One Week To Go!
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. Right now it’s showing that we are in for a warm weekend! Pack your sunblock and take your hydration seriously!
We are thrilled to have the magic hands of Chris-Mari back at Klipspringer this year as Race Physio, with her team from Chris-Mari Lombaard Fisioterapie from Upington. 20 minutes of miraculous recovery will cost you just R200. Bookings can be made directly with them by whatsapp 084 019 0151.
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 with this year’s record Klipspringer field 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 queues later on.
SANParks Conservation Fees: Remember that all visitors to South Africa’s National Parks pay a small daily Conservation Fee (Adults R63/day; Children under 11yrs R31/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 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 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 on your way to the Start. 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). There will also be awesome hot coffee / tea / hot chocolate on sale at Khamkirri in the morning. Please remember your headlamps – the sun is only rising at around 07h00. And something warm. There’s none so cool as a crisp desert dawn!
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.
Reminder to those still needing to Register on Saturday or Sunday mornings to please be at the Start by 06h00.
Khamkirri to Start – approx 15min (7km)
Previous Pre-race Briefings
Please also re-acquaint yourselves (or acquaint yourselves) with previous Pre-Race Briefings for all the important Race Info, especially around the Day One Start logistics and the Khamkirri Ferry, as well as important times, race rules and compulsory kit requirements.
See you all next weekend!
Your Klipspringer Team
Two 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! Reports from the Park indicate that the river is much closer to normal flow levels at the moment, and we expect the Falls over Race Weekend to be above average for this time of year but nowhere near the flood levels of last year’s race. And also with less disruption. That being said it is uncertain whether we will be able to take runners through the Gorge section on the Challenge route again this year. Although the water levels themselves are manageable the effects of the two massive flooding events earlier this year are still being felt and we will be making the call together with the SANParks Rangers a bit closer to the time. Should we not be able to use the Gorge section we will be switching over to the alternative route we used on last year’s Challenge, which was loved by most runners.
Entries & Deadlines!
Please note that entries are still open and only close at midnight on Sunday 17 April, so if you know anyone who still hasn’t entered get them onto the website Klipspringer Challenge to make sure they get their entries in! Remember That Only Paid Entries Are Confirmed!
Registration & Pre-Race Briefing
Registration will take place at the Augrabies Falls National Park Conference Room (just before Reception) on Friday afternoon 28th April from 15h00 – 18h00, where you will register and receive your race pack and race number. There will be a small Registration facility at the Start on both Saturday and Sunday mornings for those people who absolutely cannot make it on Friday – for those planning on making use of this it is recommended that you are at the Start to register by no later than 06h00.
There will be no physical Race Briefing at the venue, but rather we will distribute a Virtual Race Briefing video in the week before the Race. This means that runners do not have to hang around the Park until 7pm on Friday evening after they have registered, and they can watch and re-watch at their own convenience.
Important Khamkirri Ferry Info!!!
The main upside of the more normal water levels is that Khamkirri is able to safely operate their awesome ferry service again this year.
Please familiarise yourselves with the ferry info and directions to Khamkirri from the Upington side here Khamkirri/Ferry
The floods have changed a couple of things but we will be confirming all the finer details closer to the time. One thing we can say now is that it’s likely to be a bit wet/muddy getting from your car to the Ferry jetty in the morning, so we recommend that every runner has a headlamp and carries a pair of light sandals that they can wear and just chuck into their hydration pack to avoid the discomfort of wet muddy shoes before they start.
Lunch, drinks, physio and general post-run kuiering will be at the fantastically scenic riverside Khamkirri Race Village.
It gets harder every year to cater for the increasingly wide range of dietary preferences we all have, but we sure try! If you have any restrictions or strong preferences (vegetarian / vegan / gluten free) please indicate them by return email before midnight Tuesday 18 April so we can prepare as best we can to ensure no one starves. If you eat anything and everything please ignore this.
Race Tip #2 – Following the trail and Orientation
Following the trail and Not Getting Lost is one of the most important aspects of trail running. Many a race, including some of the world’s biggest, have been won or lost because of a wrong turn at a critical time! Don’t let it be you! The Klipspringer trails will be comprehensively marked and nobody should get lost, but pay attention! Day One will be marked with specific highly-visible Klipspringer orange ribbon markings, and Day Two will be marked with ribbon and with traditional SANParks Hiking Trail markings (remember that Day Two IS the legendary Klipspringer Hiking Trail). Please always be aware that this is a remote and inaccessible trail in extremely tough terrain. It is unlike the Otter Trail, for example, where the trail is kept clear and visible by the feet of thousands of hikers and tourists every year, and where if the ocean is not to your left, you know you’ve gone wrong somewhere. In addition, it is not just marketing when we say that the remote Northern Section of the Park has the course running through parts that have literally not seen human feet! So although you shouldn’t, there is always the possibility of finding yourself off the trail. Please note that the race maps are not navigation standard and the best advice here is that each and every runner take responsibility for their own run – do not just follow other runners, always be looking for the next trail marker, and pay attention to the actual direction of the arrows and trail markers (and Race Organiser instructions in Race Briefings). Also try and just be generally aware – if you’ve run for more than 100m – 200m without seeing a marker, the chances are that you are off the trail and should double back to the last one you saw. We will repeat this advice many times before the Race!
Race Tip #3 – Race Nutrition
Now is the time to start planning your Race eating. Yes there will be a lot of delicious (and nutritious) stuff at the Water Tables so you will definitely not go hungry. However it always pays to think of anything in particular that you might like to have with you on a long hard day out on the trails and have it with you. It also pays to have an emergency stash of something that can hit that spot if you do hit an energy wall in between Tables.
If you missed the previous email briefing it contains a lot of important info so make sure you read it Pre-Race Briefing #1
Enjoy this last stretch of training and as always any questions just shout! In the meantime here’s last year’s official Klipspringer Race Video to whet your appetite 2022 Race Video
Your Klipspringer Team
4 weeks and counting!
For those new to the Klipspringer, we found that even before the pandemic turned everything virtual, our electronic Pre-race Briefings were a very popular and 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. And of course, as usual, 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. As always, in terms of our agreement with SANParks, 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! Challenge competitors will be required to carry a minimum of 1.5 litres of water from the Start, and Lite competitors a minimum of 1 litre. 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, even at this time of the year. 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 we 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 here.
Carry Your Own
As we have for the past few years, runners will be required to carry their own drinking containers. The idea here is to significantly reduce the Klipspringer impact on our uniquely pristine environment. Runners will need to carry EITHER their own hydration packs OR portable / collapsible cups OR their own flasks or water bottles. Runners will be allowed to use normal disposable plastic water bottles which although not ideal are definitely recyclable AND by definition they are then no longer “single-use”.
Extra Race Kit
As always our awesome garment partners Anatomic have outdone themselves! Not only can you expect the most spectacular technical quality race shirts, but we are thrilled to be able to offer you a range of fantastic and super-unique extra race kit and memorabilia. And there’s MORE! Thanks to the support of what might just be the best steakhouse south of the Equator, the outstanding Desert Wolf Spur in Upington’s Kalahari Mall, we are able to offer the extra race kit this year at literally giveaway prices, so treat yourselves! To have them ready for collection at Registration, orders and purchases need to be confirmed by midnight on Monday 10 April 2023.
To order CLICK HERE
Always hoping to add value and make lives easier for our runners, Klipspringer is proud to have partnered with RaceSpace, South Africa’s first app-based race calendar with a unique, integrated search function. From not only trail running, but cycling, road-running, and swimming to triathlon, OCR and Adventure Racing, RaceSpace brings the what, when and where of racing to your fingertips! All you need to bring is your racing game…
Download the app from Google Play or the AppStore today, and check out RaceSpace.co.za
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, many 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. For more comprehensive info check out 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