I have heard 'Mavis Bank' referred to as the great conversation stopper. Why is this? 

Let's have this chat at the Lesotho Border Check Point......you'll have your answers then.


What should I wear?

Suggested gear for the Rhodes Run -

Runners will receive a foil survival blanket at registration which, together with a whistle, must be carried for the duration of the event.
It is probable that the temperature at the start will be sub-zero, and could warm up to around 15°C during the course of the day. There could be strong head winds ‘up top’ which would create significant wind chill.
Recommended gear for the run is -
Starting at the top, your Rhodes Run bandana to protect your ears, neck, face from cold, wind, dust....  and will protect you from the comments of fellow runners.
And then flipping to the sharp end as it were - Specialised trail running shoes. You'll need the extra grip they provide; in places you may wish you had crampons!
Warm tights as it can be a bit frosty at the start, and the wind 'on top' can be absolutely bitter at times; they will also give some protection from the 'rose-hip' thorn bushes, the 'sharp spikey' grass and the odd tumble.
Gloves to keep some form of feeling in your fingers in the early morning, also to protect your hands when you clamber up Mavis Bank and should you fall on the uneven surface.
A base layer moisture management long sleeved top with a light waterproof jacket.
One pair of socks should do it; although folk have been known to change into a dry pair of socks adter the river crossings for the drop down the cement strip. 
Hiking/trekking poles are permitted.
A few Grabber warmers are recommended together with your usual trail first aid kit.
Your camera. It's a valid excuse to stop and rest…...

A smile for when you are caught in the lens of the race photographer, and when you greet those frozen folk at the feeding stations.


Do I have to jump naked into the freezing iced Bell River on the night of the Run? 

Yes !! .......otherwise you won't have the bragging rights of being a member of the Rhodes Polar Bears!


Is it true that in some years there have been no genuine 'Polar Bears'? 

Yes, afraid so. The tradition started by the folk from Stella, and which continues to this day, is that to be recognised as a true 'Polar Bear' runners have to crack the ice on the banks of the Bell River with their toe before taking the plunge.


If you figure you've done enough to consider yourself a 'Polar Bear' and are able to look other 'Polar Bears' in the eye, no one is going to challenge you. This is Rhodes after all, and the last mayor of the hamlet always suggests that some rules can be bent.


'Polar Bears' can remind themselves of their achievement by purchasing an official Rhodes Trail Run Polar Bear Club™ certificate.


Why do I need to tell you if I pull out? Can't you just pick it up from the results?

The route covers broken, slippery and at times potentially dangerous terrain. Any competitor who does not 'clock-in' at one of the official Check Points is presumed to have encountered a problem along the way.

A Search & Rescue Team will, as soon as practical, be despatched to search for the competitor.

Obviously in bad weather conditions this exercise would be hazardous for the Search & Rescue Team members. We do not want to be in a position where a Search & Rescue exercise is initiated, when the competitor is safely home, having negligently not handed in their tag to an official Check Point.

If it is found that the Search & Rescue operation was initiatated unnecessarily the competitor will be charged a fee per the conditions of the event as set out in the race instructions.


What are the cut-off times?

Runners who fail to reach the border check point (21km - top of Mavis Bank) before 4½ hours must abandon the race.

There is a second cut-off at the Quarry Check Point (approx 29km).

Runners who fail to reach the Quarry Check Point before 6 hours from race start must abandon the race.

To qualify as a finisher runners must complete the course within 9 hours.


How cold is minus 10 degrees?

Usually cold enough to make one wish for an extra pair of leggings and gloves.


I have heard of the 'Rhodes Triple'. Is this similar to the Rhodes 'Macnab'?

The Rhodes 'Macnab' was probably a heck of a lot easier to complete than the 'Rhodes Triple'.

For the Rhodes 'Macnab' you need to hunt a Vaal Rhebuck ram, shoot a brace of Greywing Francolin on the wing and catch a Rainbow or Brown trout. All between surise and sunset.

For the 'Rhodes Triple' you needed to have completed the 3-day Ben MacDhui hike (now closed), the 80 km Rhodes Mountain Bike Challenge (last raced in 2012) and the Rhodes Run. Thankfully not on consecutive days. Our records indicate that only one person completed a 'Rhodes Triple', the holder of Rhodes Run Permanent Snowflake number 711.

For information on the Rhodes 'Macnab' contact Fred Steynberg on 045 974 9298.


How far outside Grahamstown does the race start ?

About 6 - 7 hours drive ......


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