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Why? Because!!

Why? Because!!

Why?…. Because !!

I know that sounds a bit like a toddler’s remark, but that is my standard answer when you would ask me why I love running in pristine environments, sweating like a pig, trying to look like a fox, noticing zillions of tiny details, moss covered rocks, tiny flowers, the silhouette of trees against the morning sun, the freshness of forests filled with bird life, past secret and special places, traversing a kaleidoscope of terrain.

Secret and hidden places

Secret and hidden places

I don’t roll out of bed on these mornings. I rise with the force of a toddler about to receive his first remote controlled car. Heart pounding, a slight shiver and rattle in my bones, I touch this and touch that… not sure what to do next. I feel a bit confused, overwhelmed, scared, adrenaline rushing.

Ggate 2

Early mornings offer their own reward. The mountains are silhouettes against a crimson sky and the air smells of the ocean. There is no drone of cars, there is only the chit-chatter of over-excited birds as they welcome a new day.  There is something about the dawn that makes each new day such a gift, eases it in gently, unwrapping the world anew. Occasionally the sun walks slower across the sky, as if pausing to grant us a moment of serenity.  Nature stages a spectacular display when most of the world is still asleep.


Mountains have a way of baring the soul. They mess up your hair, dry up your tongue, cause blisters, blue toenails, scratches, dusty legs, rocks in your shoes, sunburn, sweaty, smelly clothes, and chafing in places that only runners will understand.


Trail running is mostly an unsung, uncelebrated occasion. Do not expect hundreds of cheering fans to welcome you at the finish. No… alas…. this is a personal journey between you and the trail. If you expect glamour and prestige you should lace up somewhere else. We are a different breed. Bearded men, off-beat, kind of weird and wacky individuals who toe the line.  Most of them are laid-back individuals, not worried about who wins king of the mountain or a spot on the podium.  If you thought you could retire on trail run earnings, you should rather consider playing golf. That is what makes this a great sport for me… these blokes are on the trails because they connect with nature. No other reason.  No need for wearing an ugly club vest because the grumpy aunty with the pointy nose said so.


Being swamped with technology and deadlines, this is a true escape into nature. Raw, natural, pure. Nature takes. Nature rewards. Time after time. The smell of dirt. Mist. Solitude. Forest floors. Cloudy layers. Hazy skies. Rustling trees. Shapes. Sounds. Clarity of thought. Filling up memory banks.


We don’t compare. We dare… into the unknown. A different breed. Fueled by nature. Driven by passion. Find that mountain. Own it.


Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself.









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Zelda Coetzee

Media Manager & Blogger at UltraRunner ZA
Really crazy lady with a passion for trail running and photography. She is often referred to as the "Ultra Mommy" because she takes good care of everyone on the team.
Follow Me

About The Author

Really crazy lady with a passion for trail running and photography. She is often referred to as the "Ultra Mommy" because she takes good care of everyone on the team.


  1. Great blog.. don’t do many trails but I enjoy them. .. or even this ams Andrew Greyling with syringa and jakaranda blossom. Oh to enjoy… no circuit races for me

    • Thanks for the compliment Dave! Yes, indeed…. beauty is all around, on the road and on the trail!

  2. Dis mos hoekom ons in die berge wil hardloop. Baie mooi geskryf Zelda. Pragtige tone ook… 😉

    • Dankie Johan. Beslis, daai tone kort weer ‘n drie dag stage race. Hulle verlang na al daai pleisters! :)


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