Pre Race Briefing #4

Hi Runthebergers!

One more sleep!! (for most of you!)

1. Weather

The whole Berg has just experienced a fantastic cold snap with temperatures plunging and a huge snow dump on the high mountains. Happily for your Race Weekend it’s already receding and all the different sites are forecasting spectacular running weather for Saturday and Sunday! 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 has been known to change fast.

2. Compulsory Equipment Remember Zero Tolerance for any runner found in violation.

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 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 5 October 15H00 – 20H00 at All Out Adventures

For those who absolutely can’t make Friday evening: Saturday 6 October 05H30 – 07H00 at All Out Adventures

Race Briefing: Friday 5 October 18H00 (approximately 30min)

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

6. Previous Pre-Race Briefings

9. Training Tip #6

Stretch and Drive Safely!

See you tomorrow in the beautiful Berg!

The Runtheberg Team

Pre Race Briefing #3

Hey Runthebergers!

Can you smell the mountain air yet?!?!

A week 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 as the case may be and relax.

1. 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. It’s not looking terrible but the forecasts are definitely predicting a colder weekend for Race Weekend and a fair possibility of rain. Actually perfect running weather! Obviously with runner safety as our primary concern, this does have a couple of implications in terms of things like Compulsory Equipment (see below). 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.

2. Compulsory Equipment

By now you should all be quite well acquainted with this list but please go back to it and check that you have everything you might need in the event of the Race Organisers declaring Variable Weather. And also don’t be shy to carry extra stuff – remember that it is way colder when you’re wet (and high in the sky), and that extra layer is worth the extra couple of hundred grams of weight. The right gear can also mean the difference between a great day out and a miserable one.

3. Hydration

Attention Extreme Runners! Even though it’s looking cooler and maybe even wet, 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 requires a lot of thirsty climbing, irrespective of the weather!

4. Weekend Programme

Friday 5 October

15h00-20h00* Registration @ All Out Adventures (*We have extended Registration on Friday to 20h00)

18h00 Race Briefing @ All Out Adventures

There will be snacks at Registration to go with some delicious craft beer and gin-on-tap for purchase courtesy the world-class brewmasters Nottingham Road Brewing Co.

Saturday 6 October

05h30 Venue Opens

05h30-06h30 Limited Registration @ All Out Adventures

06h00-06h30 Extreme Shuttle from All Out Adventures

06h45 Extreme Briefing @ The Cavern

07h00 Extreme Start

07h00-07h30 Challenge Shuttle from All Out Adventures

07h45 Challenge Briefing @ The Cavern

08h00 Challenge Start

Sunday 7 October

05h30 Venue opens

06h30 Extreme participants arrive by this time

06h45 Extreme briefing

07h00 Extreme Start

07h30 Challenge participants arrive by this time

07h45 Challenge briefing

08h00 Challenge Start

11h30 Prize Giving

5. 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 an 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.

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. Route Change

There is a very slight change to the routes on Day Two. As always all routes are comprehensively marked so it’s likely you won’t even notice, but just a caution to those gadget junkies who may be following a track from previous years.

8. Water Tables

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 8km. The Extreme has stations on Day One at approximately 11km and 16km, and on Day Two at approximately 7km and 18km. 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!

9. Training Tip #5

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 or stair exercises, 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.

Also in this last week 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.

See you in the Berg in a week!

The Runtheberg Team

Pre-race Briefing #2

Hey Runthebergers!

Just two weeks to go! It’s early enough to start thinking about the weather but way to early to make any real predictions. Just stick to the old trailrunning motto (or was it the Boy Scouts?) “Be Prepared”. 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 23 September 2018.

2. Registration

Registration will take place at the Race Village at All Out Adventures on Friday afternoon 5 October 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.

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 2018 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

Don’t forget!! Bookings in advance at

6. Runtheberg 2018 Kit

You can order and pre-purchase the fantastic hi-quality Runtheberg 2018 Race Peaks and Chidos (like a buff ?? ) here for collection at Registration

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. 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. Training Tip #3

Speedwork! This is a general running tip but is especially applicable to trail running where, as opposed to the predictable surface and manageable gradients of road running, the surprises that the trail can throw at you can be exhausting (and even dangerous). One of the best ways to train yourself to be able to literally take everything in your stride is to vary your speeds in a few training runs. Practise running faster than usual for sections of your run and include some short sprints, then without stopping to catch your breath ease into your comfortable pace again. Repeat. This will get your brain, legs and lungs used to not breaking rhythm without getting too fatigued by the inevitable obstacles and surprises.

10. Training Tip #4

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.

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

The Runtheberg Team

Pre-race Briefing #1

Hey Runthebergers!

Less than six weeks to go! Your training should almost be in full swing and if you don’t yet have all of your compulsory kit items you will hopefully have a shopping / begborrowsteal list of the stuff you still need. Before you know it you’ll be on your way to the magnificent Drakensberg for a weekend of tough, spectacular and altogether unforgettable trail running in Africa’s most formidable mountains 😀 Continue reading Pre-race Briefing #1