SA Elites ready to #RunTheAFRICANX!

“Let Nature Give You A Run For Your Money”


A strong field of SA’s Elite trail runners will be seen in action at the 12th annual THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN Three-Day Stage Race that will take place at the picturesque Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape) from Saturday 19 to Monday 21 March 2022.


Top teams to look out for will include: Landie Greyling (Stellenbosch) & Danette Walley (Somerset West), AJ Calitz (Melkbosstrand) & Kerry-Ann Marshall (Newlands), Siviwe Nkombi (Mfuleni Township, Cape Flats) & Retsepile Khotle (Alberton Tokoza, East Joburg) and Kane Reilly (Newlands) & Daniel Claassen (Greenpoint) to mention just a few.


Women’s Team Competition: No stranger to the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN, Landie Greyling placed first in the mixed team category in 2013 when she teamed up with husband Christiaan. From 2015 to 2017 she and Megan Mackenzie dominated the women’s team category. This year Greyling will team up with Danette Walley who placed first in the women’s team category in 2021 with then newlywed Vicky Botha, nee van der Merwe.

“I love trail running because I love being out in nature, away from the hustle and bustle,” says Greyling. “The THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN is a great event, and I am looking forward to enjoying three days of lovely trails with the trail running community while competing against the other teams. Danette and I train together. We are quite similar in speed and we both love a bit of trail and road running. Our strength will be speed and endurance, while our goal will be to win in the Women’s Team Category.”

According to Danette Walley, the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN is a highlight on the trail running calendar. “It is one of the few team trail running events in South Africa and this in itself brings a whole new dynamic to racing,” says Walley. “You have to put your partner first and do what is best for the team. I love that about AFRICANX. To me, AFRICANX is like a mini running holiday. Three days spent in nature, with good food and fun people that share a passion for running. I have many happy running memories from my 2021 AFRICANX experience and am looking forward to adding some more this year.”

Greyling and Walley will face tough competition from Lijan Van Niekerk and Marion Leiberic.


Mixed Team Competition: AJ Calitz has had his fair share of victories at the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN. He and Bernard Rukadza claimed gold in the Men’s Team Category in 2014, 2015 and 2018. In 2016, Calitz and Ben Brimble were the team to beat, while in 2017 he and Nicolete Griffioen dominated the Mixed Team Category of the event. This year AJ will team up with Comrades gold medallist and UTCT winner, Kerry-Ann Marshall.

“I love the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN,” admits Calitz. “I love the ‘living like a Kenyan’ part – sleep, eat, run, repeat! Hanging out with all the athletes afterwards is amazing. I’m looking forward to experiencing the vibe and seeing all my running mates again. The routes and the pool at the finish are a treat. Kerry-Ann and I have been friends for a long time, and I am pretty sure that she is faster than me. Our strength is bound to be her speed and my stubbornness, while our goal will be to have fun, while racing hard!”

“I love the energy and community of AFRICANX,” says Kerry-Ann Marshall. “The event brings together runners from different backgrounds and levels of experience. Apart from the fun route, it’s an opportunity to reconnect with new and old friends both on and off the course. I’m already looking forward to the wonderful meals. AJ is a legend and great ambassador for our sport. I feel very honoured to run with him.”


Men’s Team Competition:

Siviwe Nkombi and Retsepile Khotle have set their sights on claiming gold in the Men’s Team Category.

“I’ve been in love with the sport of trail running since 2013,” admits Nkombi. “I’ve never seen an organization that works together like the trail running community does. The THIRSTI AFRICANX possesses that special element – the culture of the race, the vibe and the routes that are world class – smooth and runnable. It really is an event for all runners from the pros to the beginners.  Retsepile and I have been working hard to achieve good results this year. We have one goal and that is to be crowned champions at the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN.”

“I love that THIRSTI is the title sponsor of the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN,” says Khotle. “THIRSTI has a strong involvement in sport in South Africa. Their presence at the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN is felt especially with the well-stocked water points. Siviwe and I used to compete against each other. It’s nice to team up with him instead, as our strength and speed is equally matched. We share the same goal and that is to win.”


Kane Reilly will celebrate his return to AFRICANX (he last competed in 2017) by teaming up with event newcomer, Daniel Claassen.

“The THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN has always been a great event for a wide range of runners, from the elites to those who are just getting started and taking on a challenge that’s out of their comfort zone,” says Reilly. “It’s also one of the events that attracts the attention of both trail and road runners. This creates a pretty cool and unique vibe, not to mention the competitive racing experience. I am looking forward to three days of fast and competitive racing as well as a weekend of good times with my teammate and fellow runners.”

“AFRICANX has been on my bucket list since 2018 when I first started running trail,” says Claassen. “The fast-flowing trails and the fact that you need to run well for three days really excites me. I think (and have heard) that AFRICANX is one of a kind and I am really excited to be on the start line this year. I have never done a three-day stage race or run with a teammate before. I am really looking forward to experiencing an ‘individual sport becoming a team sport’.  Kane and I have similar running capabilities and are excited to give AFRICANX a go.”


A uniquely sourced natural spring water that is rich in minerals, THIRSTI, a proudly South African brand, became the proud Title Sponsor of the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN in 2021.



Launched in 2009, the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 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.  Each stage will feature a different route that is guaranteed to keep things challenging, yet exciting while leaving runners in awe.

Date Saturday 19 – Monday 21 March 2022
Venue Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape)
Event Format 3-Day Stage Trail Run
Entry Format Teams of Two Runners (male / female / mixed)
Stage Distance:


Stage 1: +- 24 km

Stage 2: +- 32 km

Stage 3: +- 18 km



Date: Friday 18 March 2022
Venue: Houw Hoek Hotel (Western Cape)
Time: 12:00 – 19:00


Entry Fee Includes:

  • First Ascent AFRICANX Garment
  • Finisher Tshirt
  • Finisher Medal
  • THIRSTI Refreshment Zone
  • Well stocked water points and spectacular route Experiences
  • Evening Prize Giving and Entertainment


‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit Award’: The event organisers are calling on all entrants to send through their nominations for the event’s cherished ‘Sanet Wentzel Spirit Award’. Founded in 2010 in memory of fallen athlete Sanet Wentzel, the award honours AFRICANX entrants who persevere irrespective of the adversity that they face.  Trail runners that have entered the 2022 THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN Three-Day Stage Race are encouraged to send their nominations to by Friday 18 March.


Dress up Day: One of the many highlights of the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day Stage Race is “Dress Up Day” which will be celebrated on the third and final stage, on Monday 21 March. The rule is very simple, both runners need to wear their outfits for the duration of the stage, from start to finish. There are awesome sponsor prizes up for grabs as well as bragging rights for a year.


Entertainment: South Africa’s favourite Reggae band, The Rivertones, will bring great vibes to South Africa’s premier Three Day Stage Trail Run. Trail runners can look forward to jamming to a range of commercial covers set to a reggae beat, great Bob Marley, UB40 covers and a smattering of our own originals. Other fun activities will include a Marimba Band performance, Wine Tastings, a Pasta Party, Bingo and Popcorn, Fire Drums and S’mores, a Slippery Slide, Bavaria Beer Mile, Pool Party, Dress Up Day, Bavaria Beer Garden, a Gordon’s Gin Bar and a Putt Putt Competition.


Follow us on Facebook:  @ThirstiWater / @runtheafricanx / @stillwatertrail

Follow us on Instagram:  @thirstiwater / @runtheAFRICANX / @stillwater_trail_running



For additional information on the THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN 3-Day, 2-Day and/or 1-Day events please visit, contact Stillwater Sports on 082 991 0045 or email


More about THIRSTI:

THIRSTI is a uniquely sourced natural spring water that is rich in minerals and sourced from two extraordinary locations. Its primary bottling plant was founded in 2015 at a Normandien farm in the foothills of the Klein Drakensberg mountains. In 2021, THIRSTI expanded operations into the mountain basin of Tulbagh, surrounded by exquisite mountains and drained by the Klein Berg River and its tributaries. Each source has its own state-of-the-art bottling plant where the water is filtered, tested and bottled, ready to be enjoyed by consumers. The THIRSTI product range includes Natural Spring Water, Sparkling Water, Sparkling Flavoured Water and an iconic sports drink, THIRSTI ISOFIT+. The South African brand proudly partners with the Springboks, Absa Cape Epic, Comrades Marathon, Blue Bulls Company, Sharks Rugby, THIRSTI AFRICANX TRAILRUN series of events and the Nedbank Running Club. 

For more information about THIRSTI, please visit

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