Two more sleeps! and WOW, have we got the perfect day for some awesome trail running! AccuWeather has us with a chilly but convenient low of 5C and a very manageable high of 18C, with partly sunny conditions and some cloud to keep things a bit cooler towards midday. It promises to be brisk at Registration and the Start, so be prepared and get there early enough to enjoy a hot cup of something from Cafe 88.
For those of you who had not entered yet or who might not have seen it, here is the link to Pre-race Briefing #1. Read it.
We are expecting a good turnout on Saturday, so make sure you get there with plenty of time to spare. We will also prioritise pre-entries (meaning YOU guys) over Race Day Entries, so if you come with friends who still have to enter, you make sure you register first and let them sort their entries out at the separate tables.
5km runners you can ignore this 🙂 your route is fantastically straightforward and easy to follow.
For the rest of you guys, this is the most important piece of any information you might receive. Please read this carefully, apply your mind and think about what it means. We do this because experience seriously shows that people do NOT listen at Race Day Briefings, although we will still repeat this for you at the Start of your race.
Although the Start times are 30min apart so as to avoid as much congestion on the trails as possible, the 10km and the 20km races share a significant proportion of their respective routes. This will not be a problem in terms of traffic, but this is what it means in terms of marking:
The first approximately 8km of trail are marked with WildJoburg specific marking boards with BOTH Red (10km) AND Blue (20km) directional arrows. Picture examples can be seen on yesterday’s post on the WildJoburg Facebook Page. At about 8km, the 20km runners will peel off and head right, to be stretched, battered and bruised for another 10km or so, following their WildJoburg specific marking boards with Blue directional arrows only, while 10km runners will head left and follow a couple of WildJoburg specific marking boards with Red arrows only. The 20km runners will eventually rejoin the main route with about 2.5km to go, so the last stretch will again be common to both races, and runners will again follow the WildJoburg marking boards with BOTH Red AND Blue arrows.
Two very important things to remember – first, although there will be no bikers allowed on the trails on Race Day, the Thaba Nature Reserve is generally a multi-use facility, so there are other markers that are used at other times by our mountain-biking brethren etc. IGNORE EVERYTHING THAT IS NOT A WILDJOBURG SPECIFIC MARKING BOARD!! Second, a huge amount of work has gone into ensuring that ANY possible point of uncertainty has been marked with a WildJoburg arrow board, OR is clearly indicated with red & white danger tape closing off where you should NOT be going, OR will be manned by marshals. Experienced trail runners will know because they have learnt the hard way – do NOT just follow the crowd. Concentrate on the routes and the marking at all times for YOURSELF, and be aware of where you are going at all times. Statistically, individual trail runners almost NEVER get lost, while groups tend to get lost with depressing regularity. Enjoy the legendary trail runner cameraderie, but also concentrate on the route while you make new friends on the trails.
Lastly, in the roughly 3km – 8km section on the open plain where you are likeliest to spot game and the running is the fastest, you are also likely to be able to see other runners on different sections of the trail – ignore them and do NOT be fooled into thinking that just because you see other runners that that is the direction you need to be running! Concentrate on your own section of trail and the route markings! NOBODY should get lost if they follow these instructions.
Please also be aware that all three races will be covered by our very experienced, super capable and uber friendly WildJoburg Sweepers making sure that everybody gets home safely.
That’s probably enough to think about for now! Looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday 🙂