Voyage of Trail Running: Discovery partners with George MUT as title sponsor

The George Mountain Ultra Trail is proud to reveal Discovery as its title sponsor. “With the second edition of the race less than a month away, this news adds credence to evidence that the race has grown in leaps and bounds in its short life thus far,” says Race Director, Zane Schmahl.

Discovery’s sponsorship heralds a slight change of identity as the event will now be known as the Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail, Discovery MUT in short.

The Discovery MUT features 60km, 25km and 9km route options; all of which explore the spectacular Outeniqua Mountains above the Southern Cape town of George. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The Discovery MUT aligns with the title sponsors’ aims, as Iona Maclean, Head of Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing at Discovery, explains: “Trail running promotes strength, agility and balance – key aspects of physical fitness. Our sponsorship of the Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail not only aligns with Discovery’s pledge to make 100 million people 20% more active by 2025, but – given the incredible natural beauty of the setting – also gives participants the opportunity to combine physical activity with their love of the great outdoors.”

Race Director, Zane Schmahl is equally excited: “We are proud to be associated with one of South Africa’s leading brands, Discovery, and see their partnership with the Discovery MUT as an opportunity to foster further growth in the local trail running scene.” The event was created out of EcoBound’s passion for running on the trails of George and the Outeniqua Mountains, as well as the recognition that there is an ever growing trail running community in South Africa.

The 60km route in particular is exceptionally diverse, taking in indigenous forests sections as well as stretches through Cape Mountain fynbos. Photo by Jacques Marais.

As a result of the increasing quality of running talent that the event continues to attract, the 2019 event will be expanded to include two exciting additional events. Together, these and the Discovery MUT race day, makes the #MUTlife long weekend of adventure sports and trail running an experience to remember.

The main event, the 60 kilometre Discovery MUT – which was dubbed the Scruffy Dog in 2018 – starts on Saturday morning at 05h00. Among the runners taking to the trails and competing for their share of the R20 000 prize, is 2018 champion Roelof Mostert. Last year, Mostert completed the course in an unexpectedly fast time of 6 hours and 21 minutes, leading EcoBound Mountain Events to believe that breaking the 6-hour barrier will be possible in the future. The women’s field is headlined by former George resident, Chantel Nienaber, who will be up against Annalise Scholtz amongst others in her battle for Discovery MUT supremacy.

Chantel Nienaber is set to return for the 2018 edition and is the women’s race favourite. Photo by Jacques Marais.

“After the devastating fires of 2018, the vegetation on the Outeniqua Mountain above George has recovered well,” Schmahl explained, addressing the nature of the 2019 route. “Teams of the local trail community have been working very hard on repairing and building trails where the fire has left its mark. For the Discovery MUT runners, that means there will be some exciting new sections of trail included in this year’s race.”

In addition to the 60 kilometre MUT, the main race day, on 15 June, boasts the 25 kilometre MUT Challenge and the 9 kilometre MUT Lite. Trail runners have been warming up for the Discovery MUT in the Outeniqua Mountains since the 2018 race. The event hosts a year-round FKT (Fastest Known Time) Challenge to the summit of George Peak.  The challenge is free to enter and the Kings and Queens of the Mountain will be rewarded at the Discovery MUT prize giving at 18h00 on Saturday 15 June.

The Herald Valley is the half-way point of both the 60km and 25km race distances. Photo by Jacques Marais.

The Discovery MUT festivities get underway in earnest though on Thursday the 13th of June, as the #MUTlife long weekend kicks off. The event has partnered with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and because of this, adventure sports lovers have two opportunities to view the award winning short films on the African Continent. The first screening will take place at RocoMamas in George, at 19h00 on Thursday the 13th. The second screening will take place after prize giving, at the Witfontein race hub in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, on Saturday the 15th. Tickets for the VIMFF screenings are R195 each and can be purchased online via Computicket.

A Vertical Kilometre challenge caps proceedings on Monday the 17th of June. Entry is free and the racing starts at 10h00 from the Ground Zero Bike and Trail Park in George. The 4 kilometre long route features a brutal 1 kilometre of climbing to the summit of George Peak. To reward the true mountain goats for their efforts in the VK Challenge, there will be spot prizes and sunglasses from Pure Endurance 100% up for grabs.

Starting at 05h00 the 60km trail runners will have an hour and a half of darkness to contend with at the start of their Discovery MUT adventures. Photo by Jacques Marais.

Entries to the Discovery MUT close on the 3rd of June and only line entries to the 9 kilometre MUT Lite will be available on race day. For more information please visit www.georgetrailrun.co.za. To stay updated on all the news, training runs and to keep your trail stoke topped up ahead of the race,  like the George MUT Facebook page and follow @EcoBoundEvents ‏on Twitter as well as @georgemountainultratrail on Instagram.

 

 

 

About The Discovery MUT

Founded in 2018 the Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail showcases the spectacular mountain trail running of the Outeniqua Mountains. Created with room for growth to include longer distances the Discovery MUT currently features 65km, 25km and 9km race distances along with a Fastest Known Time and Vertical Kilometre Challenge. The event is also partnered with the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and hosts two screenings of the festival’s award winning short films during the MUT Life long weekend.

About Discovery:

Discovery is a shared value insurance company whose purpose and ambition are achieved through a pioneering business model that incentivises people to be healthier, and enhances and protects their lives. Their model delivers better health and value for clients, superior actuarial dynamics for the insurer, and a healthier society.

For more information on the Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail please contact Race Director Zane Schmahl on 072 076 8623 or via email at zane@ecobound.co.za. Alternatively please visit www.georgetrailrun.co.za.

 

Newsletter – We are very excited to welcome our new Title Sponsor.

Discovery has come onboard as the title sponsor of the ultimate trail run in the city of George. The event will from now on be known as The Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail, the Discovery MUT for short.
We are very proud to have formed a partnership with a brand like Discovery and we look forward to a great working relationship with them!

“Trail running promotes strength, agility and balance – key aspects of physical fitness. Our sponsorship of the Discovery George Mountain Ultra Trail not only aligns with Discovery’s pledge to make 100 million people 20% more active by 2025, but – given the incredible natural beauty of the setting – also gives participants the opportunity to combine physical activity with their love of the great outdoors,” Iona Maclean, Head of Sponsorships and Experiential Marketing at Discovery.

More News on The Discovery MUT.

Entries will be closing on 3 June 2019 and you will only be able to enter for the MUT lite 9km on the day.

With the sponsorship from Discovery we are now able to offer an awesome Prize Purse of R20 000.00 for the event.

We will be adding a fun and free Vertical Kilometer Challenge to the program of events over the #MUTlife weekend where we will host a VK Challenge on the Monday 17 June 2019. We know your legs will be shot from the race but it is only 4km, how hard can it be? The guys from 100% Sport Performance has thrown in some cool prizes to be won on this challenge!

We have partnered with Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) to host 2 screenings of their amazing films as part of the #MUTlife weekend as well. The first screening will be on Thursday 13 June 2019 at RocoMamas, George and the second screening at Prize Giving of the Discovery MUT 15 June 2019 at Witfontein.

We will host our final training run this weekend the Dizzy Heights Extreme and we are planning an informal Q&A session where you can come and ask all the questions you might have on preparing for the event. Keep an eye out on social media for more details on this.

The GTR Trail Fund team is hard at work repairing and building new trails after the fires for the Discovery MUT, expect some minor changes on the routes, it will add to the smile satisfaction of your run, we promise!

We are looking forward to seeing you out on the trails soon!
Cheers
Team EcoBound

Enter Here

We are proud to host a screening of some of the most anticipated mountain films in the world at the Discovery MUT weekend!

Buy tickets for 13 June VIMFF Screening

Buy tickets for 15 June VIMFF Screening

 

 

#VKChallenge, we will host a fun and free Vertical Kilometer Challenge on Monday 17 June 2019, bring your climbing legs and if you are not planning on running come and join us cheering those that are, up the hill!

  • Monday 17 June 2019
  • First batch to start 10:00am
  • Meet and greet at Ground Zero Trail Park c/o Arbour and Camphersdrift Street, George
  • 100% Sunglass Prizes to be won!

Entries Open for #MUT2019

Are you ready for trail nirvana?

Entries Open Tomorrow!

Mountain Running

Megan Skowno running through the magical #Tonnelbos

The Start

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has been a long and hard drive to this point. Where we are able to finally open entries for the MUT 2019. After the fires swept through the mountains of George in October last year, we have been hard at work with Cape Nature trying to establish the condition of the trails and trying to predict what the mountain would be like in June this year.

Entries will open tomorrow 08:00am 18 January 2019.

The second MUT is set to take place in June 2019, the mountain is green and tunring back to its former glory, some might say it will be in an even better condition come MUT time!

  • 15 June 2019
  • 60km MUT #ScruffyDog | 25km MUT Challenge | 9km MUT Lite
  • Witfontein Forestry Station, Outeniqua Nature Reserve, George

Come join us, as we showcase our home trails to the trail running community!

Mid length Trail Running Socks by Versus

 

#MUTSocks 😱 🧦 That’s right, Versus Socks has partnered with us to bring you our very own Mid Length Running MUT Socks this year. You can add them to our entry when entering tomorrow for R125 bucks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We run here, we smile here, we live for our Mountain, come join us on the Outeniquas!

 

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