Trail run To Hell and Back in 2016.
Ecobound has a strong connection with the Hell as it was the birthplace for essentially what Ecobound has become today. In 1995 we launched the first and long standing MTB stage race; The To Hell and Back, the original and the oldest stage race in the country. Since then Ecobound has taken on very different shapes and sizes of events and have established a retupa for organising extra ordinary events.
Naturally with multiple explorations into the Hell, more and more knowledge was gained about the area. There was long discussions within the family on multi discipline events with all the trails and routes the area had to offer and negotiations with land owners over the years. But we could not come up with a concrete plan or idea of what to do with all of these available trails and the raw adventure the area had to offer.
Then it happened Trail Running hit the scene of South Africa and it reminded us of the early mountain biking days, it had the same “free spirited” connection. We fell in love with the sport and it opened our eyes to a whole set of new possibilities.
The Hell Run has taken us just about 4 years to put together, there has been allot of negotiations and the structure of the event has taken on different shapes in those 4 years. We now believe we have something special that will leave an awe inspiring sensation, of the area and trail running in the mountains, with each runner lucky enough to conquer The Hell Run.
This trail run will take you along routes long forgotten by the modern world. Many years ago these paths were only known by tradesmen, using donkeys to carry their produce to the inhabitants of the valley called ‘the hell’. The remote single track up and down the tenacious Swartberg Mountains, etched with the prints of donkey hooves, was the only connection to the outside world for many years. These abandoned trails will be ‘unlocked’ for the first time for a Trail Running experience never seen before. Only once a year and as part of this event, has the use of these routes been approved by The Donkey Trail and Cape Nature. All will be privileged to start the first of the 2 day stage trail run on the majestic Donkey Trails. Overnight in the Hell campsite and enjoy the time around the fires! The Elandspass will sure be in your dreams or nightmares that night as the next morning runners will head out with this steady climb out of the Hell and turn back onto the mountain trails, with the Gamkaskloof fading in the distance as you cross back over the mountains to the world renowned Port valley of Calitzdorp. This race is guaranteed to leave you coming back for more.
Entries open the 1st January 2016, go to www.tohellandback.co.za for more info.