Pre race briefing 2021 #3

Hey Klipspringers!

Next weekend! The desert is waiting! And looking spectacular!

Klipspringer Sunset

Although we are still too far away to be able to confidently rely on weather forecasts for the Race Weekend, we are close enough that there actually are forecasts, and right now it’s looking fine and hot!

Important note: Covid-19 protocols within Augrabies Falls National Park. Masks are required at all times in public within the Park (runners please refer to Pre-Race Briefings and Race Info on the website for mask guidelines around the Race). Social Distance protocols will be followed in all queueing situations, and where unavoidable, queues will be formed outside.

As usual we have a couple of admin shortcuts to help speed through the Park entry & exit processes. First please find attached the SANParks Gate Entry Permit (Click Here). Please download this, print and complete, including the names of all vehicle passengers, before you get to the Park gate. We are not expecting any real bottlenecks but everything is taking longer these days and this will definitely help, especially for those entering the Park for the first time early on Sunday morning.

Registration: 15h00-18h00 at the Park Conference Centre just outside Reception. There is no physical Race Briefing following Registration this year so no need to hang around. Please try and get your registration sorted out as early as possible to avoid bottlenecks later on.

SANParks Conservation Fees: Remember that all visitors to South Africa’s National Parks pay a daily Conservation Fee (Adults R59/day; Children R29/day SA Citizens). Race participants will not need to pay Conservation Fees but all family / friends / other visitors will. If you are not staying at the Park Conservation Fees will not be applicable when you just enter for Registration on Friday and leave, but they will be applicable for all Day Visitors accompanying runners into the Park on Sunday. Please make sure applicable Conservation Fees are paid before leaving so you can receive the necessary Exit Permits required to leave the Park.

Attached is the official Klipspringer 2021 Race Logo (Click Here). Please download this and either print it out to display on your dashboard or save a copy to your phone to display at the Park gate. This will act as a pass-out for anybody needing to exit and re-enter the Park again. People staying in the Park will also receive a hard copy Weekend Pass when they check in.

Please remember that everybody staying at the Park will need to officially check out and pay when they leave, at which point they will receive their Exit Permit from Reception.

Please also acquaint yourselves (or re-acquaint yourselves) with previous Pre-Race Briefings for all the important Race Info.

Pre race briefing 2021 #1

Pre race briefing 2021 #2

Day one start logistics

Please remember that Day One is a remote start with no facilities, so anybody needing a Pre-Start toilet run, please make use of the facilities at Khamkirri once you’ve crossed the river. Similarly runners coming from Upington side, you can stop at Khamkirri for a quick toilet break before the Start (Khamkirri is about 7km before the Start Point). Please remember your headlamps – the sun is only rising at around 07h00, and your sandals in case the canal sluices are open and you have to walk through some (shallow) water on your way to the Start.

Ferry passengers are recommended to have some money on them, not to “pay the ferryman” (we all know he has to get you to the other side first!) but there will be very welcome hot coffee and snacks available before you set off as well as lots of stuff to buy at the Race Village afterwards. A full Race Village will be set up at Khamkirri where you can pick up your delicious complimentary lunch and relax your tired legs on the awesome Khamkirri deck enjoying a well-deserved post-run beer or two. Spectators coming from the Park side are also welcome to make use of the Ferry and Shuttle services, as well as the Khamkirri facilities, but please make sure that in the morning on the way to the Start runners get first access to both Ferry and Shuttle so as not to unnecessarily delay the Start.

Reminder to those still needing to Register on Saturday or Sunday mornings to please be at the Start by 06h00.

Summary of important times for Saturday morning Ferry:

Park to Ferry Crossing Point – approx 25min (19km) (Directions from Park to Ferry Crossing Point / Upington to Khamkirri Getting to Khamkirri Day One Start )

Ferry Services will begin at 05h30

Budget on 5min to cross the river

Shuttles will pick you up at the Khamkirri Reception

Khamkirri to Start – approx 15min (7km)

For the return journey from the Finish back to Khamkirri the shuttle will be running approx every 45min.

See you all next weekend!

Regards,

Warren

Klipspringer 2021

Pre race briefing 2021 #2

Hey Klipspringers,

Three weeks to go! The bulk of your training is now (hopefully) mostly done but this final stretch can still be hugely valuable. Just be sure to watch where you’re going and don’t injure yourselves! Meanwhile reports from the Park tell us that the Falls are flowing strongly and the trails are looking fantastic!

Continue reading Pre race briefing 2021 #2

Pre race briefing 2021 #1

Hey Klipspringers!

Six weeks to go! On the Covid-19 front we are very optimistic. Medical consensus is that there will be a third wave, but it’s looking like arriving closer to June. Our message to Klipspringers and to all runners out there hoping to participate in races around the country over that weekend: have a quiet safe Easter at home, and tell your friends and family to do the same. To some extent it’s in our own hands. On the race front, hopefully all of your preparation and training is coming together. Keep healthy, eat your veg and vitamin C, and make sure you concentrate out on the trail – don’t sprain an ankle now. And remember – mask, sanitise and distance. Don’t let Covid cost you your Klipspringer!

For those new to the Klipspringer, we have found that even before the pandemic turned everything virtual, our electronic Pre-race Briefings were a very useful method of communication before the event. It’s a great way to provide news, updates, race requirements and changes. It is also a convenient place to put out some race tips, which many of you have asked for, and some training tips for those entrants who are relatively new to trail running. All of the important info will also be put up on the race website and Facebook Page. A change in format this year in compliance with Covid protocols is that there will now be a comprehensive VIRTUAL Race Briefing on the evening of Friday 27 April. More so than ever with the decreased personal interaction this year, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any specific questions you may have.

Entries

Remember only Paid Entries are confirmed. If you have entered but not yet paid we cannot guarantee you a spot as we fill up. In terms of Lockdown Regulations governing numbers at sporting events as well as in terms of our agreement with SANParks our numbers are limited, so don’t dawdle! Similarly if you’ve entered but your friends have not yet, make sure you remind them ASAP to avoid them being disappointed.

Compulsory & Recommended Equipment

Being a desert run in winter, one of the upsides of being virtually guaranteed no rain is that it makes it easy to compile the compulsory equipment list – water, phone, whistle and space blanket and this year, mask! Every competitor in both the Challenge as well as the shorter Lite races will be required to carry a minimum of 1.5 litres of water from the Start. Why? The idea is that runners have sufficient water to get them from watering station to watering station. It is properly DRY and often very HOT out there. For most of us running in the desert, it is not even a thought that this 1.5 litres could last for the whole race. For you racing snakes used to running with very little water and then hydrating like mad at the Finish, this includes you! Regarding space blankets, remember that much of the precaution around the idea of having a Compulsory Kit requirement is not aimed at your perfect running day but rather that day where things go wrong. A missed step and a broken leg on an inaccessible stretch of trail, shock sets in and your core body temperature plummets – even in +30C that space blanket can literally save your (or somebody else’s) life. Please also note that I said that we are “virtually” guaranteed of a dry run. We are unfortunately suffering the unpredictable effects of climate change, so as we all know, anything could happen. Final kit requirements will thus only be confirmed closer to the time. See full Compulsory and Recommended Equipment List.

Physio

Klipspringer 2021 is very pleased to welcome local rehab legend Louise De Jonge as Race Physio for the weekend. Reward those Kalahari-tired muscles with 30 minutes of Louise’s magic healing hands for only R300/session (cash or card). Bookings advisable at louisedj.fisioterapeut@gmail.com or via whatsapp on 0798945076

Preparation

We are proud to tell you that the Klipspringer field of runners ranges from some of the most experienced and accomplished trail runners in the country to road runners who are completely new to the joys and demands of trail running. As such, some of you may know a lot of the training and race tips that we will be sharing from time to time, but hopefully some of you may find them useful. Check out our more comprehensive training tips.

Race Tip #1: Footwear and accessories

This is true Kalahari Desert trail running. It is hot, hard and technical. We do not prescribe specific footwear, and certainly would not want to impose on those hard-core barefoot runners, but we do ask that you take your footwear seriously for this race. Protect your feet! In addition, being the desert, expect to run through a fair amount of soft sand which can get into your shoes. It shouldn’t be a major problem, but it does cause some discomfort as it builds up. It is quite fine sand so it also tends to get into your socks, which wastes time having to stop to take off shoes & socks to get rid of it. Gators might help but we find that they add some discomfort and extra weight, and often don’t actually cover the parts of the shoe where the sand gets in. If you have a choice of shoes to wear, look for ones that are less likely to let sand in through the actual material.

Training Tip #1: Train with Weight

Train with your hydration pack. As any trail runner who has run for more than a couple of hours with their pack knows, it really helps to have your back, neck and shoulders conditioned to the extra weight. This is even becoming a thing for road runners as more and more road events go green and require participants to be more self-sufficient and less reliant on those awful plastic sachets. We recommend that you estimate how much weight you will be carrying on race day, and add a couple of kilograms for training runs. It is also important to get comfortable with your pack in terms of sizing, strapping, zips and pockets, and the actual hydration refill system – you don’t want to be finding stuff out on race day!

That’s it for now. Good luck with this important training period, and as always feel free to shout with any questions.

Looking forward to seeing you all in the Desert!

Warren & the Klipspringer Team

Klipspringerchallenge 2021

Breaking News Day One Start/Finish

Hey Klipspringers!

In the world we live in today we have become used to “Breaking News” being nothing but disaster, tragedy and State Capture, BUT this Breaking News is brilliant! We have just finalised a change to Day One logistics that will save runners having to drive 90minutes all the way around to the Start! AND we’ve thrown in a fantastic Orange River crossing just to add to the fun! All thanks to the awesome Khamkirri Rest Camp!

Please read the following carefully. It is actually very easy, but we know from experience that late changes do tend to be speed-read and some details get overlooked.

DAY ONE ONLY (Saturday 27 April)

The Race Start / Finish location is unchanged.

For runners staying in the Park itself, as well as in the vicinity of the Park, these are your new instructions:

  1. Leave the Park on Saturday morning in your own vehicle, heading back towards Kakamas.
  2. Measured from the Park, at about 14km take the turn-off to the left into the town of Augrabies. There is no official “Town” sign, but there is a very prominent “SAPS Augrabies” brown sign right before the turn off. (FYI for runners coming from the Other direction for any reason, the turn-off is 22km from the central traffic light / KFC / Caltex Garage in Kakamas, and it is a turn to the right. There is also a prominent “SAPS Augrabies” brown sign coming from this direction.)
  3. Continue straight on the tar road until the T-Junction. Please drive slowly as this takes you through the small community of Augrabies.
  4. At the T-Junction turn Left and then Immediately right, staying on the tar.
  5. Continue past the small red shop. The road becomes gravel at a point.
  6. You will see the first Khamkirri sign as you approach the low water bridge.
  7. From here just follow the Khamkirri signs. There is one point to look out for where a gravel road continues straight but you will be turning right. This is clearly signposted with a Khamkirri sign.
  8. Follow the gravel road all the way to another T-Junction (on the river flood levee, if anybody is interested), where you will turn LEFT (also Khamkirri signposted).
  9. A few hundred metres on is the gated entrance to the Khamkirri ferry launching point (also signposted). This should be obvious from the cars and activity.
  10. Parking is here along the farm road. There is plenty of space for everyone so please park considerately, and leave the road open for at least single lane traffic. (At the end of the road here is a convenient turnaround point which we will keep clear). Please note that we will have car guards looking after your cars so don’t stress, but it is still always a good idea not to leave visible valuables anywhere in your cars. Including running shoes.
  11. After parking you will make your way through the gate for about 200m on foot towards the River. It is unfortunately impossible to predict, but the canals may be open, which will entail walking through some water. This water will at worst be ankle-deep, but there’s no way around it. We assume most runners will not want wet shoes before even starting to run, so we recommend that you brink sandals / plakkies with you to walk through this water and save your shoes and socks. There will be a facility at the Khamkirri Rest Camp over the River for you to leave the sandals / plakkies there and pick them up on your way back. (It is very possible to walk here barefeet, and we know some of you Noordkaapers are tough, but it will be easier on the feet, in the dark, to have sandals). Also, although the sun will be up for the Start, your approach to the Start, including the Ferry, is likely to be in the dark, so it is recommended that you bring your headlamps.
  12. Please drive slowly on the gravel roads through the vineyards. These are private farm roads that the farmers have very kindly allowed us to use, and we do not want to cover their vines in dust. Test drive today showed that at 30km/h – 35km/h there is very little dust thrown up, but it kicks in properly at 45km/h. Cooperation is appreciated here.
  13. At the River you will get to the Khamkirri Ferry Launch point, where you will board the Ferry on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please can challenge runners ensure they get to the ferry early so you guys can get to the start before the lite runners who start 30min later.
  14. The Ferry will take 15-18 runners at a time, and will take just a couple of minutes to cross. The River is very calm and flat here.
  15. Once you get to the other side you will be in the Khamkirri Rest Camp and you will be shown where you can leave your plakkies / sandals and directed to a waiting shuttle, which will shuttle you to the official Start/Finish location which is about 10-12min away. The shuttles are easily sufficient, but you might have to wait a couple of minutes here. Please note that there are toilet facilities at the Rest Camp but none at the start.
  16. At the Start things will be obvious. Remember Challenge starts at 07h00 and Lite at 07h30, but in the event of any delays here don’t panic, we’ll wait for you (unless your reason for being late is just because you overslept!)
  17. After some fantastic desert running, you will Finish at the same point as the Start, and then the process works in reverse.
  18. The shuttle will be making regular trips from the finish back to Khamkirri (we estimate every 45min or so) where you will catch the return Ferry back to your car.
  19. Budget for spending some time at Khamkirri – they have a magnificent deck and leisure area right on the bank of the river where you can kick back with a drink and feel good about what you’ve just accomplished. There is even very cool and safe swimming to be had in the mighty Orange River!
  20. You will then head back to your car and go get ready for Day Two!!
  21. Please remember our self-imposed speed limit on the way back out, and remember that the Khamkirri signs are aiming the other way, but at least now it will be light. If you enter your destination into your navigation system, it actually does pick up these private farm roads – this was tested today.
  22. Thank you again to the wonderful team at Khamkirri for saving us a LOT of dark, dusty driving ?? You guys in the Park and surrounds will be pleased to know that you can pretty much roll out of bed for the Start of Day Two!

Please read this carefully. It is a lot of detail but is actually quite straightforward. Don’t hesitate to shout with questions.

Regards,

Warren

klipspringer2019