RICHTERSVELD TRANSFRONTIER WILDRUN 2016 – Entries close soon!

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“The simple act of running, placing one foot in-front of the other as a method of transport takes us back to our roots, our basic instincts. In search of a place to sleep, to hunt for food; it is about being in the wild, surviving and fulfilling a primal need.”

Richtersveld Wildrun | Avaunt Magazine-1

VIEW ON AVAUNT HERE

Join 2015 Marathon des Sables champion, Elisabet Barnes, South Africa’s unstoppable Linda Doke and the UK’s Tobias Mews in the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.

Linda Doke, Zinal, Switzerland - image ©iancorless.com

Linda Doke, Zinal, Switzerland – image ©iancorless.com

The 2015 edition of the race was an incredible, mind-blowing journey but in 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.

Elisabet Barnes 2016 The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica (2nd place lady).

Elisabet Barnes 2016 The Coastal Challenge, Costa Rica (2nd place lady).

Known as one of the most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar the Richtersveld Wildrun™ takes a new direction and in doing so become a cross-border trail running event; a worlds first! Extending to a linear 200km race, the five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia goes through the heart of the stunning /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!”said Owen Middleton,” MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

Tobias Mews, The Dragon's Back Race 2015.

Tobias Mews, The Dragon’s Back Race 2015.

Including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders, the new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition but on day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia. Yes, the race will go into the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon made famous by Ryan Sandes.

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It’s no easy addition to the race, runners will need to cover 50km into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle. Rich in wildlife, runners will have a once in a lifetime experience with a possibility of seeing Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe. It’s the race of a lifetime!

Tobia Mews is no stranger to incredible races, his recent book release called ’50 Race To Run Before You Die’ looks like it will need a new chapter, 51 Races…

“I am so looking forward to this race. For me it’s the epitome of adventure running wrapped up in one of the most stunning places on earth. And it’s partly Ian Corless‘s fault for producing such amazing photos from last year.” – Tobias Mews

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After a long, tough day in Namibia, runners will spend the evening in a canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Race dates are 13-17 June 2016

ENTRY CLOSES VERY SOON, APRIL 1st

International entries HERE

European entries HERE

The overall race distance for 2016 will be 200km and the daily distances will be – 36.3km + 32.1km + 34km + 48.3km + 21.3km.

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Terrain is very mixed, varied and stunning and requires adaptation to sandy terrain, heat, climbing, remoteness and an ability to run with a GPS.

Need help with multi-day training? join our 2017 multi-day training camp in Lanzarote.

Details are HERE

Multi-Day Camp Image

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience.”

 

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If you need inspiration, check out the film from 2015 below.

You can also view photo galleries HERE

Richtersveld Wildrun™ goes TRANSFRONTIER

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After two years the Richtersveld Wildrun™ has become known as one of the toughest, most scenic and unique trail running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar. In 2016 however, this iconic event takes on a new shape to become the first cross-border trail running event in the world; extending to a linear 200km, five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia through the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-0939“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place  – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun™ events.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay42015-0946The new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition, including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders. On day 4, the route will veer of its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia and the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon. This 50km day will take runners into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle and rich in wildlife such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0853After a long, tough day, runners will spend the evening in the canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.

Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event.

“This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun™, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience,” he said.

©iancorless.com_RichtersveldRaceDay32015-0449Tamaryn Middleton, general manager of Wildrunner, was very excited to launch the new route and said:

“To be the first to cross an international border in a trail running event and to be in such an iconic part of Namibia as the Fish River Canyon is awesome – we can’t wait to take a new group of adventurers on this epic journey.”

The Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun™ will take place from 13-17 June 2016 and entries will open 21 October 2015 

Interested? Contact the UK agents for the race using the contact form below.

Richtersveld Wildrun 2015 Day 4

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The final day of the 2015 Richtersveld Wildrun concluded today with a course record day for Thabang Madiba and Katya Soggot.

It was a tough final day with technical trail, tough climbs, technical descents and amazing views.

James Cracknell was a no start to day 4, his swollen ankle far too painful to run on. James had handled the previous days mountains in his stride but the flatter 10km of the course was just too much. Reduced to a walk he contemplated undertaking the final day but during the night the pain continued and ultimately he made the correct call. At 38.3km it was a challenging last day that started with a long and steady climb over the first 17.5km to Akkedis Pass and then the fun started. Technical trail, ridge running, single track, slip sliding descents and incredible crystal fields would lead the runners once again to the Orange River and the finish in Sendlingsdrif. For many, it was a day of running together, overall classifications wouldn’t change and in the spirit of running for fun, the whole field embraced the last day and enjoyed it. However, one person decided that a course record was possible.

Thabang arrived at the technical ridges at Halfmens Ridge running like a man possessed, shifting from left foot to right foot he made the terrain look easy. He was on a mission and he did it. A final day course record confirmed his incredible skill and ability on this tough, challenging and incredibly beautiful course. Katya Soggot was once again crowned ladies champ and Nikki Kimball secured 2nd place ahead of Karoline Hanks.

Results Overall

Thabang Madiba 13:55:38

Dayle Wheeler 15:16:24

Filippo Faralla 16:46:25

 

Katya Soggot 15:26:57 (3rd overall)

Nikki Kimball 16:31:20 (4th Overall)

Karoline Hanks 16:46:19 (5th overall)

 

Full results HERE

Men:

Sandes in the Canyon

Ryan Sandes has just set a new record for the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Ryan had to abandon his Fish River Canyon Trail Run record attempt in 2011 due to heavy rains. The record for the 85km trail run was originally set on the 13th of July 1990 by South Africans Ronnie Muhl and Bruce Matthews – both seasoned Comrades runners – in a time of 11hrs 42min. It was then beaten by 3 Namibian locals Russell Paschke, Charlie du Toit and Coenraad Pool on the 16th of August 2003 in a time of 10hrs 54min.

Not liking to be beaten, Ryan decided he would have another go at the record in August 2012.

Charlie du Toit is quoted as saying  “This canyon is not for the faint hearted and an attempt to run it should not be taken light heartedly”.

Ryan had this to say:

“I know this challenge is going to extremely tough, especially coming off the back of my running the Western States 100miler in the USA at the end of June, but I can’t wait to get back into the canyon. The record attempt will be filmed by the African Attachment / Wandering Fever so I will keep everyone posted on where and when you can watch it,” 

copyright Ryan Sandes

The Fish River Hiking Trail starts at Hobas and ends 85 kilometres (53 mi) further south at Ai Ais. The trail has no facilities and hikers usually fast pack through in 3 to 5 days. Ryan completed the trail in an impressive time just sneaking under 7 hours with a time of 6:57.

Due to flash floods and high summer temperatures which frequently exceed 45°C, the hike is only open in winter. The season starts 1 May and ends 15 September (winter time in the Southern Hemisphere).

Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep.

The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river usually floods in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is situated.

Upstream the river runs through horizontal dolomite strata. These strata formed part of the canyon about 650 million years ago when plate movement cracked the earth, the first process in the formation of the Fish River Canyon.

Lower down, a granite complex system is exposed to form a characteristic river bed that results in forms like Fingerspitze. In this area, a fault runs north-south, which accounts for the gorge-like channel and the presence of hot sulphurous springs.

You can read more about Ryan here

You may like to listen to Talk Ultra and our interview with Ryan here

The African Attachment who have documented Ryan’s career and are making a film about him can be checked out here

Information on the Fish River Canyon is available here