Ever done a trail run through forests and vineyards in the dark? I have! The Merrell Spring Night Series Trail Run is the perfect opportunity to do so. Where the bizarre concept of running by lead of a small head light came from, I do not know. But it’s oddly liberating! And you get a bottle of Groot Constantia wine when you hand in your race number at the end. Do you even need any more tempting?

merrrell spring night series trail run

Entering the forests! Andrew King photo

For three consecutive weeks during spring and autumn, Mountain Runner Events hosts night series trail runs starting and finishing at Groot Constantia wine estate. We’d been eyeing out the event since autumn but never got around to actually participating. Until earlier this week!

There’s a 5.5km and 8km trail, so anyone from the newbie to the more enthusiastic runner can have a go. I opted for the 8km, clearly overestimating my enthusiasm! The route is tough, with many an uphill struggle. But for all it’s difficulty and darkness, this trail is one of the most beautiful, exciting, and certainly unique, I’ve ever done.

merrell spring night series trail run

The finish line. Andrew King photo.

Post run, prize giving is hosted at Jonkershuis restaurant, where you can also indulge in a R60 burger special. However, if you want chips with that burger, just opt for the burger off their regular menu. It works out cheaper than ordering extra chips on the side. And you should really go for those chips. They’re effing delicious! I found the burger patty to be a tad overzealously slathered in basting, but hey ho. You can also dabble in some freebie Groot Constantia wine tasting. How cool?

The wine they gifted is the Groot Constantia Savignon Blanc/Semillon which I indulged in with my prawn pasta the next night. It’s so good guys! Like really yum. So if need be, take a slow stroll through the 5.5km route just to pick up that wine at the end!

merrell spring night series trail run

Prize giving at Jonkershuis. Andrew King Photo

Merrell Spring Night Series Trail Run quick info

This season, there’s only ONE Night Series Trail Run left to participate in on Wednesday, 21 September, before they pack up and hopefully return in autumn. So if you’re interested in giving it a go, sign up quick! Tickets are available online, however limited entries are accepted on the day too for R50 extra.

Date: 21 September 2016
Where: Groot Constantia Wine Estate
Time: Registration opens at 5pm, the runs start between 6:45pm and 7pm.
Entry fee: R130 for the 5.5km, and R150 for the 8km online. On the day entries are charged R50 extra.

Click here for more images of last week’s event by photographer Andrew King.

Written by natasha

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