Pre Race Communications #4

Runthebergers!

Almost….

1. Weather & Compulsory Kit

The forecasts are improving and we are starting to be hopeful BUT at this point there is enough likelihood of rain that we are officially calling Variable Weather Conditions insofar as the Compulsory & Recommended Equipment List goes https://www.runtheberg.co.za/race-info/equipment-list/ Please make sure you are prepared for the worst and have everything required on the List and more just in case. Please expect kit spot-check at the Starts, Finishes and along the routes. We will make our final weather call closer to kick-off.

2. Water Tables

The Route Profiles give the best sense of Water Station positions https://www.runtheberg.co.za/route-profiles/ There is one station per day for the Challenge, both at approximately 8km in. 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!

3. Cut-Off Times

In accordance with our Runtheberg tradition and in the interests of runner safety to ensure that no runners risk being stuck out in the mountains in the dark, the Runtheberg Race Organisers 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 by no later than 15h00. Any runners not through by that time will be stopped and transported back to the Race Village.

4. Lunch Vouchers

Each runner is due a fantastic gourmet wors / salad roll from local culinary legend The Phatt Chef on both days after their run. You will find lunch vouchers in your Goodie Bags – take care of them: no voucher no lunch!

5. Social Media

  • Make sure you all Check In to the Runtheberg 2017 Event on Facebook!
  • POST! POST! POST! Tag @runtheberg #runtheberg #runtheberg2017
  • COMPETITION & PRIZES – we will be running a competition this year judging the best pictures / video clips / selfie-interviews posted on our Facebook page. We’re looking for weirdest / wildest / funniest / best action shot etc. Great Runtheberg prizes to winners, Race Organiser’s decision is final, regardless of how random!

6. Runtheberg 2017 Kit

Due to an overwhelming response to the super cool kit that was available online from Anatomic, there will be some stock for sale at Registration, including the awesome peaks, long-sleeve running shirts and long-sleeve t-shirts. Limited sizes only.

7. Roadworks

Very little of significance to report this year. Runners coming from Gauteng watch for some work after Harrismith towards Sterkfontein Dam that you’ll just need to concentrate on if you’re driving in the dark.

The trails are marked and are in spectacular condition! We look forward to seeing you all tomorrow. Safe travels and enjoy the drive!

The Runtheberg Team

Pre Race Communications #3

Hey Runthebergers!

Can you smell the mountain air yet?!?!

A few days to go! Your training is done (or not as the case may be but it’s too late anyway), nothing left to do but enjoy the rest days, drink lots of water, eat lots of greens and get some sleep.

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 it looks like we’re going to get some. It’s not looking terrible but the forecasts are definitely predicting rain. Obviously with runner safety as our primary concern, this does have a couple of implications in terms of things like Compulsory Equipment and Start Times, which we deal with below.

2. Compulsory Equipment

By now you should all be quite well acquainted with this list https://www.runtheberg.co.za/race-info/equipment-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 – although temperatures don’t look too bad, remember that it is way colder when you’re wet, 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 you’ll likely be running in the rain, 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 30 September

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

18h00 Race Briefing @ All Out Adventures

Saturday 1 October

05h30 Venue Opens

05h30-06h30 Limited Registration @ All Out Adventures

06h00-06h30 Extreme Shuttle from All Out Adventures

06h45 Extreme Briefing @ Cavern

07h00 Extreme Start

07h00-07h30 Challenge Shuttle

07h45 Challenge Briefing

08h00 Challenge Start

Sunday 2 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

(* Due to the expected weather conditions the Day Two Starts have been moved out by half an hour, so Start Times are different to originally advised)

5. Runtheberg Community Shoe Drive

Don’t forget those shoes, and also any other items of running gear and equipment that could come in handy for aspiring trailrunners! ESPECIALLY SOCKS!!

6. Previous Briefings

https://www.runtheberg.co.za/category/pre-race-communications/

Just in case you missed them, please see previous Pre-Race Briefings here for info on things like Day One Logistics and Transport to the Start at The Cavern, the Batched Starts and Self-seeding, Physio facilities, Spectator activities at the Race Village etc.

7. Training Tip #3

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 J 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 yu 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 few more sleeps!

The Runtheberg Team

Pre Race Communications #2

Hey Runthebergers!

Yep, it is now close enough to start worrying about the Race Weekend weather! According to an aggregation of such wonderfully accurate sources as AccuWeather, Wunderground and WindGuru, we can expect anything from bright sunshine to raging storms! Seriously though, whatever Donald Trump says, climate change is a thing and the weather is quite unpredictable and potentially quite extreme at the moment. It does look like there is a fair chance of some rain next weekend, so make sure you have (and remember to pack) all of your Compulsory & Recommended Kit https://www.runtheberg.co.za/race-info/equipment-list/ We will keep you updated as we get closer to the time.

1. Entries and Substitutions

As most of you will have seen, Runtheberg 2017 is full, the Waiting List is closed and no further substitutions are allowed between now and the Race.

2. Registration

Registration will take place at the Race Village at All Out Adventures on Friday afternoon 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 centered 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. Please note that exact Start times will be communicated closer to the time.

4. 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.

5. Nutrition Partner – Racefood

Continuing a relationship that started with the very first Runtheberg event, we are proud to once again have Racefood as our official Nutrition Partner. Anybody who has ever had to dig deep on a tough trail will know how important it is to have the right food, and anybody who has been able to pull a FASTbar or FARbar out of their pack also knows that Racefood is the right food. Made entirely from natural ingredients with no additives, colourants or flavouring, the FASTbar provides the perfect mix of simple and complex carbs for sustained energy with no sugar spike, while the FARbar is a prolonged energy release for when you need longer lasting energy, ideal for demanding endurance events. For those of you who have not yet had the chance to enjoy one of their new Salted Apricot or Apple, Pear & Cinnamon flavours, you’re in for a treat!

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Training Tip #2

In our last Training Tip we spoke about training with weight on your back. Now take that weight and climb! Those of you lucky enough to have hills serious enough for hill training in close proximity, hit them. For probably the majority of you who don’t, stair-training is a great alternative. Climbing is probably the feature of trail running that most destroys even the quickest roadies. Get used the knee-action, the quad-burn, and what it feels like to be busting a gut while you’re not even running. There is still enough time to benefit from some good hill work, BUT take care at this stage not to overdo anything.

For those of you who did not get Pre-Race Briefing #1, you can find it at https://www.runtheberg.co.za/pre-race-communications-1/. As ever, feel free to give us a shout, and in the meantime keep running, climbing and getting dirty!

Counting Down!

The Runtheberg Team

Pre Race Communications #1

Hey Runthebergers!

You might have seen the news on social media but if not we can confirm that Runtheberg 2017 is full and entries have been closed. If you know anyone who woke up late and still wants to enter, the door might not be completely shut – tell them to go to www.runtheberg.co.za and to register on the Waiting List. Experience has taught us that there is always a chance…

Three weeks to go! Your training should almost be done 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 😀

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 touch on 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 couple of 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.

1. Runtheberg 2017 Kit

In addition to the fantastic Technical Race Shirts you will be getting as part of your Runtheberg 2017 entries, we are very excited, together with our kit partner Anatomic, to offer an incredible range of specially designed and proudly-South African manufactured unique race garments exclusively available to you 2017 Runthebergers! And at unbeatable prices! Images and online purchases here – http://www.weardirect.co.za/kind-product/run-berg-0 Act fast – these items will only be available for purchase for one week so that orders can be produced in time for Race Weekend collection!

2. Compulsory & Recommended Equipment

This is something we take very seriously at Runtheberg. 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 at https://www.runtheberg.co.za/race-info/equipment-list/ Please familiarize 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, and the Race Organisers reserve the right to pull you off the course if you are missing anything that you are required to have. ANYBODY SEEN TO BE VISIBLY NOT CARRYING ANY ITEM OF COMPULSORY EQUIPMENT AT THE START WILL NOT BE PERIMITTED 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.

Introduction of Rule – Headphones: We have been fairly lenient with this in the past but in line with IAAF 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 offendors may be disqualified.

3. 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.

4. Adventure Physio

Claire and her brilliant trail-running specialist team from Adventure physio will once again be providing a much needed rubdown, repair and recovery service at the Race Village. Please be sure to contact them in advance at claire@adventurephysio.co.za to secure your bookings.

5. Training Tip #1

We are proud to know that the 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. This is usually new to road runners, but 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. 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!

See you all soon!

The Runtheberg Team