Route Description: Taking on Ribbok Trail
On the first day you will follow the well-known Ribbok Hiking Trail – 27km of pretty magical stuff, but also hard work. We thought we’d get the hardest day of the 3 out of the way – so take it easy, there are some big mountains waiting for you.
Look out for some waterfalls, rock pools, Eland, Ribbok and loads of other game. The route is narrow and in some places really rocky, so watch your step. Unfortunately, we will not be able to take you through Cathedral Cave due to it being really unsafe.
You have two relatively big climbs, the biggest one of the two right at the start – Generaalkop. Other nicknames such as Kneebrake, Moedbreek, Hartbreek and Inbreek should give you an indication of what this mountain is all about. All I can say is one step at a time… and it’s pretty good getting to the other side of the mountain and into the valley.
The second half is a bit easier, but know that you still have some climbing to do before descending into the rest camp. It is not nearly as hard as the first climb, but it will definitely test the legs. The route will also take you over the legendary Brandwag Mountain, a signature of the Golden Gate.
Water tables: 2 tables on this route with 3 check points
Route Description: Exploring Little Serengeti
Things are a bit different this year, as we will no longer have a bus trip to the start but will run from the race village. You will have 1km from the race village to get into position before you hit single track, so find your position as you are in for some proper trails. On this day, you will explore the other “unexplored” side of the park – the side where hikers and the public are not allowed… except you, of course.
I’m not going to talk about the start too much, as I’m sure many of you will hate me for the first 6km. The start is tough. After about 4km of proper warm-up, you will know what I’m talking about until you hit the 6km mark. It’s a big rocky climb to the top, but once you’re there, welcome to the Little Serengeti. You will be greeted by herds of Zebra, Eland, Bontebok, Hartebeest, and Wildebeest, as far as the eye can see. Vast mountains and rolling hills await as you meander your way around the park. Old Jeep track and management roads will make the running a bit easier and be a welcome treat after Day 1’s single track.
At about 15km, you will take a turn towards the Highlands Mountain Retreat, where you will take on some single track and some good climbing. Once at the top, you will have the best view ever of the whole park and can look forward to a long downhill all the way home!
Water tables: 3 tables on this route with 3 check points
Route Description: Just love the sunrise. For every up there’s a down…
It’s up and then down, and I’m sure you won’t find a bigger uphill and downhill on any race, but then again the views match the effort. We’re taking you right to the top – 2 438m!
Yep, it’s a big climb to the top, and then you can enjoy the gorgeous sunrise right on top of the mountain. Your breakfast water table will await you there – so take some time, breathe easy and just love life.
As you make your way down the mountain, you can truly look forward to a well-deserved event trophy as you have just conquered one of the hardest trail runs in the country.
Water tables: 2 tables on this route with 2 check points
Please be sure to bring a headlamp that will be able to last for no less than 1 hour.