General

All routes start and finish at the race venue. A combination of vehicle tracks, dry waterways, animal paths and no paths are employed. There are steep sections but the total amount of climbing is mild in trail running terms.


Route Map

Running routes in white; property borders in yellow. There is a download button at the bottom of the page.


Route Details

Route NameDistanceTotal AscentDurationWater Point Positions*
60km61,0km800m6 to 12 hours11km (a), 21km (b), 34km (b), 52km (b)
40km40,6km480m3½ to 8 hours13km (b), 31km (b)
20km20,4km320m2 to 6 hours11km (b)
10km10,5km120m¾ to 2½ hours6km (a)
*Water point supplies: (a)= water & energy drink, (b)= water, energy drink, eats

Route Descriptions

60km

The 60km route is a combination of the 20km and 40km routes—see their descriptions below. The 20km section is completed first, starting at 04:00. Those who finish the 20km within 3 hours join the 40km group at 07:00, while those who take longer than 3 hours start with the 40km as soon as they have completed the 20km.

The water point on the 20km route will be unmanned when you pass there during the night but water and energy drink will be available.

40km

Oviston Nature Reserve
From the starting point at the venue on the farm Schalkwykskraal the route immediately enters Oviston Nature Reserve and runs along a two spoor vehicle track in the direction of Gariep Dam. The water intake tunnel of the Orange-Fish River Tunnel, 12km away as the crow flies, is visible from here. At a gravelly waterway the 20km splits to the right while the 40km continues along the water’s edge. At a tar road in the reserve, which intriguingly disappears into the water because it existed before the dam was built, the route turns away from the dam. A dirt section follows, then more tar before the route turns sharp right onto dirt road through beautiful grassland dotted with anthills, up to a storm water bridge where the reserve is exited by crawling under the border fence.

Gelykfontein (Open Veld Section)
The R58 Colesberg-Venterstad road is crossed under the storm water bridge to enter the farm Gelykfontein and Water Point 1 at Morning Glory Cottages. The route goes past stables and livestock camps and then enters the veld where it continues along a two spoor track. There are low koppies on the right and expansive veld with koppies in the far distance on the left. It is worth turning around and appreciating the views to the rear. The wide open views make the road feel long and one gets a feeling of the size of the Karoo farms. An out-of-place white caravan and a windpump are passed, a donga is crossed and a ladder for climbing over the fence into Schalkwykskraal is reached.

Schalkwykskraal (Koppies Section)
The route heads to the koppies along a two spoor track then weaves along them in the Direction of Gariep Dam. The route goes around the end koppie after which a steep climb along a gully takes one to the top of the koppies, from where the sight of the dam takes the breath away. A rocky section along the top of the koppie follows, then a short steep descent to the place where the 20km joins the 40km. A steep climb follows and the route continues along the top of the koppies with no clear path. At a View & Info point there is a short write-up about the geology of the Karoo and an explanation of a magmatic dyke which is visible from this point. Shortly hereafter a fence is crossed, from where a two spoor track leads to Water Point 2. Get a good look at the dam here, because the route now leads away from the view and a fence is crossed over, from Schalkwykskraal back into Gelykfontein.

Gelykfontein (Kloof Section)
The second Gelykfontein section starts with a nice downhill two spoor track. It crosses a rocky section and then descends into the Kloof (gorge) down a steep section with loose rocks. The rocks give way to sand and the track meanders downward along the gorge’s waterway and between trees. An “entrance gate” of stacked rocks (stacked by nature) introduces a magnificent section of weathered rock formations. Take a break on this uphill section to also look back to admire the vast landscape and the high koppies in the distance that lie on the Eastern Cape / Northern Cape border about 13km away. At the top of this section a fence is crossed, back onto Schalkwykskraal.

Schalkwykskraal (Fontein Section)
An easy-running two spoor track winds through grassland with a good view of Gariep Dam. The venue is visible from here and it seems the race is almost over, but the route turns away to the right along a dirt road, uphill in the direction of the koppies. At a rock slab the route turn off the dirt road along a waterway, over rocks and through furrows up to the “Fontein” (spring) which looks like a picnic spot. From here onwards the waterway is sandy, which makes for difficult running. At a fence the route leads out of the waterway and over a section of veld, then re-joins the waterway at the R58 road, which is crossed by crawling or crouch-walking through a low storm water tunnel. The route continues along the waterway, then along a section of cut grass until a dirt road is reached for an easy last kilometre to the finish.

20km

Oviston Nature Reserve
From the starting point at the venue on the farm Schalkwykskraal the route immediately enters Oviston Nature Reserve and runs along a two spoor vehicle track in the direction of Gariep Dam. The water intake tunnel of the Orange-Fish River Tunnel, 12km away as the crow flies, is visible from here. At a gravelly waterway the 40km continues along the water’s edge while the 20km splits to the right along a waterway. The windy waterway is exited at the reserve / Schalkwykskraal border fence which is crossed with a ladder.

Schalkwykskraal (Koppies Section)
A two spoor farm track is followed in an easterly direction, the dam clearly in view. The route then turns away from the dam to the direction of the koppies and passes under the R58 Colesberg-Venterstad road through a storm water tunnel. The route joins up with another two spoor track which leads up to a shelf along which the track continues until the route swing off it to the right, along a waterway. A steep climb leads to the point where the 20km route re-joins the 40km, after which further climbing leads to the the highest point on the route, at the top of the koppies. The route continues along the top of the koppies with no clear path. At a View & Info point there is a short write-up about the geology of the Karoo and an explanation of a magmatic dyke which is visible from this point. Shortly hereafter a fence is crossed, from where a two spoor track leads to Water Point 2. Get a good look at the dam here, because the route now leads away from the view and a fence is crossed over, from Schalkwykskraal back into Gelykfontein.

Gelykfontein (Kloof Section)
The Gelykfontein section starts with a nice downhill two spoor track. It crosses a rocky section and then descends into the Kloof (gorge) down a steep section with loose rocks. The rocks give way to sand and the track meanders downward along the gorge’s waterway and between trees. An “entrance gate” of stacked rocks (stacked by nature) introduces a magnificent section of weathered rock formations. Take a break on this uphill section to also look back to admire the vast landscape and the high koppies in the distance that lie on the Eastern Cape / Northern Cape border about 13km away. At the top of this section a fence is crossed, back onto Schalkwykskraal.

Schalkwykskraal (Fontein Section)
An easy-running two spoor track winds through grassland with a good view of Gariep Dam. The venue is visible from here and it seems the race is almost over, but the route turns away to the right along a dirt road, uphill in the direction of the koppies. At a rock slab the route turn off the dirt road along a waterway, over rocks and through furrows up to the “Fontein” (spring) which looks like a picnic spot. From here onwards the waterway is sandy, which makes for difficult running. At a fence the route leads out of the waterway and over a section of veld, then re-joins the waterway at the R58 road, which is crossed by crawling or crouch-walking through a low storm water tunnel. The route continues along the waterway, then along a section of cut grass until a dirt road is reached for an easy last kilometre to the finish.

10km

The 10km route initially follows the same path as the 20km but instead of climbing to the top it runs along the foot of the koppies, giving a good view of the rock formations as well as the dam. It re-joins the 20km and 40km routes just before the storm water tunnel that goes under the R58 road.

The storm water tunnel, located 1,7km from the finish, through which all the routes lead. Choose between stooping if you are small and supple, or crawling. (As from the 2022 event a carpet will be laid in the tunnel to make the crawling more comfortable.)

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