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 (or lists)
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 HOT.
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.

Go back to te top

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.

Go back to the top

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 one week.
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.

Go back to the top

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 to match.
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.

Go back to the top

To be continued....