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.
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 http://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 – 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.
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