After my fabulous experience at the Two Oceans Marathon in 2017 I knew I had to come back and also run the Two Oceans Marathon Trail Run. The 12 km and 24 km trail runs are less known than the famous Ultra Marathon and Half Marathon, but definitely a highlight for all trail runners. They take place on Good Friday, the day before the 56 km Ultra Marathon and Half Marathon. (by the way: You can find my Ultra Marathon Race review here) I was really looking forward to the Trail Run, but unfortunately I was not rewarded with nice weather and breathtaking views, but with lots of rain and fog. So I took it slow, because I did not want to twist an ankle. And I also wanted to conserve some energy, as I was running the Two Oceans Marathon 56 km the next day. Nevertheless I had a great time and I promised to be back for better views next year.
Travel and Accessibility
The registration for the Two Oceans Marathon Trail Run usually starts a month after the regular registration. As the Two Oceans Marathon Trail Run has a maximum of only 700 participants, the spots for both the 12 km and 24 km race sell out quite quickly. There is no prior prerequisite to run the Trail Run (in contrast to the Ultra Marathon). However, there is a mandatory kit which will be checked at the start of the race. I personally would recommend that for the 24 km trail race you should at least have some trail running or hiking or mountaineering experience, as there are a few climbs and technical downhills. Also, there is a time cut off around the half way mark and once you head down from the mountain. This time cut off was very generous.
Bib pickup takes place in the Cape Town International Convention Center together with the other races. The CTICC is conveniently located in the city center. Waiting times can be quite long as all the other participants are also picking up their numbers.
The start line is located in the Jameson Plaza at Cape Town University. There is only a small stall where you can buy coffee, and a small tent to stay dry from the rain. Before you can enter the start corral your mandatory kit will be checked.
The mandatory kit for the 24 km trail race included:
- 2 litres of water
- waterproof jacket
- cell phone in a zip lock bag
- space blanket ans whistle
- sunblock and hat
Two Oceans Marathon Trail Run Route
This year the first third of the route was on dirt roads and single tracks in the forrest close to the university grounds, before heading towards Devil’s Peak. It then went around fairly flat-ish towards the front of Table Mountain, before climbing to the highest point. After another flat part we hit a steep and technical decent. The final stretch was again on single trails in the forrest before finishing in the famous finish line area on the university grounds. You can also check out an awesome course explanation video here.
The route has been changed in the past and ran in reverse order. So please check the website if this route will be run in the future.
The race finishes in the normal finish line area on the University Grounds. As the 2.5 km fun run finishes at the same time, the area is are full of people. There are stalls where you can buy food, drinks, clothing etc.
There is as the nearby University of Cape Town Cricket Ground, where a lot of running associations put up their tents and gazebos.
Overall I really enjoyed the Two Oceans Marathon Trail run and I am definitely coming back! Hopefully with better weather next time.