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The Mad-Hatters Tea Party

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The RACer, the RAC club newsletter, of August 1989 contained a rather romantic prose-like review of a bizarre occurence which took place in a remote part of the hinterland the previous month.

Rudi Rode was one of the survivors and described the experience.

The tranquil image below dredged from the official Rhodes Run archives was taken outside the Rhodes Hotel on the morning of the 'Mad-Hatters Tea Party' and belies the experience which the pioneers would claim bragging rights to for decades thereafter.

1-Rhodes Start 1989

Rudi went on to earn five Rhodes Trail Run finisher medals, along the way being rewarded with Snowflake Number 73.

The story of the 'Mad-Hatters Tea Party' can be found here and his 'Dinner-gong' is shown below.

1-1989 Medal



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If you were fortunate to receive an invitation to the 31st Breathtaking Trail Run and are looking for a bed for the weekend here is a link to a list of accommodation options.

Your first call should be to ever friendly Margie Murray, who looks after the Rhodes Information office



It's breathtaking

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Why do we take on a trail?

Solitude, community, friendship, 'me-time', health and the reward of some unhealthy eating and drinking afterwards, an excuse to buy more kit and/or toys, travel, experiences, adventure ... 

And memories. Especially memories. Memories of the views. We can help with a few.

Our little trot in the southern 'Berg serves it up in spades, on a plate. Plenty. Each step, each lung-sucking-gasping step a different vista.

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Kloppershoek kloof

 For first-timers, you enter the kloof at the far far end and eventually reach this viewpoint,

having taken a sharp right turn up Mavis Bank where you see the river doing an almost oxbow

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Another look down Kloppershoek through the lens of Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures

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Looking down Mavis Bank from halfway up

The orange speck is a runner starting this slight conversation stopper

Hooggenoeg Ridge aka the Tufts of Terror
1-Mavis Checkpoint 23
Lesotho View
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Lesotho View sans frosting
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'Up high' 

You will not be alone 'up high'

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Carlislehoek from Hooggenoeg Peak, looking towards Rhodes village

Look to your right when you cross the style

...unless you reach it feeling like this...


And sometimes it is fun just to stay in the village


...or not... this is at 8km on a year that it was a tad brisk

1-Rhodes Valley July 2001

 Images: Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures


All roads lead to Rhodes

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"All roads, er, trails lead to Rhodes"
The 31st Rhodes Run is 130 days away

No Cup, No Run

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In a world first over a decade ago the Baviaanskloof Trail Run introduced their 'No Cup, No Run' Rule.

Unashamedly we followed their excellent lead. At the Rhodes Run everyone must carry their own cup, reducing landfill and avoiding litter being blown into the veld. 

No cups on our feed station tables.

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Well, there is one exception.

The Tiffindell team at the Quarry Check Point provide a selection of fiery fluids to assist you to cross the 'tufts of terror'.

Yip, we do 'a Nelson' and Tiffindell is the only feed station permitted to have 'cups' for their special fuels.1

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Reminder for our Class of '19, run with your cup, or you could find yourself meditating at a Check Point.2


1 - Special fuel (synonym) to numb the legs

2 - Meditating (verb) reflection or wishing one had started with a cup

Images: Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures 


Get used to it, you'll hear it plenty!

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Fishermen and runners share a common thread of DNA. They can be prone to shall we say, slight exaggeration, with our local rainbow trout stretched by carefully extending arms towards a lens and slight inclines becoming never-ending mountains of immense pain.

While trout can be measured honestly with scale and tape, bumps along a trail have previously been a somewhat different fish.

Enter our upgraded 2019 edition ™'d Bleat-o-meter.

An unsympathetic device that clandestinely converts gasps from asthma pump free sucking lungs into a measure of beats per minute, correction, into bleats per minute.

The range of the early Bleat-o-Meter was limited. But thanks to ground-breaking ground vibration technology bleats can now be monitored, and recorded, as far back as the river crossing when bleaters, er runners enter the Kloppershoek kloof.

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Not everyone bleats in the kloof. Veteran Polar Bears have a tendency to grunt more than bleat, with their grunts echoing through the valley, startling early morning browsing mountain rhebuck.

The Kisch Krew at the Mavis Top check point will be monitoring their Bleat-o-meters™ and loved ones waiting in Rhodes village will be able to follow, and possibly identify the bleats using the Bleat app which was launched at registration last year, a world-first.

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What should you get used to? What will you hear often? Bleats!


Note: Bleat (noun) a cry of pain or anguish

All images: Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures


Caroline receives ODF Wild Card

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Congratulations Caroline Collings on doing a good thing and being a registered organ donor, a decision which has enabled you to win the complimentary Wild Card to the 2019 Rhodes Run courtesy of the Organ Donor Foundation.

Well done Caroline and we will see you at registration in 148 days time!

Craig Muller of Backyard Adventures captured a snow-covered Caroline playing in a rather chilly river crossing at a previous Rhodes Run.

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Entry Confirmation

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Tranche Two invitations had a closing date of 3 January 2019 and Tranche Three invitations were released earlier this morning.
If you have not received confirmation that your entry has been received, then it has not been received. Completed and signed entry form together with entry fee payment must be received before a closing date.

Remember, no late entries will be considered. Period.
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Rhodes Run 2019

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