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Marloth Mountain Challenge 2019

On 5 October, some of the toughest trail and mountain specialists will gather for an exclusive opportunity to challenge the unrelenting and breathtakingly beautiful trails of the acclaimed Swellendam hiking trail.

To complete any one of the three 20km+ distance events at the MMC is a badge of honour, and a celebrated milestone in any trail and mountain running enthusiasts career. 

MMC is also the third and final stage of the BOS Sport Mountain Challenge Series, amplified by Jaybird.  A fitting final race, notorious for its brutal terrain and emotional finish line.

If you like an adventurous blend of unrelenting technical trail, huge climbs and descents, whilst feeling like you are running in the middle of nowhere in particular, then this is for you. Not for the inexperienced mountain runner.

The Swellendam Hiking Trail, situated in the Marloth Nature Reserve, covers a large swathe of the Langeberg. The route winds its way through kloofs, vast fynbos-covered valleys and arresting mountainous terrain.

The routes remain unchanged in 2019, offering the fast-end an opportunity to aim for course records. But a new, entry level 10km race rounds the offering off with a true “something for everyone”.

87% of the gruelling 55km MMC is on remote mountain hiking trail and, with 3 494m of vertical height gain over the entire distance, it remains one of the toughest single-day trail events in South Africa. A badge of honour in terms of trail achievement, and thus carries strict qualification criteria.

The 35km MMC Extreme is no Park Run either. With 1 675m of ascent and 2 243m of descent over truly technical terrain, it is a long day out for many. A day spent surrounded by impressive fynbos displays and unrivalled views, but tough day all the same!

The 24km MMC Lite packs a relative punch with 1 668m of ascent and 987m of descent. With the same 6am start as the 55km, this event allows participants to return to the festive start / finish zone to welcome the weary warriors in throughout the rest of the day.

Managed by Cape Nature, the Marloth Reserve is home to many small mammals, including the grey rhebok, klipspringer, common duiker, baboon, caracal, mongoose, porcupine, dassie and hare. Marloth also has leopard, but they are rarely seen. The area is rich in birdlife, with 114 species recorded, including the African fish eagle, black eagle, wood owl, red-winged francolin, tambourine dove, and four different species of woodpecker. Those out on the route late into the day can expect to see displays of fynbos that include several species of protea and more than 25 varieties of erica. Patches of afromontane forest are also existent in the valleys and gorges of the reserve.

But, with strictly applied cut off times, the Insta photography will need to be fairly swift, as the finish line Saggy Stone beers, live music and festive atmosphere awaits, along with an evening prize giving for MMC, and the full BOS Sport Mountain Challenge Series, Amplified by Jaybird.