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Erika Holland

Your Favourite Trail run race?

The Cederberg holds a special spot in my heart for many reasons; it is the first place my husband and I went away together prior to getting married and where we got engaged and subsequently married. Hands down, it is one of the most wild and beautiful places in the world; running in those mountains is a true adventure and immersion in all that is beautiful and wild in the world. Therefore, I have to give it to the Cederberg Traverse and Kromrivier Beast (both in the Cederberg), as being two of my favorite races I have ever competed.

Your Favourite Local Trail run?

One of the most beautiful and wild local runs, with a mixture of technical and runnable terrain, and some good vert, has to be the Noordhoek, Chappies, Silvermine, Noordhoek loop. Going up chappies from Noordhoek side provides one with the most amazing coastal views of both Noordhoek and Hout Bay. From Chappies Peak, I love to traverse around the beautiful contour to Blackburn Ravine, which you climb into Silvermine, for some views of False Bay and the City. Thereafter you run through Silvermine, for some nice rolling trails, back to Noordhoek.

What got you into trail running, what do you love about it?

My journey with trail running started in 2015 when my husband introduced me to it and since then I have never looked back; my only regret is not having found it sooner. Having grown up in a family plagued by a vicious cycle of toxic addictions, prioritization of my mental health had been pivotal. Running has proved me with this space; it is a healthy outlet, which brings me life and light and enhances my sense of purpose. The confidence gained through my achievements on the trail have manifested in other aspects of my life, both personally and professionally. Once a timid, shy and unsure person, I am now confident of my abilities and skills and I manifest my future. It is my mission to encourage other women to believe in themselves and their capabilities and to find passion and purpose through their connection with the trails and the earth. I firmly trust that running can be used a vesicle to accomplish such.

What are your trail aspirations?

This year, I have traversed into the 100KM space. I plan to compete in Ultra Trail Cape Town (UTCT) 100KM in November 2023 and will trek in Patagonia in December 2023. I have further aspirations of running UTMB and a 100KM trail race in the USA on my home turf. I also want to run the whole Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape (Kei Mouth to Port Edward), an area very near and dear to my heart, in an effort to fund raise for the Pondoland Communities.

What is your biggest achievement or race you completed?

Although I have won a few local races, i.e. those in the Cederberg, I think my proudest accomplishment to date was my performance on the George MUT 100KM. It was my first 100KM race, and I finished 4th lady and 14th overall in a time of 15 hours 57 minutes.

Erika Holland
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