Christiaan and Landie Greyling form a formidable husband and wife team, both at home and on the trails.

After welcoming a healthy baby boy into their family and battling back from injuries, this Biogen-backed trail running power couple announced their return to top-flight trail racing in 2019 with high profile results.

This included podium finishes for both at the gruelling 42km Otter trail run in Tsitsikamma – Landie finished in second place in the women’s race in a time of 05:08:52, while Christiaan finished third in the men’s event in a time of 4:27:58.

Serious performers on the trail

The couple is renowned for their extreme sense of grit and strong athletic performances, both locally and internationally. Their racing resumes are littered with podiums and top 10 results at iconic events.

Landie’s results include international wins at the Buffalo Stampede Ultra in Australia, Grand Raid Pyranees in France and Riano Trail Run in Spain. She also has notable finishes at the 100km Skyrun and Mont Blanc Marathon.

Her long list of impressive racing results also includes numerous wins in 2019 at the Table Mountain Challenge (TMC) in September, the Southern Cross Trail Run (Sox) in August and an astonishing second position at the 2019 South African Trail Championship, just six months after she gave birth.

Landie quick facts:

  • Nickname: Trail Dassie
  • Favourite books: The Great Wall, Born to Run, Purpose Driven Life
  • Favourite movies: Into the Wild, The Great Gatsby
  • Favourite places to visit: Hogsback and Balloch in South Africa.
  • Favourite run: Simonsberg Mountain Summit.
  • Favourite treat: A flat white at Hazz coffee in the Bosch.

Landie’s Biogen supplement stack:

Christiaan, who boasts over 60 podium finishes in his career, including wins at the Otter African Trail Run, Skyrun 100km, African X Trailrun, Table Mountain Challenge and the Riano Trail Run in Spain, was the first South African to cross the line at prestigious Ultra Trail Cape Town 100km race in 2018 and followed that up with a commendable second place in 2019, despite waking up feeling under the weather.

Christiaan quick facts:

  • Nickname: Buiteperd (dark horse)
  • Favourite place to train: Lesotho
  • Favourite snack on the trail? A Biogen Coffee Gel at 30km.
  • Favourite races? The Otter, Dodo trail in Mauritius and Skyrun 100km.

Christiaan’s Biogen supplement stack:

A shared passion for trail running

Landie, who is a qualified chartered accountant, and Christiaan, an industrial engineer with a qualification in supply chain, met in 2008.

“He is an adventurer and lover of life. He awakened the adventurer in me, and with similar interests we ventured from adventure to adventure, literally crossing South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho on foot, kayaks and bikes.”

The couple now lives in Stellenbosch, where they run a trail running coaching business together called Alpasfit, which equips athletes with the necessary skills to pursue the healthiest, fittest and fullest life possible. Their strong desire to grow the sport in South Africa fuels their passion and their business.

The Greylings also advocate and follow a mostly healthy, very natural plant-based diet filled with plenty of superfoods for sustained and abundant energy.

“There will be some periods when we will focus on getting some red meat, mainly from game meat, in our diet as well,” explains Landie.

The fact that they prioritise good health ahead of performance, and are successful as a result also caught the attention of leading local supplement brand Biogen, which culminated in a long-term brand partnership formed in 2018.

“We became aware of the brand’s shift towards a healthy lifestyle and want to be part of promoting this new strategy. We have been exposed to Biogen’s extensive vitamin range and this in itself is something an elite athlete can benefit from. Biogen is remarkably professional in their conduct and puts the athlete’s needs first. They endorse only Informed Sports-tested products for professional athletes, and are willing to go the extra mile to ensure safe and healthy products. We feel very comfortable with this approach,” explains Landie.

Taking trail running forward

Having started a family in 2018, which was a major life goal for the couple, their future ambitions include competing in a 100 mile race in the next few years.

“We also want to grow our coaching business and continue hosting trail running workshops, especially to inspire the next generation,” says Landie, who is particularly passionate about providing greater mentorship and focused training for female trail runners.

Landie hopes to use her experience and profile to grow the number of females who lace up their running shoes and tackle the trails. With encouragement and empowerment, she hopes to educate and inspire women through skills workshop courses and shared story telling.

It is Landie’s hope that by creating more female trail running groups and women-specific skills workshops, she will influence the fairer sex to appreciate that the sport is achievable and fun. She is currently helping to connect female trail runners in the Cape, coordinate runs and offer advice on her Facebook Group.

Trail runners who love to give back

And it’s not just Landie who works to give back and empower others. Christiaan recently raised R45,000 for the Llonwabo project and boosted awareness across major media channels through his 7 Summits Project.

During the week-long initiative, he climbed seven summits in the Western Cape over seven days to raise funds for a state-of-the-art special care school with a clinic and specially-designed playground to aid movement. This helps disabled children enjoy the freedom to move and learn, which is something he believes too many in society take for granted.

In 2016, he slept in a hut on Table Mountain and ran 21km to and from his job in Wynberg, Cape Town each day for a week to raise awareness about the transport issues that many face on a daily basis.

A typical training week for the Greylings includes:

  • 2 long runs
  • 2 x speed sessions
  • 1 x hill session
  • 2-3 strength sessions
  • 3-4 easy runs
  • 1-4 core & mobility sessions (each 10-20 minutes in duration)