As you probably by now expect, we are sorry to inform you that the race will not be going ahead as scheduled on 2 & 3 May 2020.
Following in-depth consultation with the Park Management at the Augrabies Falls National Park, and in the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic as well as South Africa’s State of Disaster and countermeasures as announced by President Ramaphosa last night, we are in absolute agreement that the correct decision is to postpone the race. The new Race Weekend will be 5 & 6 September 2020.
We apologise profusely for the disappointment and inconvenience this will surely cause, but we are also sure you will agree with us when we say that now is the time for us as a community and as a country to join hands, hearts and resources to come together to do whatever we can to protect those most vulnerable among us, and to make sure that this thing does not beat us!
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to shout. In the meantime, stay safe, stay strong and stay Proudly South African. Wash your hands and stay home, it’s just for a while.
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:
Leave the Park on Saturday morning in your own vehicle, heading back towards Kakamas.
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.)
Continue straight on the tar road until the T-Junction. Please drive slowly as this takes you through the small community of Augrabies.
At the T-Junction turn Left and then Immediately right, staying on the tar.
Continue past the small red shop. The road becomes gravel at a point.
You will see the first Khamkirri sign as you approach the low water bridge.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
After some fantastic desert running, you will Finish at the same point as the Start, and then the process works in reverse.
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.
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!
You will then head back to your car and go get ready for Day Two!!
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.
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.
Almost there! The time for talking (and training) is done. Are you ready for the desert?
First things first, it’s looking nice and hot for Race Weekend. This forecast is quite different to how it looked a week ago, so it could look quite different in a week, but be prepared. Mostly, HYDRATION! We will be enforcing the Race Minimum Requirements of a STARTING VOLUME OF WATER of 1.5L Challenge & 1.0L Lite. BUT PLEASE REMEMBER that only really matters in the first part of your race. DO NOT LEAVE any Aid Station without having first drunk plenty, and then having topped up back to AT LEAST the initial amounts. This goes for the racing snakes, the Sweepers, and everybody in between! It would also be good to have some electrolyte replacement with you out there.
Second, and less exciting, there have been sporadic reports of service delivery protests in the North West Province on the main route in to Upington / Augrabies from Gauteng. It seems to happen this time of year and for those of you driving from points East it’s worth keeping your eye on traffic news. We will also keep you pretty much LIVE posted courtesy of Klipspringer partner MacDonald’s Transport and their extensive network of national logistic & trucking operations.
Lastly, please keep an eye on your phones this coming week. We are working on some cool stuff to make your Race Weekend even MORE convenient & fun which hopefully will be finalised in the next couple of days. We will keep you advised by email & SMS.
Race Tip #4 – Pacing Your Race
The Klipspringer routes for both races (Challenge & Lite) over both days are broken down into nicely identifiable segments by the well located Checkpoints & Aid Stations. This makes it quite convenient to pace your race in terms of speed, effort, nutrition & hydration, and expectation. As any experienced trailrunner will tell you, it helps to check out the Maps & Profiles and Aid Station placings and to at least have a rough strategy in your head before you hit the ground running.
For those of you later entrants who didn’t get them (and for those too lazy to have read them before), please check out the important info in the previous Pre-Race Briefings.
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!
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.