AFRICANX captures the heart of trail legend Nicholas Rupanga!

“Let Nature Give You A Run For Your Money”


South African trail running legend, Nicholas Rupanga (Kenilworth, Cape Town) will celebrate his 12th running of SA’s premier three-day stage trail run, the AFRICANX TRAILRUN that will return to the picturesque Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape) the weekend of Friday 17 to Sunday 19 March 2023. 

Not only is Rupanga one of two runners that have taken part in the event 11 out of the 12 times that it has been hosted (the other runner being sports journalist Adnaan Mohamed), but he is also one of the first winners of this iconic race, having claimed gold in the Men’s Team category in 2009 (the inaugural event) with team member Patrick Cox.

“My life changed when Patrick and I won AFRICANX in 2009,” admits Rupanga. “I made so many friends and got my first professional sponsorship. I became connected in the world of trail running because of AFRICANX. This is my reason for returning each year. AFRICANX is where my heart is as far as trail running is concerned.  The event is growing from strength to strength. It’s well organised and accommodates all kinds of runners, elite and social. You also get to meet people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. It’s the perfect family/social event.”

“My goal in 2023 is the same as it was in 2009 at my AFRICANX debut,” confirms Rupanga. “I want to have fun, make friends, inspire, and motivate others while being competitive of course. Not only would I love to podium in my age category, but I’d also like to be on the podium in the overall/open category. I recommend AFRICANX to all runners (trail and road). The routes consist of a good mixture of all terrain types, and the event is well organised from the race village set up to three spectacular days of trail running. A very important factor to remember is that it is a team event. Choose your partner wisely. You must understand each other, know each other’s weaknesses and strengths. Be patient and accept whatever happens on the day whilst running. If you enter the AFRICANX to enjoy the trails and have fun, you won’t be disappointed.”

Other well-known South African trail runners that will be seen in action at the AFRICANX TRAILRUN will include: Nonhla Tau (Durban), Franza Landman (Pretoria), Blake Dyason (Hout Bay) and Ashraf Orrie aka Mr O (Plumstead).

According to Nonhla Tau, AFRICANX feels like a holiday with friends. “After each stage you’ll have a lot of fun activities to reflect on over a glass of wine and lovely dinner offered at the race village,” says Tau. “Camping under the Cape stars is also a great experience. AFRICANX is SA’s only trail running festival, but besides all the fun festivities and the awesome race village vibe, it’s also a great endurance base for those 100miler ultras later in the year. For the short distance runners, it is the perfect race to test your speed.”

“The AFRICANX TRAILRUN is an amazing, positive, ‘Party on Foot’,” says Franza Landman. “The routes are beautiful with surprises around every corner. Although very ‘runnable’, there are some tough and challenging sections that make the accomplishment even better. There is nothing like the AFRICANX TRAILRUN. I’d return every year if I could. I have my outfit planned for Dress Up Day (Stage Three), but I’ll keep it as a surprise for now.”

“I love how at AFRICANX the entrants hang around at the race village, having drinks, sharing stories, and supporting each other,” says Blake Dyason. “The atmosphere is just amazing. The routes are fun and runnable with a few steep climbs and spectacular views. You get to enjoy three days of beautiful trails while hanging out with friends. I wouldn’t dare miss it. I can’t wait for Dress Up Day, every year the runners get more and more creative. I admit that I do put more time into thinking about dress up day than I do training. My advice to first time runners, is don’t over think it, keep to your training plan and make sure you start injury free. You are guaranteed to have an amazing time.”

“There is so much to enjoy at the AFRICANX TRAILRUN, the vibe, routes, AFRICANX community and the great food,” says Ashraf Orrie. “I’m part of the AFRICANX family, so I won’t miss it for the world. I look forward to seeing the route unfold and can’t wait to see what surprises Stillwater Sports has planned for us. I would most definitely recommend this event to other trail runners. I won’t be able to do the event justice by trying to describe it, I suggest that they experience it for themselves. You do need to do a bit of training to enjoy this event to its fullest. Remember the quicker you finish a stage, the quicker you’ll get to enjoy the scrumptious lunchtime treats.”



Launched in 2009, the AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race is synonymous with magnificent trails, spectacular views, mouth-watering food, a relaxed atmosphere, great vibe and most importantly, TEAMWORK! Teams of two trail running enthusiasts (male/female/mixed) will be seen battling it out on a route varying in distances each day.

DATE: Friday 17 – Sunday 19 March 2023
VENUE: Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape)
EVENT FORMAT: 3-Day Stage Trail Run
ENTRY FORMAT: Teams of Two Runners (male / female / mixed)
DISTANCE: Stage 1: +- 24 km

Stage 2: +- 32 km

Stage 3: +- 18 km

ENTRY FEE OPTIONS: OPTION 1: Standard / R3600.00 per runner

OPTION 2: Standard plus dinner / R4200.00 per runner

OPTION 3: Standard plus dinner & tent / R4600.00 per runner

ENTRIES CLOSE: Monday 06 March 2023


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For additional information on the AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race please visit, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email

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