Push yourself to the Maxi

An epic race through the mountains between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch along a route never run before. That is the unique appeal of the latest addition to the Cape Winelands’ adventure calendar. Anna Basson Properties is proud to bring you must-know information about the MaXi-Race.

 Founded in Annecy, France, in 2011, the MaXi-Race is coming to Africa for the first time this year, arriving in the Cape Winelands in October. So far it has visited only four other regions: Sicily, China, Ecuador and Madeira. 

This challenging trail run is characterised by adventure, spectacular trails and unique landscapes and will test the endurance levels of the best local and international runners.

MaXi-Race Cape Winelands is part of the rapid growth in the popularity of adventure running all over the world, with the number of organised trail races growing from about 160 to more than 1 800 globally between 2008 and 2018. 

Runners often cite less impact stress than road running and the landscape and countryside environment as the two key reasons for preferring trail running. In terms of the latter, MaXi-Race Cape Winelands outshines so many other trails with its unparalleled views, unbelievably gorgeous mountains and exquisite landscapes. 

If that isn’t enough reason to run, the hospi-
tality of the Cape Winelands might be persua-
sive. The historical town of Stellenbosch will welcome you with open arms to a mind-boggling array of guesthouses and boutique hotels, both in town and on wine farms in the area, each more beautiful than the last. With some of the best restaurants in South Africa, endless tourist attractions and exciting excursions for nature and adventure lovers, your weekend visit may just become extended.

While you’re pondering all these bonuses that go with conquering the landscape between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, you’ll be pleased to know that when running the race, athletes will also be contributing to the well-being of local communities.

MaXi-Race Cape Winelands is serious about making a lasting impact on the communities encountered along the route. The organisers are committed to using local businesses and entrepreneurs wherever possible and they support enterprise development. MaXi-Race’s partnership with Edunova and WWF provides the foundation for leaving a legacy to support education and the environment. All runners are encouraged to #Maximiseyourrace by joining its GivenGain campaign to raise funds for various causes.

MaXi-Race Cape Winelands is a call to travel to one of the most beautiful areas in the world and discover its exquisite wines, immersive cultural hospitality and epic mountain sport facilities, while improving your trail-running abilities and challenging yourself personally. There’s just no reason not to do it …


Not just a pretty face

Nicole Capper, Mrs South Africa 2018, is one of the ambitious trail runners who wishes to conquer South Africa’s very first MaXi-Race. She’s no newcomer to the extreme sports scene, with Kilimanjaro and Everest base camp among the ticks on her bucket list. We asked her a few questions about her motivation to join South Africa’s first MaXi-Race.

Why did you decide to attempt the MaXi-Race?  Every time I decide to take on a new challenge I ask myself two questions: is it something I have always wanted to do but was too afraid? Does it scare the living daylights out of me? The MaXi-Race ticks both these boxes and many more. 

Which distance are you going to tackle and why?  My aim is not to be the best, the fastest or the strongest. I’m an optimistic realist and I know where my strengths lie. The 40km would be my limit and I’ll celebrate this finish like the top athletes will celebrate their 100km finish.

What are you doing to physically and mentally prepare yourself?  Physically I aim to do more running and focus my strength training on my legs to prepare myself for the long hours and large vertical ascent involved. In September I will attempt to summit Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps. This will assist me with mental preparation because the tough conditions will push me past my limits and increase my threshold for discomfort. 

Who should consider participating?  Absolutely everyone who has a heart for adventure! I have an average fitness and ability level and want to motivate more women, moms and busy professionals to take time out to challenge their limits and participate in what might be one of the greatest experiences of their lives. 

MaXi-Race SA encourages athletes to start fundraisers for a charity of their choice. Will you participate in this venture?  From the day my daughter was diagnosed with a rare life-limiting disease, I have been an advocate for Rare Diseases South Africa. Many of the children with these diseases won’t see their fifth birthday. This made me realise what a gift my health and mobility are and that we have a responsibility to use what we often take for granted: our health. I always run under the banner of Rare Diseases SA and I encourage people to find a cause close to their hearts to support.

What would you say to wannabe adventurers who can’t decide if they should or shouldn’t partici­pate?  I have wasted so much of my life on misplaced fears and my mission has become to analyse
my fears, overcome them and push myself to experience life to the full. 

Pick your adventure

Depending on your fitness and perseverance levels, you can attempt one of four races in the Maxi-Race to take your mountain-running skills to the next level. Three of the races are qualifiers for UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc; www.utmbworld.com), a must-do international event known as the World’s Summit of Trail Running. 

MaXi-Race is also certified by the ITRA (International Trail Running Association); find out more at www.itra.run.

104km: Ultra race
Elevation gain: 4 400m
ITRA Points: 4
Maxi-Race Cape Winelands’ flagship event offers an unforgettable adventure running experi­ence through some of the most remote and scenic areas of the Cape Winelands. Starting in Fransch­hoek and finishing in Stellenbosch, the route follows a passageway to Stellenbosch that has never been run before.

Route highlights:
  Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve
  Berg River Dam
  Banhoek Conservancy
  Simonsberg Conservancy

68km: Maxi-Race
Elevation gain: 3 270m
ITRA Points: 3
The 68km race is without a doubt a demanding mountain course, a  personal challenge that requires detailed preparation. Like the Ultra, it starts in Franschhoek and follows the same trail towards Stellenbosch until the split at Bartinney Wine Farm, where a more direct route takes runners to the finish in Stellenbosch.

40km: Marathon race
Elevation gain: 1 570m
ITRA Points: 2
This race provides a unique, challenging and scenic journey around the Simonsberg, incorporating trails never before used in a race. Starting at Bartinney Wine Farm, the runners join the 100km runners on the final 40km of their route.

20km: Short race
Elevation gain: 900m
Aiming to attract new trail runners, the route
will start and finish in Stellenbosch and incorporates less technical but just as scenic trails around the town.

Come on, just do it! 

To stay on top of the latest runs and find out how to prepare – and survive – your first South African MaXi-Race, or to enter if you haven’t done so already, go to:
Website: www.maxirace.co.za
Email: info@maxirace.co.za
Facebook: @Maxiraceza
Instagram: @maxiracesouthafrica