Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun 2016 – Stage Three

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Golden light illuminated the ‘Springbok Flats’ and moody blue clouds provided a stunning contrast to the opening miles of day 3 of the 2016 Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun.

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It was a stunning start to the day. As the runners progressed across the flats, they were spotlit as they worked their way to one of the key highlights not only of the day but the whole Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun – the Tattasberg Boulders.

Race images are available at iancorless.photoshelter.com

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Huge balls of rock, some the size of houses, leave an impression on the mind and eyes. Following a line of markers (the only section of the race to be marked for safety reasons) the runners weaved a route up, over and around the huge marbles of stone and at the top they then worked their way down to the valley and a downhill run to the Orange River. Across the water, Namibia and stage 4 of the race.©iancorless.com_Richtersveld2016_Day3-4286

But first, 10km’s of sandy trails would lead in to camp and the stunning setting on the banks of the river.

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As per day 2, the race had several start times, the first starting 1hour earlier than day 2 – 0700, 0730, 0800 and 0830.

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David Kaswarie, Tobias Mews and Jo Williams dictated the earlier pace to cp1 and then David pulled away and opened up a gap. At one point he had gained 15 minutes but after the Tattasberg boulders, the flat running allowed Tobias and Jo to close the gap to 10 minutes at the Orange River and below 5 minutes at the finish line. David finished in 4:08 and Tobias and Jo 4:10. David must really be kicking himself with his error on day 1, he would now be leading the race…

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Elisabet Barnes found her legs today and after the run she said, “I had a great day today, I was worried about the boulders but I loved the section and once we got into the final 15km i could run, I love to run and it was great to open up my stride and gain some time!”

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Linda Doke by contrast had a less successful day, “There was too much running today, I prefer the more technical stuff.” Linda lost time to Elisabet Barnes but her 2nd place is still secure.

In the men’s race, Tobias Mews still holds a convincing lead as does Jo Williams in the ladies race.

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Tomorrow, the runners go ‘transfrontier’ and cross into Namibia and the Fish River Canyon.

Stage Results day three:

David Kaswarie 4:08:11

Tobias Mews and Jo Williams 4:10:04

Daniel Meyes 4:42:48

Elisabet Barnes 4:46:41

John Cuff 4:53:09

Sue Peterkin 5:11:52

Linda Doke 5:12:37

Ryno Bakkes 5:18:34

Christiaan Vorster 5:21:54

Ranking after stage 3

  1. Jo Williams 12:44:00
  2. Tobias Mews 13:03:02
  3. Dawid Kaswarie 13:29:29
  4. Daniel Meyes 1`4:46:48
  5. Stephen Cunliffe 14:52:07
  6. Linda Doke 14:54:10
  7. Elisabet Barnes 15:43:38

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Richtersveld Transfrontier Wildrun™ 2016

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I am fortunate to travel to many races and work as a photographer and journalist. In 2015, I traveled to South Africa with Nikki Kimball and Olympic rower, James Cracknell for the Richtersveld Wildrun.

It was an incredible experience and I have to say, a highlight of my year. I recently wrote in an online article for AVAUNT Magazine (HERE):

“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

In 2016, the race goes one step further and becomes ‘Transfrontier.’ The race will now pass over the Orange River and in to Namibia.

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.

“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.

The 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.

Race dates are 13-17 June 2016 and entries open midday October 21st

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.

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 training, join my 2016 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

 

If you would like more information please use the form below or use the above links.