Trail-Blaz­ing Toni


Runner's World South Africa - - HUMAN RACE - BY PENNY TREVENA

What phone do you use to take your In­sta­grams?

A very old iPhone.

Where’s your favourite place to run?

There’s no one spe­cific place that holds my heart; ev­ery­where I run, I try to ap­pre­ci­ate as much as pos­si­ble. Cape Town has such di­ver­sity – one day you can be run­ning Echo Val­ley, the next you’re in Mont Rochelle Na­ture Re­serve sur­rounded by big moun­tains. In Dur­ban, I’ve done very lit­tle ex­plor­ing; but what I have run – Rhino Peak, and around Castle­burn in the Un­der­berg – is filled with in­cred­i­ble trails and mas­sive moun­tains, with views that go on for­ever. It’s pretty spec­tac­u­lar.

Tell us about your Insta name.

I’m a plain jane. I’ve tried many times to change it to things like ‘TMAC_Runs’, or ‘Bones_on_ the_Move’, but I chicken out. And in ret­ro­spect, for good rea­son! I think I’ll stick with @ton­im­c­cann for now.

What’s the story be­hind your most-liked pics? Where did you take them, and why?

In­sta­gram 1:

Taken at the Rhino Peak Chal­lenge. This was the char­ity event I ran to

raise money for rhino and vul­ture con­ser­va­tion in the Drak­ens­berg. Man oh man, the trails there are spec­tac­u­lar! This day was quite some­thing, with sleet, hail, light­ning and heavy rain. We were told that we didn’t have to run if we were scared about it be­ing dan­ger­ous. It was in­spir­ing to see that not one per­son pulled out, de­spite the con­di­tions; and we ended up rais­ing over R350 000 in to­tal.

In­sta­gram 2:

Taken on a run I did with some friends at Trail’s End in Grabouw. It was sup­posed to be my last long run be­fore the Whale Trail, but un­for­tu­nately it was cut short due to an in­flam­ma­tory re­ac­tion in my foot. It was an amaz­ing run, though – we blazed our own trails for a bit, and got lost, and turned back again; but wow, what a place to find some smooth trails!

In­sta­gram 3:

My first overnight stay on a moun­tain! We hiked up to a cosy spot on our pre­cious moun­tain, and were treated to the most spec­tac­u­lar sun­set. The night was spent around a small gas stove, eat­ing, drink­ing cof­fee and play­ing 30 Sec­onds. Be­sides me be­ing com­pletely un­pre­pared (I didn’t have a mattress or sleep­ing bag – or warm- enough clothes, as I would soon find out), it has in­spired many a trip to stay on our other ma­jes­tic moun­tains. Truly an un­for­get­table night!

In­sta­gram 4:

This was the same run that I did at Trail’s End (In­sta­gram 1). I posted it to help raise aware­ness about my up­com­ing char­ity run/ event called The Rhino Peak Chal­lenge. It’s a su­per-rad run, where you set a goal time and race your­self to raise money for rhino and vul­ture con­ser­va­tion.

In­sta­gram 5:

This was taken at the The­uniskraal Trail 25km – it was a su­per-speedy race that took you through farm lands in Tul­bagh. This was taken by one of the event pho­tog­ra­phers.

In­sta­gram 6:

Wow. This photo brings back so many happy and sur­real mem­o­ries, of a race I will never for­get for so many rea­sons: the Ot­ter African Trail Run. This was at the start of a run that takes you along some of the most tech­ni­cal trails, with some of the most breath­tak­ing views. I ran against some of my trail­run­ning he­roes (and even man­aged to podium – mind­blow­ing!), and got to share it all with amaz­ing friends. As my cap­tion said, this photo sums up what this whole week­end of fun was: dreamy!

In­sta­gram 7:

A friend of mine was do­ing a train­ing run, and planned to do 50km solely on Lion’s Head and the Sig­nal Hill loop, in the evening. He in­vited us to do some laps with him, and share a post-run beer! It was a lot of fun, and re­ally high­lights the rad com­mu­nity we have in trail run­ning – peo­ple com­ing out to share in the good vibes. What in­spires your run­ning photography? It’s re­ally hard not to be in­spired by your sur­round­ings when you’re out there. To be hon­est, I of­ten choose to rather just be present than to whip out my phone. But some­times it’s just too good not to share!

Favourite Dis­tance To Run 42km is the fur­thest I’ve run, and I re­ally en­joyed it. I haven’t done enough races to know yet what I like the most. I’d like to test out these sticks to see how they’d carry me over an ul­tra; but I think, for now, I’m happy with the ’shorter’, faster stuff.

How long have you been run­ning?

I’ve been run­ning for just over a year now, but I’ve al­ways been a recre­ational run­ner. Only re­cently have I started tak­ing it more se­ri­ously, and putting in some qual­ity train­ing.

What’s your favourite time to run?

Any time – just run. Ac­tu­ally, in the rain. It’s so peace­ful.

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