Megan’s experience of the Outeniquas

Wow, where to even start… other than by saying that this race should be at or near the top of every trail runners bucket list.

Ladies winner: Megan Skowno in Tonnelbos having fun!

Megan Skowno took top honours for the inaugural George Mountain Ultra Trail in a time of 08:23:10 on the 60km route know as the #Scruffydog challenge! Here is what she had to say…

It has it all. A smorgasbord of terrain and landscapes to keep it fun and interesting. 
Starting with the seemingly endless climb up Cradock Pass in the dark to be greeted by a golden sunrise while descending through the proteas in Camfersdrift.  A rare few kilometers on dirt roads with the next single track climb in the distance just below the mighty Cradock Peak. A super technical, steep and slippery descent into a lush green indigenous forest only to scramble up the almost impossibly vertical Dizzy Heights on the other side to Tierkop. Some fast flowing, fun but technical single track as you descend once again gives you just the high needed for the final push up The Wall and through the magical, mossy, rooty Tonnelbos. 

Megan signing the very first name onto the #MUT floating trophy

In a nutshell, an epic (but brutal!) day out in spectacular mountains in a special part of the world. I feel very privileged to have been part of the inaugural event and to have experienced the Outeniquas. 

All smiles at the start of the race!

Thanks Ecobound Adventures for an incredible, well organised event. Your passion and love for the area is obvious and after running the route I’m sure every #scruffydog shares the feeling, I certainly do! 

Endurance Trail Runners take part in the GEORGE Mountain Ultra Trail Run 2018 – presented and organised by ECOBOUND – an off-road 25km/60km trail run in the Outeniqua Mountains, near George on the Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa, RSA

MUT60km Ladies Podium. 1st. Megan Skowno, 2nd Ritza Fouche, 3rd. Annemarie Cronje. Photo Credit Dedré Cloete

#GeorgeMUT: Dog fight on George Trails – Photo story by Jacques Marais

Yup, this past weekend saw a trail dog scrap of note going off along the Outeniqua Trail system, traversing those imposing peaks above the #GardenRoute city of George. 

Pure Mountain Running! #GeorgeMUT

It’s not often that an inaugural event draws nearly 300x runners, with quite a few of them flying in from all around the country, nogal. But that’s the George Mountain Ultra Trail for you, and it was obvious from the word go that organisers EcoBound Mountain Events had pulled out all the stops in putting together their first official #trailrun event.

Zane Schmahl and Jacques Mouton headed up an incredible team, and together they made 100% sure that the #GeorgeMUT delivered on every level possible … superb scenery, great organisation, lekker T-shirts, excellent #beer sponsor, endless views and a pretty kickass field of athletes.

#DieOom himself got to spend a LOT of time on the #trail, and I have to say that I discovered a few spots in the #Outeniqua Mountains that I had no idea even existed. Of these, #Tonnelbos has got to top the list, with clear mountain streams, ancient deciduous montane #forest, tree ferns up to 5m high, and #singletrack that keeps on going for ever.

The Start

Beyond the forests, runners free-ranged onto grassland mountain plateaus, pine plantation paths, alpine ridge lines, fynbos tracks, rock-hopping descents … One thing is for sure, the #GeorgeMUT is the perfect race to go and lose (and therefore find) yourself in these dramatic ranges.

But one thing is for sure: do not under-estimate the snarl and gnarl of this particular #ScruffyDog. The 25km left many a wounded leg, while a good few of the 60km competitors barely survived this canine face-off. Roelof Mostert caned it home in 6h 21min, with Megan Skowno claiming her win in 8h 23min.

Tonelbos


AJ Calitz blitzed the 25km in 2h 18min, with Melissa van Rensburg clocking in in just over 2h 54min. All the results follow below, or you can check www.georgetrailrun.co.za

WOMEN 60km
1st Megan Skowno 08:23:10
2de Ritza Fouche 08:41:08
3de Annemarie Cronje 09:12:03

MEN 60km
1st Roelof Mostert 06:21:10
2de Andrea Biffi 06:49:37
3de John April 07:03:39

WOMEN 25km
1st Melissa van Rensburg 02:54:07
2de Jennifer Keevey 3:03:41
3de Chane Gricius 03:17:02

MEN 25km
1st AJ Calitz 02:18:46
2de Oliver Kopp 02:22:55
3de Ross Welsh 02:27:57

All in all, this rated as one of the top trailruns I’ve shot in SA, and I can only see the George Mountain Ultra Trailgrowing from strenth to strength. You can expect at least double the field next year, and no doubt the ‘Lumberjack Carnival’ Vibe will be even better!

Ladies winner: Megan Skowno


Shot for the support, PENTAX SOUTH AFRICA Peak Design3 Legged Thing SPOT Africa Front Runner South AfricaDunlop Tyres SA; always, it is a huge privilege to work with such an incredible stable of brands! #TakeItOn#BornToRoam

#georgemountainultra #georgeMUT #ScruffyDog #gardenroute #capenature #guenergy #guenergysa#squirtlube #DarlingBrew #SPOTafrica #SpotGen3#sportsmanswarehouse #polar #spursports

All Jacques Photos are available for download by clicking here

Roelof Mostert takes the win!

The inaugural George Mountain Ultra Trail took place on 16 June 2018, offering 3 distances of pure trail bliss! Roelof Mostert took the crown for the fastest man on the MUT 60km in a time of 06:21:10, much faster than anticipated! 

Roelof Mostert signing is name onto the Wooden Arch, which will later be engraved to the arch! Each year the Male and Female winning runner will sign the arch, becoming the floating trophy of the MUT 60! Photo Credit: Jacques Marais

Here is what Roelof had to say about his experience at the George MUT…

With all really well organised events, especially those of the endurance running variety, you can always expect a certain level of passion, and with that, an immense level of creativity and fore thought when it comes to the actual route. The George Mountain Ultra Trail is no exception.

Endurance Trail Runners take part in the GEORGE Mountain Ultra Trail Run 2018 – presented and organised by ECOBOUND – an off-road 9km/25km/60km mountain trail run in the Outeniqua Mountains, near George on the Garden Route, Western Cape, South Africa, RSA. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais

Participants can buckle in for a brutal yet breath taking look into what makes the Outeniqua mountains so spellbinding and iconic. Running here will test any novice, even seasoned trail runner to their limit whilst instilling a deep sense of humility and freedom . From the start in the beautiful towering pine forests of the Witfontein reserve to the fiery sunrise that awaits at the crest of the Cradock pass, the feeling of genuine big mountain running will start to take hold and either inspire or poke at the nerves as the clean, cool morning air escorts you down towards Camferskloof and the sleepy-town of Herold.

Roelof on the last single track of the day in the Witfontein Forest. Photo Credit: Dedré Cloete

From there the easy and gradual incline of a wide and flat jeep track allows for some respite before being ushered on to yet another single track at the North station and looking up from the path the task at hand towers into view, sobering and almost unreal as you are stared down by the entire might of Cradock and George peak, luckily you are aiming for Tierkop to the left however, the only way to salvation is up the infamous Dizzy heights, the trail at times scraping your chest as you power hike into the heavens, the gradient is impressive and so are the views as you eventually start the technical rollercoaster ride from the summit of Tierkop backdown towards George.

A super fun but technical single track bombs down towards TheWall and Tonnelbos, green and slippery you’l have to manage the slanted camber of the trail with almost surgical precision with roots, rocks and deep black mud the all star cast, the curtain call looms as the Tower comes into view, reunited with those towering pines the single track pops out onto the lasts stretch which hugs the plantation al the way home to one of the most beautiful finish lines you will ever cross.

Whatever distance you choose on the day, bring a set of climbing legs and leave your ego at home…

Roelof on the start line getting ready to leave his ego right there! #GeorgeMUT. Photo Credit: Jacques Marais

Mens podium for the MUT 60km. Photo Cred: Dedre Cloete

MUT60km Ladies Podium. Photo Credit Dedré Cloete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Results available here