Adventure by Design(er)
THIS YOUNG GRADUATE FINDS THE FUN WHEREVER SHE GOES – ALL OVER SA, AND ABROAD.
What phone do you use to take your Instagrams?
A combination of my iPhone 8, GoPro hero 5 and Canon SLR.
Where’s your favourite place to run?
Anywhere in the Drakensberg.
Tell us about your Insta name.
My friends call me ‘Marz’... but Marz was taken, so I opted for ‘marz_merwe’.
What’s the story behind your most-liked pics? Where did you take them, and why? Instagram 1: I travelled to Norway to compete in the Tromsø Extreme SkyRace. After a disappointing DNF, I still managed to fall in love with the country. My parents and I hired a camper van and travelled to various areas. This was in the Lofoten Islands, a beautiful cluster of fjords and islands in western Norway.
Instagram 2: Nothing more to say – other than, I fell in love with Norway on this run!
Instagram 3: The best coffee in Norway. My dad asked a local at a bar where we could find the most beautiful mountain in the country. The guy convinced us to go to Møysalen National Park, and this was taken on top of that mountain. I carried my Jetboil, coffee and a rusk to the top. I stayed up there looking out onto the glaciers, lakes, forests and cliffs for as long as the weather allowed.
In April this year I rolled my ankle in Jonkershoek – I tore a couple of ligaments running on the outside of my foot. I had just won Drakensberg Northern Trail and I felt like I was shaping up for the year ahead, but my physio booked me off running for eight weeks. I picked myself up and told everyone I would focus on road running for the first few months after my recovery, and that it would inject some speed into my trail legs. Needless to say, after a few runs on the road I was back on the trails. This photo was taken on a rather technical trail in Montagu.
Instagram 5: This was taken at Robberg, one of the stops on a trip across South Africa. From rock climbing in Waterval Boven, to running in the Drakensberg, across to Golden Gate, to Hogsback to run some more, down to Kenton on Sea, along the coast to Plettenberg Bay, back up to Oudtshoorn to climb, across to Montagu to climb and run, finally finishing back in Stellenbosch – to live!
Instagram 6: My boyfriend and I went on a trip to the Cederberg to rock climb, run and cycle. That particular photo was on top of the highest point in the Cederberg: the Sneeuberg. We cycled up a mountain pass, hid our bikes in a cluster of shrubs, and ran up to the summit.
Instagram 7: On that same run in Møysalen National Park. I ran the hiking trail to the top of the peak and back down, but I got a bit lost and found myself on a glacier, in a bit of a panic state, convinced I would fall into a crevasse... slight overreaction!
What inspires your running photography? I’m interested in all forms of photography, especially outdoor photography – I suppose my running takes me to special places that give me a number of reasons to stop and snap a pic. In primary school my dream was to become a National Geographic explorer and photographer; I suppose Instagram is my own portal for posting photos, even if they’re of slightly lower quality than in National Geographic!
Favourite Distance To Run
My favourite distance is 50km-plus, but I enjoy a faster burn on a 30km from time to time!
How long have you been running?
I ran in high school, but have only really been running consistently for the last two and a half years.
What’s your favourite time to run?
Once I’m awake and running, probably the early morning; but if I don’t have time constraints, I tend to run later in the morning – out of pure laziness, and a dire need for coffee and oats.
BY PENNY TREVENA