Both the 20km and 40km routes provide beautiful views of the Gariep Dam and of the open Karoo landscape dotted with Karoo koppies. There are steep sections but overall the ascent is mild in trail running terms. A combination of vehicle tracks, dry waterways, animal paths and no paths are employed. Sections are rocky and suitable rough-terrain training is required.
Each route crosses twice under the R58 road. Runners on both routes will have to go through this low tunnel.
The race starts in Oviston Nature Reserve, right next to the race venue in the farm Schalkwykskraal. The water intake tower of the Orange-Fish River Tunnel in Oviston, 12 kilometres away, is visible from here. The 40km route keeps within a few hundred metres of the edge of the water for 7 kilometres then swings south, passing through a tunnel under the R58 (Colesberg – Venterstad road) to the first water point at Morning Glory Cottages, in the farm Gelykfontein. Leaving Morning Glory, a Karoo expanse opens up, mountains on the horizon in the far distance. About 20km into the race the hard work starts as the koppies are approached. Once the top of the koppies is reached the views of the dam and surrounds are spectacular. The route runs along the top of the koppies for 5km after which the second water point is reached. From here the route crosses back into Gelykfontein and descends into a gorge where simulaneous concentration on the rocky ground and admiration of the rock formations are required. Climbing out of the gorge, the route passes into Schalkwykskraal once more and a windy road is followed to another tunnel that goes under the R58. Once through the tunnel a dry stream’s sandy bed is navigated. This difficult patch doesn’t last long and the final sprint home follows.
The 20km route is the same as the 40km route initially but after 2 kilometres turns away from the water and heads to the koppies, where it again meets up with the 40km route.
There are no spectator points on the routes.
|Route||Cumulative Ascent||Estimated Duration||Water Point Positions|
|40km||479m||3½ to 8 hours||13,1km and 30,7km|
|20km||322m||2 to 6 hours||10,7km|