At 20:00 we had a very in depth race briefing accompanied by light snacks, prepared by Erika Grebe from Karoo Cuisine. Erika was our chef for the entire event, with the run spanning over 2 days and 65km.
The idea of the run was to combine Karoo food, hospitality, natural beauty and trail running. We succeeded, and can now confidently say that this trail run is known for having the best food around!
On Friday morning breakfast was at No. 8 Kerk Straat, where Erika prepared a delicious breakfast to fuel both runners and helpers. The run started at 8am sharp as the church bell tolled!
Day one was fairly flat and fast. The first part of the route had a lot of navigation and "through the veldt" running, and this resulted in a group of runners missing a crucial flag. Luckily they could be observed from the road with binoculars, and were shown the correct route. From town the runners went over Brandkraal, De Hoop, Waaikraal, Elofshoek, Elofskraal and finally ended up at Visgat on Landsig.
The first runner, Jakob Volmoer, arrived at Visgat at 11:15, and the last runners arrived around 14:30.
We had a relaxing day at Visgat and Erika treated the runners to a traditional evening braai, with skaap stertjies and all. We also hosted the Theron family from Landsig that evening, and all had a very enjoyable night, as light rain pattered on the roof.
Saturday morning saw a cold, early start, and with tired, aching bodies the runners greeted the cold with a stiff pace, as they set off down the vlak towards Toorfontein. From Toorfontein they started their long, gradual ascent towards Wolwekop, crossing into Misthoek. Day 2 was much more challenging with serious climbing over rocky terrain.
Jakob finished day 2 with a faster time than day one, and the last runners came in just before 16:00 as we all cheered them on from Misthoeks's hunting house.
Saturday night we had a formal, elegant dinner with white table cloths and a beautiful table setting. Erika spoiled us with Moroccan lamb shanks, which were paired beautifully with L'Avenir Pinotage. We were joined at the dinner by the Therons from Misthoek. After dinner there was a prize giving, followed by a lekker kuier well into the night, as the runners were finally able to relax, not having to run the next day.
Sunday morning we slept late, had a hot breakfast, and came back into town, parting from our new found friends with great memories and excitement for next year's race.
We definitely hope to make this an annual event as the response from the runners was very positive.
We would like to sincerely thank the following people:
Peet de Klerk, Kallie van Heerden, Boeta Grobler, Rikus Theron, and Jacques Theron for allowing us access to do this wonderful run, we really do appreciate it.
Erika Grebe from Karoo Cuisine for making this a culinary event of note.
Frans Retief for lending us his radios.
Adri Smit and Luane Stapelberg (from CMW) for setting up and manning the aid stations and taking photos. John Swanepoel for driving our sweep/backup vehicle. Linda van den Berg for being on standby as our first aid First Responder. Louw Kruger for helping Erika braai, Paul Avenant for the use of his bakkie, Naude Avenant for helping us obtain sponsorships, and each and every other person who helped make this run a success.
We would also like to thank our very generous sponsors:
Stihl, Vivo Barefoot, Ultraspire, Native Sport, Buffelsfontein Baardolie, CMW/OVK, PSG, Klein Tafelberg 4x4, L'Avenir Wines, Oasis Water, Citrusdal Cellars, Namaqua Wines, Stokkiesdraai, and Doenit.net
Event photos on our Facebook page, Karoo Running, or click here.
What some of the runners had to say:
This was one of the overall nicest races we've participated in. We were welcomed into the Karoo with open arms and spoilt from the time we arrived.
We had the privilege of meeting such interesting people and introduced to true Karoo hospitality.
Thank you to everyone involved, you'll definitely see us again next year.
I ran over some magnificent Karoo mountains and without "any" fear of heights!!!
What an amazing run out there among really great people. Of all the runs we have done, this one had the best scenery, most hospitable people and by far the best food, great atmosphere and overall an adventure to remember.
To all our running friends, put this 65km Karoo run on your running list for 2017, you will not be disappointed and will have a great adventure, in a great part of the country, among great people.
Willem will hopefully open the 2017 registration shortly.
Views for days and super Karoo hospitality. Thanks Willem Avenant and your team for an excellent experience!
The best trailrunning I have had in my life! Not an event, an experience. Thank you Willem Avenant and all of the wonderful Karoo people having us! I will be back.
Ek mag dalk melodramaties klink, maar ń naweek soos ons nou net ervaar het, kom net EENMAAL in ń leeftyd.