, but just being out and surrounded by hills and trees really does do you a world of good. Read this neat article on ‘forest bathing’ for inspiration and then get your entry in for this year’s Forest Run. xxx

A day on the Forest Run route

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I spent yesterday on the Forest Run 16km route to show Celliers the protea forest and the trig beacon – he has never been up here before. Even though I know the area like the back of my hand, there were parts that I totally did not recognise because of all of the vegetation growth – so different to this time last year when it was sweltering and dry. We will have loads of grass cutting to do come early May, to get these trails run-ready. Read the rest of this entry »

Phone-in entries

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Going into the second year of Forest Run in the Vredefort Dome (and 5th year of the event), I have more time to play, to tweak the event and to incorporate elements that I just couldn’t get around to last year. A new element: PHONE-IN ENTRIES


Updates and added accommodation options

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I have added a few more places to the accommodation options in the area. As you will see, there are a good number of venues located within walking distance to five kilometres from our host venue at the Venterskroon Inn. Almost all are self-catering and many have river access. There are options for camping or rustic bushcamps to luxurious cabins and large farmhouses.

Some of the rates are for the room/cabin/chalet/house; a few are per person. You’re looking at R150 to R600 per person with an average of around R300 to R350 per person per night.

You can get a double room or a farmhouse that sleeps 8 – perfect for a group of friends. Please book your accommodation directly with the hosts and read about these venues on the Accommodation page.