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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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Why I don’t open entries a year in advance

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Runners have asked me why I don’t open Forest Run entries a year in advance, like some other events. A few reasons…

Aside from needing a good break after presenting an event, I prefer to focus on event planning in blocks so that the admin and my focus is contained. Also, if you’re anything like me, you probably use January to look around and see what events are on in the next six months. If I’d opened Forest Run entries already last year and the places were all snapped up, I’m sure you’d be disappointed not to even have had a chance to consider it. Read the rest of this entry »