A FAQ, albeit mainly from novices, is an appropriate training regime for the Rhodes. Not an easy question to answer, as there are three ‘acclimatization' or ‘training' aspects which need to be worked on preparing for the Rhodes Run:
  • The Run
  • Polar Bearing
  • Developing an adequate pre-race internal central heating system


So we canvassed a number of Rhodes ‘veterans' and have compiled these suggestions. Truth be said, these chaps have been up and around Mavis so many times in sub-zero temperatures that the thin air might have affected blood flow to the cerebral region and they might not be totally quite with it any more, so we suggest caution when digesting these.

Your Personal Internal Central Heating System

Here there is much debate as to which is the most energy efficient method to generate internal body warmth the night prior to the Run. Up front it must be clarified that the following suggestions are only very temporary solutions and caution needs to be exercised when attempting any of these. In fact, it is best not to try these at home alone, and medical advice would be advisable before attempting any extreme versions.

The debate has been narrowed down to Scotch and sherry. Red wine was a distant third, as it tended to stimulate dehydration over Mavis Bank. Glühwein is a total no-no, having been developed for Après-ski, not trail runners.

General consensus, having been tried and very well tested over many years at Rhodes, is that a few Old Brown's with your pasta on the Friday evening is the ideal combination.

Polar Bear Club

Let it be said that absolutely nothing will adequately prepare you for this. If you are silly enough to go through with this - one of the Rhodes' most popular & endearing traditions, so you should.....at least once - then it is generally felt that no training or acclimatization should be done. You will lose the high shock value you are looking for (are you looking for this?) if you try and toughen yourself for this rather numbing ordeal.

A distinct advantage of joining the Polar Bear Club, is that your experience at this water hole should extend your time at one of the other watering holes by a few hours. An icy plunge does seem to get the blood flowing and appears to create an instant evaporation of alcohol.

Training & Acclimatization for the Run

These should only be carried out under adult supervision. Do not try these alone!

  • leave your running shoes in your freezer overnight, they will be perfect for your 6am training run the next day
  • under your woolen gloves wear a pair of those plastic washing-up gloves ....and drop a few ice blocks in them at the start of your training run. This is also ideal 'acclimatization training' when not running, do this while driving to work. Take care on the placement of your hands on the steering wheel, as the melting ice cubes could leave your waist somewhat saturated if you are caught in traffic. As a side benefit, will certainly make for some interesting office conversation.
  • strap two or three frozen ice-packs to your waist for a training run
  • partially fill your bath (about 6-8cm deep) with a combination of cold water & ice blocks, then wearing your running gear either run on the spot in the bath, or just stand in the water for 10-15 minutes. You will have a significant additional training benefit if simultaneously you directed a cold fan (at maximum speed) at your face.


By reading this page I understand & acknowledge that if I am silly enough to attempt any of these potentially hazardous exercises I assume full and complete responsibility for any injury or accident which may occur while I am partaking in these exercises. I, for myself and my heirs and executors, hereby waive, release and forever discharge the event organizers, sponsors, promoters, the Rhodes Run and each of their agents, representatives, successors and assigns, and all other persons associated with the event, for all liabilities, claims, actions, damages or property loss that I may have arising out of or in any way connected with my being silly enough to try these exercises.


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