Piet Piet Swart
(Mixed Animal Practice), Kimberley
Date of birth:
LUT 2015 16th
Karoo Running (KR) - What is it that you love about trail running?
PS – Love the downhills, massive climbs and mind games convincing my body to just keep going a little further or longer.
KR - How did you become a trail runner?
PS – I raced 4Peaks in 2012, loved the race and met some amazing people. But then I had these crazy clients who were ice climbers in Kimberley??? Who eventually became my best friends? They convinced me on a Wednesday to do the Skyrun lite on the Saturday, not because they thought that I could make it, but purely because they insisted that I have to experience and see for myself. The rest is history.
KR - What is your favorite trail?
PS – A trail where no one has been or raced before!! We travel once a year and have been fortunate to have ran the most amazing trails. But most scenic must have been the valley between Chamonix and Argentiere. I cannot remember the last time I have seen such pristine untouched beauty.
KR - What are you recommendations for trail running beginners?
PS – Do not train on road for a trail run. Races should not be the only time you get onto the trails. Your training should consist of variable terrain with some elevation gain ect. It may only be a hike, shuffle, exploring or just getting lost, but surely will prepare you much better for raceday. Ohh yes and train with a running pack sometimes so your body and posture can adapt and get used to it.
KR - What is your favorite trail running gear? (ex: Shoes, Hydration pack, headlamp,socks)
PS – Salomon Mantra/Sense Pro, Salomon 5L Race Pack. “Never without a Buff!!”
KR - What is an average day of trail running for you?
PS – I try and squeeze in early morning training, but sometimes after a farm visit I ask the farmer if I can climb/run up his Koppie on my way out. I use to just climb, but these days I have to ask in case of buffaloes etc.
KR - What is your longest distance you have done in a trail?
PS – 103km SKYRUN….did get lost a few times.
KR - How much do you eat when you are training?
PS – If training is longer than 40min I take water and Racefood with. I consume about 1 unit every 40min.
KR - What do you take with you on your long runs? (ex: gels,fruits, snacks, salt tabs)
PS – A GPS, Leatherman, shell jacket, Rehydrate sachets and more sustainable nutrition. Nuts, biltong and seed bars.
KR- Do you have a favourite running app? If so, which one and why?
PS – STRAVA. Most of the time I run alone due to difficult work hours. Strava keeps me in touch with old friends and training partners. Motivates me and I love the challenges it offers me whenever we visit a new place for a weekend or longer.
KR- Have you ever been to the Karoo?
PS – Born and Bred. I try and go as often as I can.
KR - When you hear the word "Karoo", what is the first thing that comes to mind, other than wide open ard space?
PS – My parents farm. The quietness, sound and smell of rain and the detail of the Karoo bushes and small animals we have lovely mountains on our farm and that is where my love for them began.
KR - Thank you very much for sharing your time, experience and knowledge with us, we truly appreciate it, and hope to see you on some Karoo trails soon.