Here is a useful tip for those of you who are going to blitz the route on the 11th.
Don't expect hot water, or even running water for that matter, if you finish before midday. Water freezes when it's cold, you would have noticed that when you crossed the rivers and at the feeding stations, and frozen water just does not flow through pipes. So, no hot showers, and maybe no showers or baths until the afternoon.
Of course those of you who have been to Rhodes before know this...but please tell your family who will be in Rhodes while you have fun scrambling over the hills - they will probably not be able to go 'home' to a hot bath after the start. Help them to have an enjoyable morning without worrying about a morning bath - suggest they visit the Farmer's Hall or are well stocked with steaming hot coffee and/or OB while you are away!
Rhodes Run Time Again
26 June edition of "The Reporter"
The lack of good rain in the district is certainly not an accurate forecast of the coming deluge. A deluge that will not necessarily bring rain, but a deluge none the less.
Mid-July is Rhodes Run time. 11 July will see the 27th edition of this iconic event that proudly showcases our district. Over 1000 people are expected to flood into Rhodes over race weekend. The trail run is without question the single largest tourism drawcard that brings much needed ‘tourism rands’ to an area that has been feeling the economic pinch.
Participants hope for sleet, bitter cold and snow. Weather that the runners see as perfect Rhodes weather. The blizzard like conditions that many experienced last year ‘up top’ were just what the runners been ordered.
This year will once again see an international flavour with athletes arriving from the UK and the USA. Boston resident Peter Cross will be making his 15th trip to Rhodes village to participate in one of his favourite events.
Both 2014 winners will be back to defend their titles. Johnny Young, a nine time Rhodes finisher, and Capetonian Karoline Hanks will be hoping that race day conditions favour them. Karoline won last year at her first attempt at the Rhodes Run.
Making their 27th appearance at their traditional feed station spot at the Kloppershoek road will be a couple who the organisers cannot praise enough. Francois & Hannalie Nel of ‘Hamilton’ will be cheering on the runners at the Kloppershoek feed station. They are only feed station team to have worked at every event since the inaugural run in 1989.
Local interest will focus on Sydney Speelman who won the ‘King of the Kloof’ title last year being first to the top of Mavis Bank. Sydney has had a string of good results this year and expectations are high that his 5th Rhodes will see him pull off that elusive win.
Other local participants will be Lise Smith of ‘Martindale’ in Maartenshoek who will be running her third and hoping to claim a coveted snowflake number for three finishes, Hylton and Sunelle Dunn who will be running their 5th and 2nd respectively, Henk & Solette Lombard of Indwe who will be running their 2nd and 1st respectively, and novices Janneke Leask and Ida Fivaz of Ugie and Christina Olivier of Barkly East. Travelling slightly further to the village will be Matatiele’s Jaco Jacobs hoping to collect his first finishers’ medal.
Multiple Comrades Marathon winner Alan Robb will be among the 115 novices making their first appearance at Rhodes. The first South African lady to climb the ‘Seven Summits’ Mandy Ramsden will be running her 2nd while Queenstown’s Dave Moody, Sakkie Vlok of Rooihuiskraal and Kobus Brand of Bethlehem will be lining up for their 21st medal. Sham Singh & Danny Holton will be aiming to continue their ‘full house’ and complete their 27th Rhodes.
We wish all our local runners well over their last few weeks of training for this arduous event that features in the Runner’s World list of the top ten toughest runs in South Africa.
Shot in the arm for local economy
26 June edition of 'The Reporter'
The annual UTi Rhodes Trail Run is almost upon us and preparations are in full swing to receive the over 1000 visitors to the village.
The Trail Run has without question been a stable force for the local economy for many years.
The traditional Friday evening meal prepared by family and friends of the Rhodes Christian School in the Farmers Hall, this year under the able stewardship of Deidre Gush, will again be well supported. Saturday will start off with Deidre’s team serving breakfast buns for the non-runners after the start, although Deidre says they are more than happy to serve runners who feel the need for extra sustenance before tackling this extreme event. The Farmers Hall will be a hive of activity all day Saturday with many tasty eats and drinks for sale.
The Rhodes Christian School also benefited from a ‘Wild Card’ entry made available for a lucky draw. The lucky winner not only secured an entry to the run but also, and possibly more valuable, accommodation close to the start.
Dave Walker of “Walkerbouts Inn” reports that his dining room is fully booked for the Saturday evening. Dave expects his highly rated and very tasty pizzas to be huge favourites over race weekend, while the pub at “Walkerbouts” is expected to be very busy.
Every bed in the valley has been booked and in many cases floor space as well. Fuel stations in Barkly East and on all routes to Rhodes will notice a slight up-kick as runners travel to the Bell River valley, and when they return home.
It is not only local commerce and industry who will benefit from the run. The Rhodes Vulture Restaurant will, as has become customary, receive part of the proceeds from the sale of Rhodes Run Polar Bear Club™ t-shirts as well as all the proceeds from the sale of the Polar Bear Club certificates which have once again been donated by the Trail Run.
It's what everyone coming to the UTi Rhodes Run hopes for, snow!
Fun, if a bit tricky, for running, but potentially nerve wracking for driving.
Arrive Alive prepared a very useful note on guidelines for winter driving, and driving on snow and ice.
Recommended reading if you are visiting Rhodes this winter. Read article here.
The Hooggenoeg Ridge section was introduced in 2007 and since then there has been much discussion as to which route is tougher, faster, more scenic.
The table shows how the 'Hooggenoeg Ridge' route stacks up against the original route, based on the 'best times' recorded.
We are extremely pleased that Ford will once again be supplying all important support vehicles for the UTi Rhodes Run.
Please don't book a 'test drive' from the top of Mavis Bank. You'll feel lots better (afterwards!) if you run over Hooggenoeg to the finish !
If you would like a close up look over one of the Ford Rangers pop in at Race HQ before race day. A test drive could be yours, you never know!
Ford Ranger at 2014 Rhodes Run
Ford Rangers at 2012 Rhodes Run
All images: Greg Raubenheimer - Rhodes Run
Let’s hope for conditions that keep sane people indoors
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