Pre Race Briefing 2018 #1

Hey Klipspringers,

Time is ticking! Only 3 months to go before before you Dare the Desert. That still leaves lots of time for preparation and training but as we all know it will be on us before we know it! Don’t put things off for too long…

Entries – Only Paid Entries are Confirmed. If you have entered but not yet paid we cannot guarantee you a spot as we fill up, and 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. And although we’re nearly there, to beat the New Year Budget Blues payment plans will still be available – just contact us on to arrange.

Accommodation – The most convenient race accommodation is within the Augrabies Falls National Park itself but as usual this is filling up fast! Make sure your accommodation is secured as soon as possible for the best Race Weekend experience. For reservations and enquiries please contact the Park itself on 054 452 9200. There is also a range of alternative accommodation outside the Park (see some info and listings on our Accommodation page).

Compulsory and Recommended Equipment – Being a desert run in winter, one of the upsides of being virtually guaranteed of no rain is that it makes it easy to compile the compulsory equipment list – water, headlamp, 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! As far as headlamps go, it is very likely that both races will enjoy at least one dark start. Running through the desert watching the sun come up is a real treat, but it does mean that every runner must pack some suitable form of illumination. Exact Start times will be confirmed a bit closer to Race Weekend. 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 can thus only confirmed much closer to the time.

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 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 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.

Good luck with the training. Remember to enjoy every run!! And as always any questions just shout.


Warren & the Klipspringer Team

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