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7 Summits with a Purpose

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A first-time visitor to the Rhodes Run was Saray Khumalo well known for her '7 Summits with a Purpose' project.

Saray does wonderful fund raising and wrote this after completing the 30th Rhodes Run. We enjoyed reading her second paragraph-

"Wow....what an amazing run it was with the most friendly people on and off the trail. My first Ultra trail run, Rhodes 30! Thank you for the wild card #RhodesRun30
Mavis was as promised an interesting climb. She seemed impossible until she was conquered. The run offered breathtaking views, frozen rivers were crossed and frozen falls could be seen from a distance. Water points had amazing energy boosters and friendly people!
Thanks for Garmin SA for the Fenix 5 x...cool device and kept me in check! #GarminSA
Well, that was great training for bigger things to come. For now remember that we have a date this Mandela day at Isiziba Primary school where we will be fixing up a library and investing in our future leaders. #countusin #7summitswithapurpose #italwaysseemsimpossibleuntilitsdone! #nevergiveup"
Thank you Saray. Hopefully the first of many Rhodes Run medals for you.
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 Saray coming off the "Tufts of Terror"

Aging well

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We recognised a rather special achievement on Saturday at prize-giving. Three special achievements in fact.

This year was the 30th edition of the Rhodes Run which has been held in every type of weather imaginable. Some years the sleet and snow has made it particularly unpleasant for our feed station crew who are at times exposed to the elements for more hours than most of our runners are on the route. Some years the ambient temperature never reached zero °C. 

It was a pleasure and a distinct honour to recognise the only couple who have manned a feed station for each of our 30 years.

Francois and Hannelie Nel of 'Hamilton'.

The question was, how? How to suitably acknowledge a couple who have been supporting our runners in all conditions with something distinctive as well as being possibly practical.

One of our Rhodes home owners is well known East London potter John Steele. John is well known to Francois & Hannelie and would provide a 'local touch'. We commissioned John to create an appropriate fruit or hanging bowl which could be proudly displayed at 'Hamilton'.

Congratulations Francois and Hannelie, we and our runners appreciate the support you have provided these past three decades.

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Of the thousands of hands which have paused at Francois & Hannelie's table over the years only two pairs have been past every year. 

Two runners who were pioneers back at the first event in 1989 and have not missed a Rhodes Run since.

Our two pioneers run with a 'Gold Snowflake' number and over recent years are often seen running and chatting together as they complete the run.

Sham Singh wears #13 and Danny Holton #14.

Sham & Danny at the Quarry Check Point this year

Again, how to recognise two loyal runners who are our friends and are such friends of the event.

No 'gold number', done that. No framed gold medal, done that. No certificate, done that. No combination of these, done that. No special trophy with all their finishing times engraved, done that.

What would they not, maybe never, expect to receive.

Well, thankfully in 1989 everything relied on the postal service, and good 'old school' handwritten entry forms. Yes, we still have the latter.

We found their original entry form from 1989. We would like to think they would not have expected that, and had them framed, with a gold medal and a miniature of their gold number.

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No, we have no idea what we'll do for their 40th run, but thankfully we have some time to work on that!


Thank you Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures for the Prize-giving table and Quarry Check Point photographs.


Boomtown Supports Rhodes River Park

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While visiting Rhodes River Park, which is used by the entire community, a few days before the Rhodes Trail Run we noticed that while there are bicycles for the youngsters to use on the little BMX track there were no helmets.

A quick call to Snowflake No 532 Andrew Mackenzie of Boomtown Advertising and on Friday afternoon Andrew handed over a heap of sparkling new helmets for use at the Rhodes River Park.

Thank you, Andrew, and thank you Boomtown for your kindness.

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Andrew Mackenzie (on the right) hands over helmets to Sean de Wet

Andrew completed his seventh Rhodes Run this year.


Headline Results 2018

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Our champions are champions!

Kallie Burger and Leilani Scheffer retained their titles. Congratulations!

The 30th Rhodes Run was held in absolutely perfect running conditions, with a smattering of snow 'up high' and in the kloof. To have the 'border road' windless on race day is practically unheard of, and our Class of '18 enjoyed just that. Windless conditions. Official start temperature, taken at Race HQ as usual, was minus 9°C and the almost lack of wind chill meant a mild crisp morning.

Weather conditions our crew relished!

 Kallie Burger Leilani Scheffer 

 There were 332 entries, 291 starters, 220 finishers and 24 Snowflake permanent numbers awarded. 'Headline' results are:

  Men Ladies
1st Kallie Burger 4:28:39  Leilani Scheffer 5:25:43 (8th overall)
2nd Hylton Dunn 4:34:53 Yolande Maclean 5:28:23 (9th overall)
3rd Johnny Young 5:08:12 Lorraine Boshoff 6:28:59
King of the Kloof Kallie Burger   
Queen of the Kloof   Yolande Maclean
 1st Johnny Young Yolande Maclean 
2nd  Dean Rosin Lorraine Boshoff 
3rd  Bradley Mackenzie Erina du Toit
 1st Gustav Becker Nicolette Brouwer
2nd  Andre Dalton Ansie Bronkhorst
3rd  Mark Humphreys Amanda Shaw
 1st Sakkie Vlok  Glenda Badenhorst
2nd Philip Boardman Ria Janse van Vuuren 
3rd Michael du Plessis  
Petard (70+)    
1st ----  ----
1st over Hooggenoeg Kallie Burger Leilani Scheffer

Images: Craig Muller | Backyard Adventures


Race Date 2019

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The Rhodes Trail Run is held on the third Saturday of the mid-year school holidays.

The date to circle in your diary for next year is Saturday 29 June 2019, for the 31st Rhodes Run.

Rhodes Snowflake Perm No blank


Are your satellites aligned?

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Part of the preparation for any run, trail or tar, is to ensure fresh batteries for the heart rate monitor cum Strava-proof-that-I-ran-app cum altitude-barometer-anemometer cum distance-check-on-the organisers wrist strap thingy.

When you check that your satellites are aligned for #RhodesRun30 remember that your satellites are probably not the same ones we link with. and our route distance depends on the mood of our Route Director ... and any Greywing distractions along the way.

Historical note: Back in the pre-satellite days the Rhodes Run route was plotted not via satellite but by stars, hence the origin of the phrase often used by the Flag Teams "Are the stars aligned?"


All Roads lead to Rhodes ...

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Route to Rhodes - Travel Lightly

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If this is your first time travelling to the district we suggest that you make use of a 'traditional' paper map when planning your route. In recent years GPS systems have taken first-timers on rather adventurous routes, not always ending up in Rhodes.

Those unable to stay in Rhodes must please note that high speed travelling is not possible on the dirt roads and need to give themselves adequate time to reach the start. 

The Barkly East - Rhodes road is lumpy, very lumpy in places and caution must be exercised. Travel lightly. Budget a 90 minute drive for this 60 km section, especially if travelling after dark and you are not familiar with the road, Drive prudently.


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The road is rather 'bumpy' in places. Local farmers take umbrage if a motorist bumps one of their sheep, even if it is hidden in a corrugation!

Petrol & diesel are not available in Rhodes. You are advised to fill up your vehicles' fuel tank before starting your last leg to Rhodes.

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Rhodes Run 2019

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