Five More Sleeps!! Your training is done (or not as the case may be, but it’s too late to change that) and there’s 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 & Compulsory Equipment
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 this year might be the year! It’s not looking dramatic but the forecasts are definitely predicting some wet and colder conditions for Race Weekend. Actually not terrible running weather, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to take your Compulsory Equipment seriously! The tragic events in China earlier this year still weigh heavily on the entire global trail community, and even more than ever the focus is on safety safety safety! These are mountains, and a small item of clothing can literally mean the difference between life and death. Make sure you are well acquainted with the Compulsory Kit requirements in the various weather conditions Equipment List. As we have done previously we will be applying a Zero Tolerance Policy to infringements. We will be calling the official Weather Status closer to the time, but it is looking very likely to be variable, which means:
Extreme Compulsory Kit: Hydration System (minimum 1.5litres); Waterproof Jacket; Space Blanket; Cell Phone (charged); Whistle; Buff or Beanie; non-cotton Thermal Base Layer (something warm and long-sleeved.
Lite Compulsory Kit: n/a but we recommend the same equipment as is compulsory for the Challenge.
Keep your eyes on your email and Facebook for weather and kit updates.
3. Community Shoe Drive
Don’t forget to pack thos previously loved trusty trail companions!
4. Registration & Race Briefing
Registration: Friday 1 October 14H30 – 18H00 at All Out Adventures
For those who absolutely can’t make Friday evening: Saturday 2 October 05H30 – 07H00 at All Out Adventures
Race Briefing: Virtual. There will be no physical race briefing. All necessary info will be on email and Facebook.
5. Activities at the Race Village
For non-running family, Runtheberg is the event with a difference! Under current Lockdown Restrictions sporting events are not allowed spectators, so rather than wait in your cars, take advantage of the exhilarating and super-fun activities on offer at the brilliant All Out Adventures Adventure Centre. Most activities will be available over the course of the Race Weekend, including the kingswing, ziplines, and paintball. 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.
6. 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.
Just over a week to go!! It’s too early to predict the Race Weekend weather just yet but what is certain is that the rains kick off next week! Make sure you’re properly acquainted with the Compulsory Equipment lists and that you pack accordingly for all conditions. https://www.runtheberg.co.za/race-info/equipment-list/
With the recent relaxation of Covid Lockdown restrictions on outdoor event participation numbers, we have extended entries until midnight Sunday 26 September 2021. If you know anybody still interested in entering let them know and they can enter directly at www.runtheberg.co.za
2. Registration, race-numbers and shirt collection
Registration will be at the Race Village at All Out Adventures on Friday 1 October 2021 from 14h30 until 18h00, where runners will be able to collect their Race Shirts and Race Numbers. Limited participant numbers and extended Registration hours mean that the process should flow smoothly with no backlogs or traffic jams, but please remember that mask rules and social distance guidelines with be applicable throughout. Runners arriving early on Saturday will be able to register and collect their stuff at All Out Adventures from 05h30 to 07h00 on Saturday.
3. COVID-19 screening
Runners will be asked to complete a questionnaire and disclaimer and to have their temperatures taken at Registration.
4. Race Briefing
There will be no physical Race Briefing on Friday evening. Runners will be requested to continue to their accommodation once they have completed the Registration process. The main Race Briefing will be communicated to runners on Thursday 30 September by email. We will have shorter Briefings before each Batch at the Start on both mornings.
5. Start/Finish logistics
The Start for Day Two, and the Finish on both days will be at the Race Village at All Out Adventures. 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.
Shuttle times from All Out Adventures are:
Extreme – 06h00-06h30
Challenge – 07h00-07h30
Lite – 07h30-07h45
If you are registering on Saturday morning please make sure that you give yourself enough time to register and catch the shuttle to the Start of your race.
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. The shuttle will be the signature Runtheberg open-back cattle truck, which those of you returning Runthebergers know and love. 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 2021 Start Times:
Extreme – 07h00 (Day One & Two)
Challenge – 08h00 (Day One & Two)
Lite – 08h15 (Day One & Two)
6. Batched starts
As always we will have batching at the Start. COVID-era races tend to be less competitive so there is less pressure for racing snakes to ensure a front-line start. Batching will be done on a self-seeding basis and the priority will be adequate social distancing within Batch Pounds. 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.
7. 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.
8. Water Tables, hydration & nutrition
There is one station on Day One for the Challenge at approximately 8km in, and two stations 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. There are no stations on the Lite. All Water Tables will be well stocked with crystal clear refreshing Drakensberg natural water, and most will also have Coke. Water Tables will be manned by marshals who will assist with pouring water into runners’ hydration packs and/or cups to minimise surface contact and eliminate sharing. Remember that runtheberg is officially designated as a “carry-your-own’ event so all runners need to have their own cups/flasks/bottles. We will be providing a small range of wrapped snack options at the tables, but nutrition requirements, especially important for Extreme runners, are each participant’s own responsibility, as are any additional hydration needs. Social distance guidelines will be observed at all stations.
9. Lunch Vouchers
All runners will be given Lunch Vouchers for delicious signature Runtheberg lunch rolls (including vegetarian options) redeemable after your run on both days.
10. Saturday Sundowners at Montusi
A firm Runtheberg favourite that was put on hold due to covid-19 is back. We will once again be having Sundowners at the glorious Montusi Dam from 16h00 on Saturday afternoon! Bring cash and cameras!
For those mindful trail runners (and we know there are a lot) there will be a free professionally post run yoga session on Saturday afternoon at 15h00 at the Montusi Dam. Bring your yoga mats and take advantage of this unique opportunity to stretch tired muscles and relax stimulated minds in the shadow of the Amphitheatre!
Sports physio specialists will be on hand over the course of the weekend to work on sore legs and tight hamstrings and anything else that ails. Bookings can be made with the physios directly at Registration on Friday or alternately on a first-come first-served basis over the weekend. Sessions will be charged at R480/40min session.
13. Face masks
Masks will be a feature of the weekend. They will be required at the Race Village in all public spaces and at all Starts. Runners will be required to wear their masks for approximately the first kilometre of the race on both days until the fields open up and runners are well spread out from each other. For most of the trail you will be able to mask-down and enjoy the South African sun and mountain air on your face. Masks will not be required at Water Tables provided social distance guidelines are adhered to. Runners are asked to be responsible and to use common sense – if you find yourself standing around in a group of people anywhere on the mountain, mask up. Next year with most people fully vaccinated we hope to be able to see our runners’ smiles in full view once more!
In terms of COVID-19 Regulations NO spectators are allowed at sporting events and this goes for Runtheberg 2021. As an alternative, most activities at All Out Adventures will be open on both Saturday and Sunday.
15. Community Shoe Drive
Don’t forget the awesome Runtheberg tradition of re-homing your previously loved running shoes (and any other running kit you don’t wear much anymore). They are all given a new lease on life and put to fantastic use with the well-deserving local stars!
16. Training Tip #3
Keep to your routine! By now you should be tapering, or at least easing 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.
Also in this last week or so focus on healthy and balanced nutrition and ease up on the all night jol sessions! And, importantly, take the time to make sure that you have and are comfortable with all of your necessary kit and equipment.
6 WEEKS TO GO! Your training should 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!
The first question we are getting asked at the moment is whether the race is going ahead in light of the covid-19 restrictions. The answer, categorically, is YES! While the situation remains extremely fluid the prevailing restrictions allow us to go ahead with some limitations on participation numbers. We expect this to continue to be the case and in fact for restrictions to be eased in the coming weeks as (hopefully) the 3rd wave numbers start to drop. We will obviously keep everyone posted of any developments in this regard.
For those of you who are new to the Runtheberg experience, our popular Pre-Race Briefing emails provide an important source of race information and cover a wide range of topics such as race prep, travel & logistics, and the race weekend itself. In this first Pre-Race Briefing we touch on things that should help in these last few weeks before the race, hopefully giving you all enough time to plan, prepare and purchase as necessary. As always, should anybody have any questions not addressed in the briefings, we ask that you feel free to contact us at any time.
If you have entered online but not yet paid please be aware that your entry is not yet confirmed. To complete entries please just go into your entry online (the same way you entered in the first place using your ID number) and follow the Proceed to Payment instructions.
At this point we are balancing our capacity with the covid restrictions, and there are still entries available for both Challenge and Extreme races. Once entries are closed all unpaid entries fall away.
This is something we take very seriously at Runtheberg. Many of you will be aware of the disaster that occurred at a trail race in China this year, where we were tragically reminded of the consequences of inadequate or unenforced safety protocols. You will be running in real mountains, and as every experienced trail runner knows, they can be unpredictable and dangerous. Having the right gear or item of safety equipment at the right time could literally mean the difference between life and death. That space blanket or rain jacket that seems redundant when you’re packing or even on the bright sunlit morning of the race could just save your life when the weather turns fast on the mountain or you lose the trail and get lost or fall and injure yourself. There is a comprehensive weather-graded list of required equipment on our website. Please familiarise yourself with this list and ensure that you have everything that you may need. There will be random compulsory equipment kit checks at the Start and at various points on the trails. Anybody seen to be visibly not carrying any item of compulsory equipment at the start will not be permitted to start; similarly anybody visibly not carrying any item of compulsory equipment at any point on the course will be pulled off and not permitted to continue; similarly anybody found at the finish to not be carrying any item of compulsory equipment will be sanctioned in the race organiser’s discretion, which sanction may include disqualification.
Headphones: We have been fairly lenient with this in the past but in line with World Athletics rules and most of the big international trail events we are making it clear that the wearing of headphones at any point on the Runtheberg course is not permitted for safety reasons. Anybody seen by any race official to be using headphones on the course will be warned, and repeat offenders may be disqualified.
3. Race Hydration & Nutrition
Water Tables will be placed the same as always (see Maps & Profiles here ) BUT due to covid protocols they will not be the social smorgasboards that Runthebergers have enjoyed in the past. They will be basic water-drops. We will make sure that every runner has access to more than enough water along the route, so you need only carry a minimum of the compulsory amounts required (see above) or enough to get you to the next water table. But you will need to be self-sufficient as far as nutrition goes. Please make sure you have enough food to get you through your race, whether you’re a light snacker or a full feaster. Sweepers will be carrying some extra energy gels in case of emergencies, but if you run out of food up there it’s going to be a long day out.
Carry your own: In line with both covid-19 protocols and global trends towards environmental consciousness at trail events, Runtheberg is proudly a “Carry Your Own” event. What this means is that we will not have cups of any sort at the Water Tables. Runners will be required to carry their own portable / collapsible cups and/or flasks, bladders or other containers that they will be able to drink from and refill.
4. Runtheberg Community Shoe Drive
Most of you know this already but here is a reminder – together with some of the local running community leaders we will be collecting running shoes for the benefit of the development runners in the region. We all know how those old running shoes pile up in our cupboards, and these guys really do make good use of them. Please start putting those shoes aside now – trail shoes, road runners, cross-trainers, the lot – and don’t forget to bring them down with you on race weekend. We have also received many requests about old running clothing – the answer is easy, if you have any old running kit in any kind of reasonable form, bring it down! It will also get a new lease on life and be very appreciated by the runners down here.
If you haven’t booked your accommodation you had better get on it. Check out the Accommodation Page on our website for additional info
6. Training Tip #1
We are proud that the usual Runtheberg 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. Here is Tip #1 – 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 carry. 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 actually 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!
7. Training Tip #2
Climbing! As expected with true mountain running, you should expect some nice climbing at Runtheberg. As such, the more that climbing is a big part of your race training program the better prepared you will be. Unfortunately many of us live in cities or in places where there are not a lot of natural climbing options, but as they say where there’s a will there’s a way. Stairs, either outdoors in naturally hilly suburbs like Westcliff in JHB, or in actual multi-storey buildings, are one way to work those quads. Another way would be to take advantage of one or more of the various step machines available at most gyms. But one way or another make it happen – you will be grateful come race day!