Experience the hinterland of South Africa’s Western Cape through the lenses of Oakpics as they captured the action and emotions of the Tankwa Trail. Words and captions by Seamus Allardice.

The Tankwa Trail is a South African three day stage race set in the Koue Bokkeveld and Witzenberg Valley regions of the Western Cape. The landscape is ruggedly beautiful and remarkably fertile. Wind weathered sand stone outcrops dot the fynbos covered rolling hills, while the high mountain peaks attract the winter snows which provided the ‘cold’ and ‘white’ for the Koue Bokkeveld and Witzenberg Valley names.  Though undeniably harsh the region’s climate is prefect agriculture; apple and pear orchards provide a deep green contrast to the dusty olive hues of the natural fynbos.

The trail running echoes the landscape, rocky singletracks twist around, through and over imposing natural features providing a challenge for every stride.

Tankwa Trail 2017: Photo and Video Wrap

Stage 1

The 2017 Tankwa Trail got underway on Friday the 17th of February with a 32km stage, during which Endi Angelo Pegado (left front) set the early pace. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Christiaan Greyling running into the rising son and dust of the drought stricken Koue Bokkeveld. Photo by Oakpics.com.
AJ Calitz is one of South African trail running’s most recognisable faces. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The Western Cape region of South Africa is in the midst of a severe drought, and the Koue Bokkeveld has not been spared as the empty farm dam attests. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Christiaan and Landie Greyling cross the Tankwa Trail finish line on Stage 1, video camera in hand, shooting for their Tankwa Trail race report video. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Stage 1 Highlights video:

Stage 2

A smiling AJ Calitz runs up one of the slick-rock slabs during Stage 2 of the Tankwa Trail which started in the Witzenberg Valley. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The charismatic Endi Angelo Pegado was joined on route during Stage 2 by a number of children from the Witzenberg Valley. The young boys ran nearly 10km with Pegado. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Alana Jane Munnik won the women’s category at the Tankwa Trail after capitalising on the steep climbs which punctuated Stage 2 of the race. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The weathered sandstone formations of the Koue Bokkeveld make for exhilarating running and captivating photos. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The Tankwa Trail featured both solo and team categories. More runners decided to pair up in the mixed category as spouses, partners and friends, like Donald Mouton and Katja Soggot did, than in any other category. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Stage 2 Highlights video:

Stage 3

The leading contenders, of the 2017 Tankwa Trail, traverse a field of harvested alfalfa, in the early kilometres of Stage 3. Photo by Oakpics.com.
A smiling Landie Greyling leads her husband Christiaan along a section of Koue Bokkeveld singletrack. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Endi Angelo Pegado runs through a wind weathered sandstone arch. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Tankwa Trail commentator Carel Bezuidenhoud, for some inexplicable reason, swan dives behind AJ Calitz as the latter completes his clean sweep of Tankwa Trail stage victories. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Tankwa Trail runners celebrate after completing the final stage of the 2017 race. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The small field of Tankwa Trail runners gathered for a group photo before the final prize giving. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Stage 3 Highlights video:

For more information on the Tankwa Trail visit www.tankwatrail.co.za or follow the race on Facebook or @TankwaTrail on Twitter.