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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via whatsapp on 0798945076
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