Why? 125 000 Instagram followers can’t be wrong! AK changed the face of trail running and continues to show us that stepping outside of our comfort zones, and the relentless pursuit of growth, will keep us alive, and humble. He will go down as one of the world’s greats, but he isn’t afraid to have a little laugh at himself along the way. 100% authentic inspiration right here.
Why? She’s a pro athlete from the US, but a huge fan of South Africa and you’ll love what she says about us. She is as real as they come and will have you in tears from time to time as she battles the highs and lows of it all. Her love of the sport will definitely get you out the front door and heading for your closest big climb. Some of her posts highlight stinging truths on matters of gender equality and body shaming.
Devon Yanko, from a recent blog post
Why? You’ll want to meet him. But you’ll also want to hop on a plane and meet the mountains that he posts about. Big sky, big rock, massive stoke. We also dig this pro athlete for his regular reflections on the strength of women on the trails.
Why? He is a photographer, and also a paediatrician… hails from the Cape but currently completing a Ph.D. at the Catholic University Leuven in Belgium; topic focus on fetal lung development. Andre is clearly super smart and doesn’t shy away from a bit of photographic poetry. Whether he’s capturing the extreme climbing antics of local athletes or sharing the snowy stoke of Belgium, his stuff will take your breath away. See what we did there?
Kane Reilly on Kloof Corner Ridge, by Andre Gie
Why? Just a 20-something Aussie girl winning 100km races all over the world whilst eating big, big bowls of food. Lucy is quirky, inspiring and unafraid of her critics. She posts regularly, sharing her training tips, and delicious vegan recipe ideas. Wise beyond her years, but bursting with the kind of life-joy that will move you to want to run longer, faster, further from home… in pigtails.
Lucy taking the 2017 UTCT win
Why? He says he is too fat for track and too skinny for CrossFit… so he tears up the trails instead. Kane is one of the very best in South African trail running circles, but he is also one of the most humble and approachable athletes around. He’ll stay for a beer after taking the win, he credits his mom with his trail success, and he is doing a lot of great work to grow the sport of trail running in SA. Watch his posts for a bit of a laugh, some great insight in to how to get faster, and plenty of pretty pictures.
Why? You’ll learn how to take life less seriously, take the perfect selfie, and style your hair for any kind of outdoor adventure. Luke is an accomplished trail runner, devoted husband, dad and Kiff person. His hair is Kiff, too. And he loves a dress-up party. Look him up.
Why? If you own a pair of trail shoes, and you’re on Instagram, why aren’t you following Killian? 538 000 people already know that this man is being written into the history books, and he’s having a total blast carving out his name. If he doesn’t inspire you to reach further or dig deeper, then you should swap your trail shoes for a pair of fluffy slippers and a blankey.
Why? Robin is one of the toughest, strongest mountain women in South Africa. Climbing, trail running, adventure racing… she crams it all in, here and internationally, and shares her unique version of “pro athlete” so articulately, so beautifully, and with such humble wisdom.
Why? If you haven’t heard his name bandied about in recent months, then listen closer. Say what you like about this pro US distance runner, he backs himself… and we could all do that a little more. Sink or swim, Jim is going big or going home every time he toes the line. Follow for a big fat dose of “you’ve got this, dude!” But, follow his Insta feed, not his route directions…
Why? Well, why not? So much more than South Africa’s trail running poster boy. He has been at the sharp end and top spot of too many ultra-distance races to mention. From surf rat to pro athlete, Sandes has the kind of story that few will ever be able to claim as their own. And he isn’t done yet, so follow him for the next chapter.
Why? Saffer born, photographer, filmmaker, outdoorsman, athlete… artist. You won’t just get trail inspiration here, you’ll get a regular dose of reasons to stay (truly) alive.
Why? US mountain runner, Zach once trained for an ultra by running around on a boat… for reals. He is quirky, and committed, and he doesn’t try too hard to win Insta followers, but 32 000 people dig his style and you probably will, too.
Why? Well, he has a great big red beard, he runs over mountains, and he recently tackled the infamous Barkley Marathon. Also, he believes in love.
Why? Just a bunch of Cape locals who pick a route every Tuesday evening and make it count. Their Insta feed is a safe space to plot, plan, and resurrect any latent trail running dreams. They don’t ask much of their crew, just a few beers donated for after each mission. But they give plenty to those that join them, and to those who just follow for the motivation.
Leave The Couch
Why? Curator, Fareed, won the 2016 SA Blog Awards and has been motivating runners to leave the comfort of their couches ever since. Follow for some ridiculous humor, great advice, and a true sense of community.
Fareed Behardien, curator of Leave the Couch
Why? Photographer, author, podcaster… his feed gives you so much more than some gnarly trail running shots. Ian delivers raw human emotion with images that say more than their captions ever could. Don’t follow if you’re easily spooked; endurance racing isn’t meant to be pretty.
Why? Lucas is a local runner with a global view. He has an eye for aesthetics, and he captures his adventures picture-perfectly, adding his personal training and racing lessons as he goes. You’ll learn a lot from this Insta feed, and you might feel the urge to sell up, and sail off. Do it.
Why? Anna is an ultra-runner from New Zealand, and although Kiwis are often cool, she’s one of the coolest. It’s not all rock hopping though. Anna shares her love of home grown food, travel and exploration.
Why? The stories! We already gave Jim some love but this crew is next level entertainment, and Jim is just one of the boys here. It’s a place where trucker caps, running vests, and skinny shoulders come together to talk 100milers, friendship pacts and jamborees. Sit back and enjoy – Bang bang!
Words by Kim Stephens