Five weeks to go! Hopefully all of your preparation and training is coming together. Keep healthy, eat your veg and vitamin C, and depending on your dietary religion, make sure you’re getting lots of carbs / fat / protein etc ?? Take it easy on those training runs – you don’t want to do an ankle now.
For those new to the Klipspringer, we find that the electronic Pre-race Briefing is a very useful method of communication before the event, and 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, and of course there will be a comprehensive Race Briefing on site at the Augrabies Falls National Park after Registration on the evening of Friday 27 April. As usual, please do not hesitate to contact me directly with any specific questions you may have (contact details below).
First off, the breaking news. In consultation with SANParks management at the Augrabies Falls National Park as well as the Departments of Water Affairs and Environmental and Nature Conservation it has been concluded that we are currently unable to guarantee a safe on-foot river crossing for a number of reasons. As such, the Day One Start / Finish location will be on the Northern side of the Orange River just outside the Park Entrance on that side, and near the Vaaldrift and Khamkirri farms. For those of you that participated in the Klipspringer 2018 event, pretty much the same place as it was last year, just further down that road. There will be a limited shuttle service between the Race Village and Rest Camp at the Park and the Start / Finish on Day One but for the most part runners will need to get themselves there. Please see the race website for more Race Info covering Registration and Start Times etc https://www.klipspringerchallenge.co.za/race-info/ as well as directions to the Day One Start / Finish https://www.klipspringerchallenge.co.za/directions-to-start-day-one/. Shuttle details will be available closer to the time.
Remember only Paid Entries are confirmed. If you have entered but not yet paid we cannot guarantee you a spot as we fill up. Also remember that 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.
2. 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! 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 much closer to the time. See full Compulsory and Recommended Equipment List here https://www.klipspringerchallenge.co.za/compulsory-recommended-equipment/.
Klipspringer 2019 is very pleased to welcome back local rehab legend Renate Marais as Race Physio for the Race Weekend. Reward those Kalahari-tired muscles with 30 minutes of Renate’s magic healing hands for only R300/session (cash or card). Bookings advisable at firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. 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 which ones have less chance of letting sand in through the actual material.
You can find updated Route Maps & Profiles here https://www.klipspringerchallenge.co.za/maps-profiles/, and for anybody that missed it, you can find the previous race communication incorporating some handy Race Prep and Training Tips here https://www.klipspringerchallenge.co.za/klipspringer-2019-training-tips/.
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