Rain-soaked forests and muddy trails were no deterrent for the 400+ trail runners who flocked to Zululami Coastal Estate in Sheffield Beach on Sunday, 1 November, for the finale of the KZN Trail Running ‘Coastal Series’.

For the majority of participants, the Zululami run was the first real race in what has been an unpredictable year.

Centrally located to the active Ballito/Salt Rock community and with superb facilities, the Zululami Luxury Coastal Estate and Seaton Estate venue was a great fit for the KZNTR Coastal Series.

An Erasmus clean sweep

Andrew Erasmus, North Coast resident and winner of the men’s 20km race said: “The conditions were perfect for trail running and I absolutely loved the mix of beach, forest and grasslands. We do a lot of running in the ‘Berg, so the coastal series is always very special – we’re reminded of just how spectacular our coastline is.”

Echoing her brother-in-law’s sentiment, Tarryn Erasmus, winner of the women’s 20km beamed. “Just getting out there again was amazing,” she said.

This year, the race was slightly different for so many reasons. A batched start for the 5km, 10km and 20km races changed things up for the competition.

“Because results were time-based and you couldn’t see who you were competing changed my approach.”

Clearly, the penchant to get moving runs in the family – Tarryn says her strategy was a simple one, “My husband Steve is a very fast runner, so I decided that if I stuck with him, I should be fine.”

Tarryn finished extremely strong on her first race since having a baby earlier this year, in a time of 1hr28.

Popular route attracts runners

After the first running in 2019 at Seaton, Zululami’s neighbouring estate, these popular venues became favourites among KZN trail runners.

Organiser Lauren Booth believes this is the case because the “lush coastal forests and wetlands make it a nature-lovers paradise. The sea views are mesmerising.”