Past Events

Umhlanga Winter Carnival 2012

2012 Umhlanga Winter Carnival 18km Trail Run / 12km Trail Run & Walk

6.30am Sunday 8 July 2012

Over 300 brave runners took to the trails around Umhlanga in yesterday's (Sunday) Umhlanga Winter Carnival 18km Trail Run / 12km Trail Run & Walk with Victor Ngubelanga charging to victory in 1.18.14 in the 18km.

Late entry, Ngubelanga demolished the trails with an impressive run with over a minute lead ahead of second placed Steve Cohn. A newcomer to this event, Ngubelanga made his break at the river crossing, leaving Cohn and third place Derek Wasserfull in his wake.

A proud Ngubelanga said, "What a race! I had to dig deep on the final stretch along the sand. I really had to concentrate on each step as the tracks were a bit slippery in places, which made my run more intense. You couldn't settle with the trails always changing underfoot from tar to farm roads to beach but it is wonderful to be surrounded by nature."

Ngubelanga, who completed this year's Comrade Marathon in 5:33 complimented trail running, "this is my third trail run, previously I have run off-road in Pietermaritburg and I find that this is extremely good strengthening for my road running.

The sunrise challenge was run in wet conditions with a spattering of light rain keeping the competitors cool but making the trails damp, slippery and challenging. The entire field of runners trekked through the sugar cane for the first 9km and then the two distances split.

The 12km route took the athletes on a dry run with no river crossings looping them through the sugar cane and back down to the start finish area at Umhlanga Sands. The dry run was suited to speed running with nothing yielding the athletes.

The longer route meandered with competitors experiencing a revamped run over the magnificent N2 footbridge. On the approach to the beach run, the athletes were greeted by a new hilly section that tested all on the ascent. The new start and finish area meant that the 18km runners had a few extra paces churning through the sand before concluding their run along the promenade.

The 12km race was led by four runners until the 8km mark when Eric Ngubane kicked up a gear and dropped the others, forging ahead and finishing the 12km in a time of 57.29. The experienced trail runner took a bit of a scenic route, taking a wrong turn but quickly corrected his mistake and miraculously still managed to keep his lead. At Ngubane's wanderings, second placed Lucky Zuma managed to catch up to Ngubane and kept on his shoulder for the remainder of the race.

"This was the first time since the Comrades that I have run over 40minutes and I was impressed with my legs. This race is all about fun and today certainly was a wonderful race." The victorious Ngubane enthused after his run.

The first lady home in the shorter route was thirteen year old Nicole Van Der Merwe from Alberton, the passionate young runner annihilated her competition coming in third overall. The tourist is the reigning SA 1,500m champion in the U15 age group. This was her first ever trail run and she had no idea what it was all about. "It was tough but I really enjoyed it."

Her older brother Dylan (15 years old) competed bare foot in the 18km race and crossing the line stated "I think I am going to stick to running on the roads, this race is gruelling especially on the legs!"

Umhlanga Tourism Chairman, Peter Rose commented, "I am astounded by the amount of brave participants who ventured out in this cold wet weather. It is so heartening seeing how many fit active people we have in our surrounds and that we can cater for them with this adventure sport. The lead runs have my ultimate admiration; they rocket powered through the course, so fast."

The next trail run will be held in December, to find out more, email Catherine on


18km Trail Run


1 Victor Ngubelanga 1.18.14, 2 Steve Cohn 1.19.18, 3 Derek Wasserfull 1.19.57


1 Mandy Walters 1.42.44, 2 Emarie Erxleben 1.45.39, 3 Natasha Papini 1.45.39


1 Dave Flood 1.36.59

12km Trail Run & Walk


1 Eric Ngubane 57.29; 2 Lucky Zuma 58.00, 3 Wesley Van Biljon 1.10.13


1 Nicole Van Der Merwe 1.09.38, 2 Bronwyn Welman 1.15.20, Janine Van Duyn 1.22.10

Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival 2011

Umhlanga 12km/18km Trail Run and Walk
Umhlanga: Sunday 18 December

The defending champions claimed victory in the second Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival's 12km / 18km Trail Run and Walk with Eric Ngubane and Mandy Matthews regaining their titles in the growing sport of trail running.

Ngubane paced himself well, at the first water point he was tucked behind Sandile Lembathe as the duo charged through the 8km mark with only 43minutes on the clock. Peter Sehlope was a few paces off the front runners but had them safely in sight. As they turned around the corner after the water table, they were greeted with a mountainous climb for the next four kilometres.

"The toughest part for me was from the first table to Sibaya, we hard to work a lot harder around the ten kilometre mark, using a lot more mental strength." stated a tired Ngubane. "I knew the route from having run this event a couple of times now but somehow the hills took a lot more out of me."

Ngubane, a well recognised road runner uses the sport of trail running to strengthen his body, "it is a thinking race, and constantly you are concentrating where to put your feet as the terrain changes all the time. We ran on tar roads, through sugarcane fields, the Hawaan Forest, gravel roads and the final killer 2km stretch on the beach. The changing environment just makes for a more exciting race."

Ngubane took a narrow lead at the halfway mark and hung onto it for the remainder of the race. "The final river crossing was challenging, the depth was about chest high in places and I took the quicker refreshing option of swimming."

"Running on the sand was extremely hard. The gap I had created widened a bit as Sandile battled wading through the river. I relished the sight of the finish line."

Completing the 18km in a shattering 1.16.05, Ngubane had close to two minutes on the second place runner, Sandile Lembathe as he took a wrong turn in the forest but finished with a respectable time of 1.17.56. Sehlope battled in the last 5kilometers but managed to cross the line in bronze position. Sehlope and Lembathe both specialise in the shorter distances and were elated at their mornings efforts.

Local lass, Mandy Matthews lead from the start in the small field of brave women who elected to run the 18km. She was delighted with her race, "Wow, I just loved it, loved it, loved it! This is my second time running this event and everything was just perfect. I found the hills through the sugarcane to be challenging, and the soft beach sand to be extremely difficult but the beautiful scenery throughout was utterly rewarding. The section where you hugged the M4 and had 180degree views of Umhlanga and the ocean were just magnificent."

Matthews has been running off road for a few years now, escaping at every available opportunity with her husband, Marc, to attack the trails.

A field of 280 hardcore adventurous runners, almost double the amount that lined up at the previous year's start, took to the gruelling course on a sweltering Sunday morning. Competitors had the choice of the 12km or 18km but both offered runners and walkers two river crossings and a variety of terrain.

Race Organiser, Buzz Bolton was delighted with the outcome, "We lengthened the route by an extra 2kilometers and have had great feedback from the guys as they came across some new interesting obstacles. I am overwhelmed with the response that we had, we wanted to cap the race at 250 people but were flooded with entries from around the country and accommodated as many as possible. This event is creating a name for itself in running circles as more and more people are falling in love with this kind of race."

Marketing Manager of race sponsors, Salomon, Jackie Moore said, "Being able to get off the roads and onto the trails is awesome and certainly is stunning running through these parts of the north coast! The guys appreciated that the race wasn't too technical and had a nice variety of terrain."

Peter Rose, chairman of the Umhlanga Tourism raved about the event, "I can't think of a better setting for this kind of event. We have so much to offer runners with a variety of terrain that they can traverse and experience."


Men's 18km

1 Eric Ngubane (1.16.05), 2 Sandile Lembathe (1.17.56), 3 Peter Sehlope (1.20.09)

Women's 18km

1 Mandy Matthews (1.54.05), 2 Mandy Walters (1.56.20), 3 Jetaime Ribbink (1.56.45)

Men's 12km

1 Carlos Hartman ( 1.09.33), 2 Billy White ( 1.10.21), 3 Dean Marais (1.10.52)

Women's 12km

1 Karen Bahrens (1.11.25), 2 Michelle Morten (1.11.43), 3 Lisa Stewart (1.12.16)

The leading lady, Mandy Matthews strides up the first hill after the 8km mark in Sunday's Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival 12km/18km Trail Run and Walk. The strenuous event had a field of 280 keen athletes attack the route at sunrise.

Weaving through the sugarcane, runners head towards the 8km mark in yesterday's (Sunday) Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival 12km/18km Trail Run and Walk. The strenuous event had a field of 280 keen athletes attack the route at sunrise.
Pacing towards the 8km mark are the front runners, Sandile Lembathe and defending champion Eric Ngubane with Peter Sehlophe in the distance keeping the leaders insight in yesterday's (Sunday) Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival 12km/18km Trail Run and Walk. 280 adventurous early risers took to the grueling course that had them striding through rivers, bush and along gravel roads.
Pix by Sophie Thompson

Please click on the link below to view the

Aerial 360 Photo of the Umhlanga MTN Summer Carnival

The Umhlanga Easter Festival 2011

Late April on the beach in
Umhlanga Rocks

Easter 2011 - Packed beaches above
the high water mark

Kite surfing displays off
Umhlanga main beach over Easter

Tug-O war competition during the
Easter Carnival 2011

Clean, warm water and golden sand
at the Umhlanga Easter Carnival 2011

Main beach Umhlanga - Easter 2011

The Umhlanga Summer Carnival 11th - 23rd December 2010

Umhlanga was the coolest place to be when Umhlanga Tourism's fifth Summer Carnival took place in the Umhlanga Village, at Main Beach and on the Millennium Stage 10th - 23rd December. Apart from the usual beach games and challenges, the 2010 Summer Carnival boasted a number of firsts . These included the Umhlanga Summer Carnival Trail Run and the Lizzard Summer Surf Challenge , with both events being well-attended. Other events included the very popular Carols by Candlelight evening, the lovely-to-look-at Miss Umhlanga competition and the entertaining-as-ever Street Party.


Photographs courtesy of: Kelvin Trautman, Cindy Schmitz, Vitamin Water.
Sponsors : SAB, ABI, eThekwini SPU, Wozani Africa, Granada Square, Ola Ice Cream, SAMSA, Street Traders.

2010 Easter Festival Pleases Local Holidaymakers

Conducted in beautiful weather conditions, the 2010 Umhlanga Easter Festival was thoroughly enjoyed by holidaymakers from around the country. Children, teens and parents had plenty to keep them busy; from face painting, to a mini Miss Umhlanga pageant, buried treasure to egg throwing competitions, tug-o ' -war to hula hoop. And during the five days of relaxed entertainment at Umhlanga ' s popular main beach and millennium stage Diski Dance tuition, Vuvuzela blowing and five-a-side soccer were especially popular.

Roll on the Soccer World Cup - we ' re ready!