Pre Race Briefing #4

Hi Runthebergers!

Two more sleeps!! (for most of you!)

1. Weather

Karmically, and wonderfully, exactly what happened last year, the whole Berg has just experienced a fantastic cold snap with temperatures plunging in the mountains. Happily for your Race Weekend it’s already receding and all the different sites are forecasting spectacular running weather for Saturday and Sunday! Clear but not nearly as hot as we feared it would be! You guys must have been doing something right to be rewarded by the weather dragons like this! However please make sure you pack ALL potential Compulsory Kit items. In the mountains it always pays to not take things for granted and the weather changes faster than you can say globalwarming.

2. Compulsory Equipment

Compulsory Equipment List: Remember Zero Tolerance for any runner found in violation. We will make a final weather & kit call on Friday.

3. Community Shoe Drive

Don’t forget!

4. Road Conditions

Great to report this, but nothing significant to report from points in Gauteng, Free State or KZN. The roadworks out of Harrismith towards the R74 and the mountains are now long finished and it’s a joy to drive, as is the Sterkfontein Dam piece that used to be so bad. The final stretch after turning right from Tower of Pizza to the Race Village at All Out Adventures is a bit pot-holey after the winter so just drive those last few km slowly.

5. Registration & Race Briefing

Registration: Friday 27 September 15H00 – 20H00 at All Out Adventures

For those who absolutely can’t make Friday evening: Saturday 28 September 05H30 – 07H00 at All Out Adventures

Race Briefing: Friday 27 September 18H00 (approximately 30min) at All Out Adventures

Craft Beer on sale courtesy Nottingham Road Brewery. Snacks provided.

6. Batched Starts

As always we will have batching at the Start for both races and on both days. Batching will be done on a purely self-seeding basis, so racing snakes and anybody looking for a podium finish, it is your responsibility to be at the Start early enough to ensure that you are in Batch A. Race Times will be adjusted to reflect Batch Start Times. The Race Organisers reserve the right to control the sizes of the Batches at the Start and to move runners from one Batch to another as may be deemed necessary. Faster finishers on Day One will also have preferential access to Batch A on Day Two but speedsters please note it is still YOUR responsibility to be at the Start on time.

7. Spectator Activities at the Race Village

For spectators and non-running family, Runtheberg is the event with a difference! Most of the activities offered by the brilliant All Out Adventures Adventure Centre will be available over the course of the Race Weekend, including the kingswing, ziplines, and paintball. For the first year ever we will also be making the incredible All Out Quad Biking Experience available on Saturday (only) – do not miss this if you’re spending any time at the Race Village. There will also be access to All Out’s legendary MTB trails, perfect for your friends and partners who are not yet brave enough to run while they wait for you to finish. Rental bikes will be available.

8. Kids’ Facilities

The Race Village and the entire area is heaven for active kids and we love seeing them there with you. However, to answer some of your questions, we do not have any dedicated child-care facilities or any controlled area at the Race Village where you will be able to Drop & Go.

9. Previous Pre-Race Briefings

10. Training Tip #6

Hydrate, Stretch and Drive Safely!

See you soon in the beautiful Berg!

The Runtheberg Team

Runtheberg News August 2019

Pre Race Briefing #3

Hey Runthebergers!

Can you smell the mountain air yet?!?!

News September

Ten days to go! Your training is mostly done (or not as the case may be but it’s too late anyway), nothing left to do but enjoy the taper, drink lots of water, eat lots of greens/carbs/fat and relax.

1. Entries and Substitutions

Please note that entries AND substitutions are CLOSED.

2. Weather

For a deep mountain race we’ve been very fortunate over the last few years and have been feeling that we’re due a little weather. Well we might get some – heat! It’s not looking dramatic but the forecasts are definitely predicting a sunny and warm weekend for Race Weekend. Actually not bad running weather, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to take your hydration seriously! With all that being said, more than one of the weather sites we reference also mention the possibility of thunderstorms. These are the mountains after all. Make sure you are well acquainted with the Compulsory Kit requirements in the various weather conditions. We will be calling the Weather Status closer to the time – keep your eyes on the Runtheberg Facebook page and your email.

3. Water Tables & Hydration

There is one station on Day One for the Challenge at approximately 8km in, and two tables on Day Two spaced close together at approximately 7km and 10km. The Extreme has stations on Day One at approximately 11km and 16km, and on Day Two at approximately 7km and 20km. All Water Tables will be well stocked with crystal clear refreshing Drakensberg natural water and either Game or Coke, as well as a variety of fruit, boiled potatoes, biltong / dry wors and something sweet. AND OF COURSE some delicious nutritious Racefood FarBars!

News September

As we mentioned above, the weather forecasts are predicting sunny and warm, so ALL runners please make sure you take your hydration seriously. Many of you will have seen the terrible news about the young trail runner who tragically passed away at a trail race in Hong Kong the other day, most likely from heat stroke / dehydration (unofficial). We do not want that to happen here! AT A MINIMUM make sure you comply with the Compulsory Requirement of carrying 1.5L for the Extreme or 1L for the Challenge. If anybody is visibly seen to not be complying with this requirement at the Start, the Finish, or anywhere along the route we will pull you off the course and/or DQ the offender.

Attention Extreme Runners! The natural spring at Venus Baths about 6km in is unfortunately still dry. This means that your first Waterpoint on Day One is at Cannibal Caves, about 11km in. There will be lots of water here, to drink and to replenish empty hydration packs, but please make sure you start with enough fluid to get you here. Remember that the first 10km takes in a LOT of thirsty climbing, irrespective of the weather!

4. Cut-Off Times

In the interests of runner safety and to ensure that no runners risk being stuck out in the mountains in the dark, we will be applying a strict Cut-off policy. For both Challenge and Extreme Races on both Day One and Day Two runners need to be through the final Checkpoint / Water Table by no later than 15h00. Any runners not through by that time will be transported back to the Race Village.

5. Safety: Location Finding App what3words

News September

Based on the innovative but simple principle of a unique combination of 3 words being assigned to every single 3mx3m square in the world, this groundbreaking app could come in very handy if you ever need to communicate your exact location out on a trail. The app uses easy to communicate and remember words as opposed to numbered coordinates. By way of example, the entrance to the Runtheberg Race Village at All Out Adventures is How easy is that? ?? Download the free app and play with it. We were surprised at how functional and user friendly it is, and can see fantastic application for all aspects of trail running. We are not relying on it at this stage, so it’s not required, but it is recommended.

6. Yoga & Drinks

OK maybe we should have separated these two points, but hey, most yogis we know are not averse to enjoying a delicious Nottingham Road Brewery Wombat Summer Ale after they’ve finished their Downward Dog. There will be a free yoga class held at the magnificent Montusi Dam at 15h00 on Saturday afternoon – all are welcome. Bring your own yoga mats.

News September

And continuing with the fantastic new Runtheberg tradition that was started last year, Montusi Mountain Resort will again be hosting sundowner drinks & snacks at their spectacularly scenic dam after the yoga from 16h00 on Saturday afternoon. Please join us!

7. Training Tip #5

Keep to your routine! By now you should be starting to taper, or at least ease off the intensity leading up to the race. Stay within your routine and don’t try anything new – if you haven’t been doing sprint work, stair exercises or climbing drills, don’t start now. The risk of injury or strain on muscles that you haven’t been using outweighs any potential reward. Keep your legs moving with some light running within your own comfort zone.

News September

Also in this last week or so focus on healthy and balanced nutrition, ease up on the all night drinking sessions ?? and take the time to make sure that you have and are comfortable with all of your kit and equipment. That being said don’t forget that those Brilliant Brewers from Nottingham Road Brewery will be peddling their wares from Registration on Friday through to the end of the weekend, so make sure you always have #beermoney! (and thanks again NRB for the percentage of proceeds that will be going to support the local Royal Drakensberg Primary School).

BREAKING NEWS!! Runtheberg is proud to announce that South Africa’s top sports nutrition brand and our partner Racefood is launching a brand new bar only for us at #runtheberg2019. We will be the very first to enjoy it, and we will have an opportunity to give feedback via questionnaires which will qualify you to win a two month supply of Racefood in a Lucky Draw! The details are still a trade secret ?? but from what we’ve heard, we can’t wait to try it!

If anybody missed the previous Pre-Race Briefings please find them here.

Counting Down!

The Runtheberg Team

Runtheberg News August 2019

Pre-race Briefing #2

Hey Runthebergers!

Just two weeks to go! It’s early enough to start thinking about the weather but way too early to make any real predictions. Just stick to the old trail running motto (or was it the Boy Scouts?) “Be Prepared”. This winter was an exceptionally warm one but that doesn’t mean anything on Race Day – there was snow in the Northern Berg this weekend! Make sure you are well acquainted with the Runtheberg Compulsory & Recommended Kit List

And if anybody has missed the previous Pre-Race Briefing please see it here

1. Entries and Substitutions

Please note that entries AND substitutions close at midnight on Sunday 15 September 2019.

2. Registration

Registration will take place at the Race Village at All Out Adventures on Friday afternoon 27 September from 15h00 – 18h00, where you will register and receive your race pack and race number. There will be a small Registration facility at All Out Adventures on Saturday morning for those people who absolutely cannot make it the day before – times for this will be communicated closer to the time. The main Race Briefing will be held at All Out Adventures on Friday at 18h00 until about 18h30, whereafter you will all be free to go back to your hotels and carbo/banting/beer load.

News September

3. Start / Finish Logistics

As most of you will have already seen from the website, the Race Village is centred at the All Out Adventures Adventure Centre. This will be where we will have Registration and Race Briefings (see above), the Start for Day Two, and the Finish on both days. The one exception is the Start on Day One – this will take place at The Cavern. HOWEVER PLEASE NOTE that we will be providing a shuttle transfer service from the Race Village to The Cavern for the Start on Day One, so as with everything else, you just need to get yourself to All Out Adventures. For those driving themselves, there is parking at the Race Village, so you will be finishing at your car. For those being dropped off, there is absolutely NO parking at or near The Cavern, and we strongly recommend that all drop-offs happen at All Out Adventures. For those of you lucky enough to be staying at The Cavern, you can literally roll out of bed to the Start. Similarly for those staying on the doorstep of The Cavern at Sungubala and The Ledges. You guys will in fact end up at the Finish without your cars, so please be aware of that. There will NOT be an official shuttle from the Finish back to The Cavern, but as has been the case in previous years, it should not be difficult to source a lift if needed.

Official Runtheberg 2019 Start Times:

Extreme – 07h00 (Day One & Two)

Challenge – 08h00 (Day One & Two)

A more detailed Race Weekend Program will be communicated closer to the time.

4. Runtheberg Community Shoe Drive

Don’t forget!! Shoes as well as socks and any other running clothing or equipment that you’re no longer in love with will find a very good and much appreciated home amongst our local running community here in the mountains.

5. Physio

As usual we are thrilled to have Claire and her Runtheberg Adventure Physio Team in action over the Race Weekend to soothe those mountain running aches and pains. Sessions will be charged at R390 per 30min session and clients are able to claim back from medical aid. Treatments offered include Sports Massage, Injury Specific Assessment & Rehabilitation, Qualified Strapping and Dry Needling. Advance booking is recommended using the following links


or directly via email at

6. Runtheberg 2019 Kit

Don’t forget that the online pre-purchase facility for the fantastic range of hi-quality Runtheberg 2019 extra race kit for collection at Race Registration closes at 18h00 on Wednesday So get your orders in here!

News September

7. Training Tip #3

Technical Running! A popular phrase thrown around by all trail runners with very little common definition ?? Without trying to set a standard, all good trails should have some degree of technicality, and the Runtheberg Trails have some of the most technical runnable trails on the calendar (this does NOT mean “most technical” but rather “most technical while still being largely runnable” – there is a difference). The only real way to practise technical running is, well, to run technical. But it’s not that hard to find, with even most city parks having some sections where you can run over rocks or roots or even just off the established trail. Practise things like foot placement, forward planning in your mind, constant concentration, and slowing down your usual pace while lifting your feet higher. It will be worth it.

News September

8. Training Tip #4

Race Pacing! Very differently to road-running, where the best marathon courses are generally pancake-flat, mountain running is not. This means that besides your own ability and fitness level, your pace is often dictated by the terrain. DON’T FIGHT IT! Any variation on the “flat & smooth” theme (ie a road) requires exponentially greater degrees of effort and energy expenditure. Steep climbs are the obvious example, but even gentle downhills can be exhausting when the terrain is technical. An old trail running adage is useful to keep in mind: walk the uphills, run the flats and speed up on the downs. Remember that when you’re feeling fresh in the early stages there is usually a long way to go. Unless you’re seriously racing for a podium finish or a Personal Best, some early energy conservation is generally a good investment towards the later stages of your race.

That’s it for now. As usual just shout with any questions. Counting down….

The Runtheberg Team