From mushroom burgers and loaded fries to “sticky wings”
8 reasons to run these races in a lush valley
Do a marathon, fun run with the fam and explore small towns
Marathon and fun runners who want to stay active this winter should consider entering the PPC Riebeek Bergmarathon on 29 July 2023 in Riebeek Valley. You’ll be running in crisp country air, through a lush valley with views of green vineyards, distant blue mountains and churches dating back to the 1800s.
It’s the kind of event that you should make a weekend of. All ages can enter, and there’s so much to do in this valley: From visiting the oldest wine farm in the area to shopping at specialty boutiques.
RUN THROUGH A QUAINT VALLEY
Made up of small towns like Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West, the Riebeek Valley is known for its picturesque wine and olive farms, rolling green hills, mountain views and old buildings and churches (Riebeek Kasteel is one of the oldest towns in South Africa).
Riebeek Valley is one of the Western Cape’s best kept secrets. Image: @riebeekliving
CHOOSE TO WALK OR RUN
The PPC Bergmarathon has four races: The full marathon (42.2 km), half marathon (21.1 km), 10km race and 5km fun run. For the full and half marathon and 10km race, the entry fee varies from R50 to R200.
All races will start and finish at the PPC Riebeek office. Runners will be able to look out over the pastures of local farms, vineyards and Kasteelberg Nature Reserve, as well as the sweet old buildings and small businesses along Riebeek West’s main road (depending on which race you choose: The longer races head into the valley, while the shorter ones mainly stay in the town centre).
While you’re running, you can take in the lush green hills and clear blue skies. Image: PPC Riebeek Bergmarathon
RUN THIS + QUALIFY FOR THE TWO OCEANS
Attention, serious runners: Finishing the full marathon means you’ll qualify for the Two Oceans (often referred to as the world’s most beautiful marathon, as the course runs through the stunning Cape Peninsula).
Qualify for the Two Oceans with the full marathon. Image: PPC Riebeek Bergmarathon
VISIT THE VALLEY’S WINE FARMS + GALLERIES
Don’t rush home after the race: Take an hour or two to explore the valley. There’s an abundance of wine farms in the area. Allesverloren, the oldest wine farm in the Riebeek Valley, is best known for its red wines. Meerhof Winery sits atop a hill and has a spectacular view overlooking the lush green hills of the valley. The area also offers plenty of olive and olive oil tasting.
There’s also the Short Street district in Riebeek Kasteel - a collection of charming old buildings that are now clothing boutiques, natural bodycare shops, a clay workshop and gallery, cafés and more. If art is your thing, there are also plenty of galleries to peruse, like Gallery 7 and Gallery Riebeek.
With stained glass windows, art and lots of greenery, the Riebeek Valley Garden Centre is also worth a visit (even if you don’t have a green thumb). Image: @_jetsettingwithjanet1, @juluguesthouse and @davidlazphoto
REGISTER KIDS OF ALL AGES
Get the kids away from their screens and register them for the 5km fun run. There’s no minimum age for entry and any pace is welcome (whether it’s a mild jog or a leisurely walk). You’ll be able to get some fresh air and explore a small town as a family. Plus, entrance is only R20 per person.
Kids are welcome at the 5km fun run. Image: PPC Riebeek Bergmarathon
DIG INTO COFFEE + PANCAKES
Prepare for a chilly winter morning: Starting times vary between 7.30 and 8.45am (depending on the race). Thankfully, there’ll be food trucks and stalls serving hot chocolate, steaming coffee, cinnamon pancakes, hotdogs and more. Or snack on warm buttery popcorn in the crisp country air.
Warm up (and get some energy back) with a coffee after the race. Image: Gabriel Rambaud / Unsplash
STAY FOR THE WEEKEND
There’s so much to explore in the valley, so why not make a weekend out of it?
The Royal Hotel in Riebeek Kasteel claims to be the oldest licensed hotel of the Western Cape and was built in 1862. This Cape Dutch-style hotel is right in the heart of town, making it an easy base from which to explore Riebeek Kasteel on foot.
There’s also De Langenhof Guesthouse in Riebeek West (with garden rooms overlooking a fishpond and views of the surrounding mountains). If you prefer a quieter spot, the self-catering Della Vigna Cottage is located in the midst of wheat fields at the foot of Kasteelberg mountain.
Find more accommodation spots by visiting the Riebeek Valley Tourism website.
The Royal Hotel boasts the longest stoep south of Limpopo. Image: The Royal Hotel
WIN A STAY FOR TWO, FREE DINNERS + MORE
There are gold, silver and bronze medals up for grabs, as well as prize money of up to R3000 (depending on the race). There will also be spot prizes and lucky draws on the day. Dinner vouchers, a stay for two, and wine and olive gift sets from local businesses like Ruby Rose Guesthouse, Kloovenburg Estate and Riebeek Valley Hotel are up for grabs.
All sorts of prizes are up for grabs for those who cross the finish line. Image: PPC Riebeek Bergmarathon
PPC RIEBEEK BERGMARATHON IS ON:
It’s happening: Saturday, 29 July 2023. Starting times vary between 7.30am and 8.45am
Entries close: 17 July 2023
The race starts at: PPC Cement Riebeek West | Ongegund Farm | Riebeek West
How to get there: Get on N1 in Foreshore from Christiaan Barnard St. Drive from N7 to Malmesbury. Take exit 65 from N7. Take R45, R46 and R311 to PPC Cement Riebeek West.
For info and queries: email@example.com, website, @ppc.africa
By Julia Rowley
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