We caught up with Stu McConnachie, not only a Stance Advocate but also the Race Director of The Special Edition Trail (TSE)
- How did TSE start?
After Covid struck in early 2020 we decided that we would have to cancel Ultra-Trail Cape Town (UTCT) in its current form, as the year evolved we realised we had to try to do something. That's how TSE was launched, in the midst of Covid chaos, stress around the unknown and the desire to have something real actually happen. We were granted a permit for 500 runners that year. It came together and launched us into the first running of the race.
- How long has the TSE been going?
After 2020 we moved the race to late May and it went really well. This will be the third running of TSE.
- What do we not know about TSE?
It's a fairly unique route and race structure with two loops of 25km, runners can choose their loop to run and the 50km people run both returning to the race village for a tough turn around and heading out again.
- How did running start for you?
I ran a lot as a kid, my Dad and his brothers all ran Two Oceans and various other road races so I grew up around races and running. I could run long and enjoyed suffering so it was always going that way. I'm just stoked with how I get to follow my passion and live a life doing what I love most.
- Tell us about Tuesday Trails ?
TT started in 2014 with a group of us who enjoyed trail running, it has really grown organically and is now such a strong component of trail running locally. It's a weekly ritual that we all love for the run and the chance to see friends without the stress of having to arrange calendars.
- How was your Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) experience?
Mind blowing and still slightly surreal, the support and energy around that race were really special and I had the run of my life in many ways. It took a lot of energy and focus but I will always cherish the moments that defined it for me. I will always try to embrace that energy before races and in my approach to life.
- Western States - how is your prep going? - what is your approach? - when are you going?
Prep is going well, it took a bit of a dive earlier this year but I've bounced back nicely and am feeling confident I'll be there and be able to enjoy an experience that I've dreamed of for many years. My approach to milers and most races is to start easy and build my way into the race, to be honest I'm not really racing anyone other than myself which is vital in longer races, ego can be your biggest enemy. I am leaving here early June to get acclimated and soak up the vibe of trail running in the US. I'll be based there for about 1 month trying to experience as much as possible while I'm there.
- Lastly, The McConnachie clan and the Transkei have a long history, tell us about that?
My Moms Uncle and Aunt were traders, they lived at their trading station and went down to the coast on holidays. My Mom would head there as a kid before my Dad eventually took over that property when we were young kids and we've been going ever since. I think it's a special place and one where you have to enjoy the outdoors and a slightly grittier existence.
- What are your fave Stance socks?
The Feel 360 crew socks are always a win for me.
Thanks for your time Stu, keep rocking your Stance socks and good luck with the TSE.