After two years the Richtersveld Wildrun has become known as one of the toughest, most scenic and unique trail-running stage race events on the South African trail running calendar.
In 2016 however, this iconic event takes on a new shape to become the first cross-border trail running event in the world; extending to a linear 200km, five day crossing from South Africa to Namibia through the heart of the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
“We are absolutely thrilled to have unlocked a truly unique opportunity to experience both sides of such a unique and powerful place – and to finish a long day at a natural hot springs in the middle of the wilderness is unbelievable!” said Owen Middleton, MD of Wildrunner, the events company behind the Wildrun events.
The new route will maintain the best of the first three days of the original edition, including the Vyf Susters, Hellskloof Pass, Armmanshoek, the Tswayisberge, Springbokvlakte and the iconic Tatasberg boulders. On day four, the route will veer off its original course and cross the Orange River at De Hoop into Namibia and the untouched southern section of the Fish River Canyon. This 50km day will take runners into a wilderness that is completely inaccessible by vehicle and rich in wildlife such as Hartmann’s mountain zebra, kudu, gemsbok, springbok, Namibian wild horses and giraffe.
After a long, tough day, runners will spend the evening in the canyon at a natural hot spring, before taking on the final day of roughly 25km to finish at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Resort and wrap up a powerful and truly unique experience.
Roland Vorwerk, marketing manager of Boundless Southern Africa, one of the driving forces behind the success of the event, said they are very happy to support this new cross-border trail running event. “This new route contains even more highlights than the original Richtersveld Wildrun, and promises to give participants a challenging but spectacular trail running experience,” he said.
Tamaryn Middleton, general manager of Wildrunner, was very excited to launch the new route and said: “To be the first to cross an international border in a trail running event and to be in such an iconic part of Namibia as the Fish River Canyon is awesome – we can’t wait to take a new group of adventurers on this epic journey.”
Content courtesy of SANParks Times.
Pictures: Ian Corless and Nick Muzik