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The sky was falling

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As we ease towards our 30th event it is rather enjoyable pausing and http://www.drame.hr/viagra-sales-by-country looking back at the 29 events which developed our DNA.

Vivid insight into our inaugural event can be gleaned reading extracts from Rudi Rode’s article in the Rand Athletic Club newsletter 'The Racer' of August 1989.

“The weatherman was venting his wrath and Chicken Little had been proved right. The sky was falling. If the end of the world had now begun on the Highveld, how far must it not have progressed at the ar... other end of the world? It was not very long before my worst fears had been confirmed. Hell had frozen over. So, too, had the highlands of the North-eastern Cape. Even the passes had been closed. And there were only four days to go. 
 
With the race starting at seven in the morning - a reasonably civilised hour by normal standards - one would expect some sign of life at the start by six. But no, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse. They had all frozen stiff.
 
The bell that was to be used to signal the start had had its clappers frozen solid (not only the bell suffered in that way) and the start was delayed by some ten minutes, during which time two of the 72 who had registered as starters decided to go back to bed.
 
At that point (the Mavis Farm checkpoint) each of us handed a tag with name, race number, and name and address of next of kin, to the marshal on duty. It only became clear later why he was wearing his collar the wrong way around, and why the few words that he muttered sounded ominously like the last rites. A hand silently pointed us in the direction in which we were expected to proceed.
 
Here and there a flag marked the route; here and there a marshal silently pointed the way. Onward and upward. Sometimes scrambling downward. Sometimes negotiating the dangerously thin ice that protected the waters of the river. From the broken ice and wet footprints, it was obvious where others had come to grief. Upward yet again.
By now the blood was flowing freely down one's legs, staining the virgin snow a bright crimson. One's feet belonged to someone else; the thoughts of frostbite, gangrene, and even amputation no longer horrified, but were considered unemotionally, the last-mentioned almost with a sense of relief.
 
That last kay was straight up. "Nearer, my God, to thee". The words of that well-known hymn kept passing through my mind. The chicken-mesh fence by which we pulled ourselves to the top, step by painful step, cut deep into the palms of the hands. Yet the cuts went unnoticed. At times, the rocks were covered in a thick layer of ice; at times one was left hanging from the fence with feet dangling over into space. The snow got perceptibly thicker the higher we climbed. "Because it's there" will never again make any sense. There must be better excuses for lunacy. 
Until, at long last, the breath rasping from one's lungs, one looks down and cialis fast delivery usa around at a fairy-tale wonderland of snow. The conqueror who can triumphantly deliver another name and number sticker into the hands of the waiting official. 
 
"Flat ground from here" announced an official "just follow the road". His arm pointed upward to the surrounding hills. The horizontal plane had shifted. Else the inner ear was no longer what it might have been. The Official had to be believed. 
 
A few steps later and the white earth gave way.  The snow was at least a foot deep. One had to stay within the tracks left by the 4-wheel drive vehicles. But the tracks were wide enough for one foot only. And the compacted snow was more like ice. So; run carefully, one foot at a time, one foot behind the other. (Don't laugh, try it - one runner, who shall remain anonymous, fell flat on his face at least 5 times. And he had left the pub reasonably early.) “
 
Rudi would return and receive Snowflake No 73. Many of those initial survivors, er pioneers also returned and the Rhodes Trail Run was born.
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Tent at the top of Mavis Bank - 1989 
 

Ether time soon

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In 326 days it will be the 30th Rhodes Run.

Knock off 300 from that number and those treasured and desirable invitations to the 2018 Rhodes Run will be in the ether.

Looking back at three decades of our pioneer event in an unheralded sport, a sport which is now mainstream, we have been sharing various images on our Twitter page @RhodesTrailRun

Here is one, the 1991 race shirt

1-Rhodes-Run early tee

 

Not mentioned, but never forgotten

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The 'bump' as you leave the Jordaan's and the last Feed Station is not mentioned, but it is never forgotten 


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Images: Sharon McComb

 

After the shed

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If you make it past the shed ...

Sharon McComb shares a glimpse for those who remained in the village 

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The entrance to Kloppershoek kloof

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This shed marks the entrance to the Kloppershoek kloof.

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At the other end of the kloof is Mavis Bank... which tends to shed a few runners!

 

In Case You Missed These ... Press ...

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The Reporter - 23 June 2017

It's crowded, but that's the way we like it!

Speak with anyone involved with tourism in Rhodes, or anyone residing in the village whether a permanent or an absentee landlord, and that is the knee-jerk response, ‘we like it crowded in July with the village bursting at the seams’.
 
For the past 28 years the district has enjoyed the benefit of a tourism boom thanks to the Rhodes Trail Run.
 
The ongoing success and popularity of the event, for which there is a waiting list in excess of five years, is as much to do with the sub-zero temperature and http://www.online-fundraising.org/where-to-buy-viagra-forum stunning scenery as it is with the very efficient, professional, friendly and runner-focussed atmosphere the organisers Evie and Darrell Raubenheimer bring to the event. The ambiance and traditions they have created and cultivated not only attract new faces to Rhodes each year but strengthen ties with their repeat visitors. This year over 35% of the field are novices and there will be six runners in line to receive a special award having completed 20 or more Rhodes Runs. 
 
Iain Morshead, a two-time winner, multiple category winner and record holder said “It is a great event. Darrell & Evie have got the perfect mix between professionalism, fun and http://minnalfm.rtm.gov.my/minnal/index.php/online-medications-cialis/ camaraderie that so many other trail races just don’t quite crack.”
 
The tourism boost the district receives from this major annual influx is significant. The many thousands of rands spent on fuel, accommodation, souvenirs and such like is sorely needed in the current economy. 
 
A crowded village with plenty of new faces, many of whom will return after the run, is exactly what the tourism doctor prescribed. 
 

Locals Prepare for Influx

Around the country and as far afield as Boston, USA, hundreds of trail runners are in the final stages of their preparation for the annual Rhodes Trail Run.
 
The route was always described as being ‘extreme’. The fairly recent inclusion of the Hooggenoeg Ridge section, which is generally described in language improper to publish, created a new dimension to the route, catching out runners with legs weary after the legendary Mavis Bank and Lesotho View and before the thigh hammering Carlilsehoek downhill.
 
It is not only the runners who are in the final throes of preparation.
 
The district, and more so the Rhodes community, is a hive of activity preparing for the annual influx.
 
Staunch supporters of the event since inception, and the only feed station crew still standing from that inaugural run in 1989, Francois & Hannelie Nel of ‘Hamilton’ will again have their feed station positioned at their traditional spot, the Kloppershoek intersection.
 
Interesting to note that Francois & Hannelie will record their 29th year as a feed station team while some 7% of the field had not been born in 1989.
 
The team from Tiffindell will welcome runners at the start of the Hooggenoeg Ridge section with their usual high-energy and frivolity.
At the other end of the Hooggenoeg section the runners will be warmly welcomed by  ‘Walkerbouts’ Dave Walker and his staunch supporter Vaasie Murray . Margie Murray will take the day off from her duties at the Rhodes Information Centre to keep check on the runners, as well as keeping an eye on Dave and www.sanagustindelguadalix.net Vaasie.
 
In the Carlislehoek valley, at Roger Browne’s ‘Den Hagen‘, the Buitendag family will be providing the runners, who are usually rather weary at this stage, with encouragement and sustenance for the final spurt home.
 
It not only the feed stations who will be busy over the weekend. Willem Jansen and his team will be cooking up a storm to feed the runners on the Friday evening. The now traditional hearty meal of Rhodes lamb has, with good reason, become a firm favourite among the visitors. Willem and his team have been hard at work preparing for the weekend. On the Saturday they will also feed a constant stream of spectators who build up an appetite waiting for their loved ones to return to Rhodes. 
 
It is all hands on deck in Rhodes as preparations are in full swing for the run weekend.
 

Race Report - The Reporter : A Brave Run at Rhodes

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The Reprter - 21 July 2017 edition

A Brave Run at Rhodes

It takes a brave runner to take the lead on Mavis Bank.
 
It takes a really brave runner to pass two previous Rhodes Run winners on Mavis Bank.
 
It takes an extremely brave runner to do this when he has never taken on Mavis Bank previously and the 31km route ahead is an unknown.
 
That is what unfolded at 9:15am last Saturday when Kallie Burger, a novice at the Rhodes Trail, moved from third position to first on the legendary Mavis Bank, passing Iain Morshead a two-time winner and then passing defending champion Hylton Dunn on his way to taking the King of the Kloof title in 2:17.
 
Two hours earlier 279 runners had left Rhodes in a mild minus 5° taking on the challenge of the 29th Rhodes Trail Run.
 
Iain Morshead led the charge to the Mavis Bank Farm check point with the pack snapping at his heels.  Leilani Scheffer, the defending champion from 2016, took early charge of the ladies’ race and dominated the race throughout.
 
There was a slight change to the route at the base of Mavis Bank, described as a ‘face-lift’ for Tanie Mavis, which was thoroughly enjoyed by the old hands who were glowing with their praise of the change.
 
Conditions were the most runnable in the 29-year history of the event, with pleasant temperatures and a light breeze ‘up top’. 
 
Scheffer took the Queen of the Kloof title in 2:35, extending her lead along the border road, reaching Hooggenoeg Point in 4:14 and completing the course in 5:41 finishing 8th overall and http://fecormad.es/viagra-24-hour-delivery-uk ensuring a comfortable victory. Janneke Leask held off Hermé Visser to take 2nd place, and 15th overall, in 6:04 with Hermé finishing 18th overall in 6:11.
 
At the sharp end the pressure was all on Burger as he pushed on, holding a slender lead. He took on the notorious ‘Tufts of Terror’ along Hooggenoeg Ridge, was first over Hooggenoeg Point in 3:29 and grimly held his nerve with exquisite pacing to take the win in 4:44:50.
 
Hylton Dunn crossed the line 20 seconds later, the closest 1-2 in the 29 years. Neil Cable took 3rd position in 5:15 and claim 1st in the 40+ category.
 
Previous winner Erina du Toit was 1st 40+ Lady in 6:39, taking 26th position overall.
 
Grant Wolff, 11th overall, was 1st in the 50+ category, with Ansie Bronkhorst 1st Lady 50+ in 7:59.
 
Danny Holton capped his achievement completing his 29th consecutive run by winning the 60+ category in 7:40.
The only other remaining pioneer to complete all 29 events, Sham Singh, crossed the line in 8:07 to ensure that both he and Danny remain on track to complete their 30th Rhodes Run next year.
 
Flying in specially from Boxford, Mass, USA, 71-year-old Peter Cross showed why he is such an inspiration to all, completing his 16th Rhodes in 8:50 and being the first winner of the new ‘Petards Trophy’ for the 70+ category. 
 
On the route Hannelie & Francois Nel were hosting runners for the 29th time, while the team from Tiffindell ensured that runners took on Hooggenoeg Ridge in high spirits.
 
It was a special day for Dave Walker, Margie & Vaasie Murray, Frank Knox and the ‘Walkerbouts’ team as they were voted best feed station by the runners and presented with the Chairman’s Award. 
At Den Hagen the now almost shattered runners received nutrition and much welcome encouragement from Johan & Petrie Jordaan.
 
Special framed awards were presented to Pam Holton, Kobus Brand, Shane Hinchliffe, Jannie le Roux, Guillaume Nel and Sakkie Vlok who had each completed 20 or more Rhodes Runs.
 
Snowflake Permanent numbers were presented to 33 runners who completed their third run.
 
There were 227 finishers within the 9-hour cut-off, which meant that the Ford Ranger support vehicles and the local support drivers Ronnie and Ronald Small and Jacques Bekker ferried a larger number than usual exhausted runners off the mountain.
 
The day ended in traditional fashion with many plunging into the Bell River to join the Rhodes Trail Run Polar Bear Club™ and making a contribution to the Rhodes Vulture Restaurant through purchasing the unique certificate. Only at the Rhodes Run do Polar Bears support vultures.
 
 

Best Feed Station

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Check Point 4, the "Walkerbouts" Feed Station was voted by our runners as the best feed station for 2017.
Congratulations Dave Walker, Vaasie & Margie Murray, Frank Knox and the "Walkerbouts" team
 
Dave was suitably gobsmacked when told of the award, always hard fought for by the feed stations.
 
Mooi man!
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Dave Walker with the Chairman's Award
 
 
 
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