On the 4th and 5th of October 2014
A two day trail run in the Drakensberg, what could be better? Nothing - I really enjoyed this race!
This was my first attempt at really proper trail running race. There was compulsory equipment that I had to use. Each day was 25 kms which is a little challenging considering the mountains.
The cost was R600 which I think is reasonable for a two day race. It looked like quite a major event to put together. Friday evening was registration where we got a t-shirt, energy gels and a map. The map had a profile of the route which they went through during the race briefing. The race briefing was a bit scary with all the warnings and things to look out for during the race. (What to do during a fire and a snake bite)
This was the toughest day we went up, up and further up to the top of a massive mountain. Thanks to the rain and cold during the previous week it was quite cold, wet and misty. The route was very challenging some of the way up. I needed to use hands and knees to get up some steep areas. I couldn’t believe some of the steep sections, the challenge was not to look down and freak out. At the top we had some pretty spectacular views even with the mist. Finally coming down after conquering a number of peaks was another hair raising experience with one section having a rope to help you down. I held onto this rope for dear life while destroying my hands (next time gloves). If you haven’t realised by now I’m not so hot with heights. This first day for me was not much of a run but more like a serious hike. The result showed, 4h:15min for 25 km which is slow. I wore a ‘thermal base layer’ (long sleeve vest) the entire day because it was pretty cold on the top of the mountain.
It felt very flat after the previous day. This helped with the sore legs as there was just one steep hill to summit. I managed to grab a selfie up at the top to prove I did the race, day 1 was so tough I felt it too hard to pull out my phone for a pic. Day 2 was fairly warm so the water points were welcomed for extra coolant. We went through a nice cave/waterfall section in the beginning which was pretty. I did 3h:16min for this day which shows you Day 1 was tough.
They were really good with juice, water and a bunch of snacks (biltong, sweets, potatoes and chips). Friendly people too! You definitely needed the compulsory 2l of water on your back to get through this race even with the 2 water points.
There was a beer stand which I made full use of after finishing. We also received 2 free wors roll vouchers to use over the weekend which was very thoughtful (they were good). The commentator was very lively and entertaining handing over spot prizes for odd things, people in yellow, anyone that got lucky last night. Prize giving was good, the overall winner did half my time to win.
Held at All Out Adventures which is like a joint that does anything from obstacle courses to zip lining. I ended up camping 15min away from the start at MAHAI which was great they had good facilities and it was cheap for 2 nights. Traveling down sucked because there was a 10-20km section of road that was in the process of being fixed so it was a massive crappy dirt road.
I will do this race again, its given me some confidence to try a trail run longer in distance and days. I enjoyed the hell out of this race, I did the extreme and it was definitely extreme (Day 1).