A trail running gem, Ground the venue.

If you live in Johannesburg, you will know that every weekend thousands of cycling, running and outdoor enthusiasts flock to Cradle of Humankind. It’s a special place and just 30 minutes from Bryanston, it offers an ideal spot to put in some training miles or simply spend some time enjoying the outdoors.

Being a keen cyclist, I have spent many hours traversing the roads out in the Cradle. However, I have not fully explored the area or visited the surrounding farms and venues. I am slowly ticking these off the list though and over the weekend I was lucky enough to do a trail run on a phenomenal route. The route wound its way around the farm and I found myself falling in love with running again while coming down of the rocky trails.

The Cradle of Human kind has a number of spots for outdoor enthusiasts.

Bidon Bistro is a popular spot for cyclists to enjoy their caffeine kick to get them through the last couple of kilometres on their training ride. You can’t miss it if you head out to the cradle for a bicycle ride, just look out for all the cars and let your nose lead you to the coffee.

Avianto and Cradle Moon have great mountain bike trails, I prefer to ride them in the winter though as they can get a bit muddy after a traditional Joburg thunderstorm in the Spring. So, if you prefer staying away from the mud and keeping your mountain bike ‘mud free’ make sure that you get your timing right.

The venue that I was lucky enough to run at this weekend is Ground the venue. They opened up their venue for the second edition of their Moving Ground trail run series.  It’s not the first time that I have run here, but it was the first time on this route and what a route it was. The distance of the run was 12 kilometres, long enough to make you work for your post run coffee or beer and challenging/diverse enough to make you want to run it again as you know that you will experience something different each time you run it. The view from the top of the climb provided a 360-degree vista and you could pick out the Sandton CBD in the distance, reminding you that we were just a short drive from the hustle and bustle.

Ground the venue isn’t traditionally known for its trail running and maybe this is the reason why I am so impressed by this running route. It’s the home of a stunning wedding venue and café. It’s also hosted epic events over the years, from Corona Sunsets to SA Gin Society Gin festivals. This just goes to show that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, check out their Facebook page for more details and pictures.

The owners describe Ground as “a veritable blank canvas when it comes to events. The flexible spaces give your ideas and creativity the perfect opportunity to come to life”. Having been back there this weekend, I can see how it is full of opportunities and can picture many different events in this setting.

I am not going to “sell” the venue anymore, because it does that for itself. However I am going to ask you to go and check it out for yourself, because I continue to be amazed by the little gems that we find on our doorstep (literally).

To the Ground team, thank you for making my weekend. The trail run was amazing and will make not running for the next 6 months bearable. Have an epic week!