I've entered. Now What?
If you have never taken part in a multiday race before, read on.
A multiday race is like going on a holiday, specifically a camping holiday,
with an extended daily exercise plan i.e a bit more than the early morning walk
on the beach while the sun comes up over the sea.
If you have a very good memory, use your your head, otherwise make a list
For a starting point, click here for a starter
list of things to bring
The Race Plan
Fueling the Body
Although the unpaved section of the track is almost 100% grassed, we will only know
by 4th April and about two million+ footsteps later how much grass will remain.
Just as north attracts south, and positive attracts negative (electrically
speaking), white socks attract dust, not just outside the shoe but inside
as well unless you are wearing rubber solid Wellingtons/waders rainboots.
The little grains of dust find their way through your shoes and socks to the warm
dark spaces in between your toes and together with the sweat, form a grinding paste.
Grinding paste also forms over the rest of your feet and along come the blisters.
If you don't want to spend most of your time washing two pairs of socks and
popping blisters, then bring 5 pairs ( or ten pairs).
The same goes for T-shirts/running vests as far as washing is concerned.
Bring some strong refuse bags to hold your used clothes until you get back home.
The Ten Day and Six Day events are more km-intensive than the 201,0km so they
both start in the afternoon. The idea is that you don't run through the heat of the day on Day 1
which can mess you up for the rest of the week.
Although the weather is quite erratic at the moment, if the sun is shining it is
If you are a bit thin on top, or have just had a crew cut, you will
BURN. Bring a cap or a wide-brimmed hat.
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The majority of people camp in tents or the back of their bakkies.
Remember that once your tent or camping bakkie is parked at your campsite, it
has to remain there for the rest of your race.
If you need to use your car during the race, it will be parked in the carpark which means
that you need a separate roof over your head.
There is a fully operational shower and toilet block with hot and cold water in the camping area.
Please use the toilets for human body generated waste only.
Do not flush Anything else down the toilets.
The sewerage disposal system is based on French drains and soakpits. When you
flush other stuff down the toilets, it blocks the system.
If this unfortunate event should happen, you will have to borrow a spade and go
and dig your own holes in the veld to do your business.
There are powerpoints. bring an extension cable or two. The electricity supply
is intended mainly for lighting, cell phone chargers and MP3 players to play
motivational talks which will help you get up the next morning.
If everybody plugs in microwaves and kettles, all off the power will go off.
You will then have to motivate yourself to get up the next morning. You will also
not be able to find your clean socks in the dark.
If you need to drink hot soup, coffee, tea , chocolate etc, find yourself a
gas cooker and a few lighters and bring them along. You can not make an open fire
because of the fire hazard.
Buy some lengths of brightly coloured ribbon and glue a piece onto each lighter so
that you do not waste time looking for it in your campsite.
If you are alone with no seconds, you need to be doubly organised. Everything you
bring needs its own place or container except illegal drugs. Please do not
bring illegal drugs. You won't be using them.
Plasters, cotton, needles, safety pins, sellotape, scissors, bandage, nail polish,
ballpoint pens are best kept in one of those plastic compartmentalised mini-suitcases
available from the hardware section of any shop that has a hardware section.
They cost about R50. Well worth it.
If you need to keep drinks cool, bring some cooler boxes. Ice will be on sale
daily in bags. We will probably supply ABI products to all competitors but we
cannot keep them refridgerated for you.
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The Race Plan
If you have already completed a multiday race, you will know what is coming.
If not, this section might be for you.
There are three ingredients. You need a timetable, you need discipline to stick to it
(where possible) and you need consistency.
Mathenatically, 201,0km over 5 days translates to just over 40km per 24 hour day.
if you sleep for eight hours, eat for one and a half hours, shower and look after your
campsite for one and a half hours, that leaves you thirteen hours for your 40km.
You will more than likely not want to complete the entire 40km in one stretch.
The fact that you aren't tired after 10km or 20 km is no indication that it won't
seize up on you after 30km.
You may or may not know where your injury distance limits are and you don't really
want to use this event to discover them.
The secret to a (relatively) happy outing is to stay well within your limits. break the
42km into three or four easier sections.
If you have decided that you are quite comfortable with 10km, then your timetable
will have twenty 10km sections marked on it, four per day.
At 10min/km, you need 1hr40 per section. At the end of day 1, you should be
feeling as though you haven't even started.
Think of it this way. You can make a car last for 10 or 20 years, 200-300 000km
if you look after it and keep it within its limits or you can jam it into first
gear and move down the highway with the engine screaming - it will probably last
You can lift 40kg in the gym comfortably every day forever or you can suddenly
try to lift 60kg and never lift weights again.
You can comfortably finish the Comrades Marathon in 11:30 by consistently
running/walking at 7:30 from the start or you can sprint your heart out at 5:00min/km
from the start for 5km and not even make halfway.
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Fueling the Body
The body, like the car above, needs fuel to make it go.
Over a short one day distance, you can be abusive and empty your fuel tanks because
you have the following couple of days to refuel but not so in a multiday race.
On a really hot day (such as you might find in Hekpoort), you can evaporate 3 liters
of fluid after two or three hours of running or walking.
Now just for fun, fill up one and a half two-liter bottles of water and see how long
it takes you to drink them comfortably - more than likely a lot longer than it took
you to lose the same amount.
Moral of this story is that you should stay topped up for as long as possible. Don't
wait until you feel dry - it's too late. You can't put off the next days running
for a couple of days.
You also need to eat solid food. You are either bringing your own facilities
including the gas cooker and frying pan and 2-minute noodle maker or you will
get your meals from the kitchen.
There will be three meals per day from the kitchen. Vegetarians are catered for.
Please bear in mind that the kitchen is not open 24/7. the times during which
meals will be available will be made known as well as the days menu.
If supper is available from 17:00-19:00, you are going to be disappointed if
you arrive at 21:00 and find the kitchen is closed so please plan your meal times
If you don't want to have loose money lying around, you can pre-pay for your meals
by depositing R120 per days worth of meals into the Circuit Race account and give
your name + "meals" as reference on the deposit slip.
Adhoc snacks will also be available for 'in-betweeners'. T&C apply
Where possible, we would like you to order in advance so as to minimise wastage.
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To be continued....