Words: Kelly Burke | Photo: Kolesky/ Nikon/ Lexar
Trail runners and adventure junkies from all over the world are putting their final preparations together for the 2013 Salomon Skyrun powered by Red Bull, that will be taking place in Lady Grey on the 16th of November 2013. Now in its 16th year, the race has become known as one of the must-do ultra-wilderness-mountain-runs in the world. “The Salomon SkyRun is an Epic 100km Mountain run considered by many athletes to be the toughest Trail Run in South Africa. The event is made up of two options; the SkyRun Lite, a 65km one day run, or the big daddy of trail, the 100km SkyRun,” explains Race Director and Organiser, Michael de Haast from Pure Adventures. “What makes this event so unique is that it is fully self-supported and athletes must navigate themselves between the check points on the route.”
Some top names taking part this year include two of the greatest adventurers of our time, the legendary Steve Black and Sean Wisedale. Other top names include AJ Calitz, Salomon athlete Ryno Griesel and Dreyer van Huyssteen amongst the men, and Megan Mackenzie, Annemien Ganzevoort and Donna Green amongst the ladies. The race starts in Lady Grey at 4am on Saturday the 16th and will take the athletes anywhere between 14 – 30 hours.
Michael has some great advice for the athletes, especially those doing it for the first time, for those who might have forgotten and for those who would like to take part next year:
1. You will more than likely have stomach issues. You may vomit. Somewhere between Balloch and the Turn, you may see God (or a lion) and that, in and of itself, will make you want to puke. Don’t worry; you’re not going to die. Just puke, deal with it and move on. Don’t let “I couldn’t keep anything down” be your excuse for a DNF.
2. Sometime during the day you might feel like you have a tiny little pebble in your shoe. For the next hour or so you’ll have this little debate with yourself as to whether you should stop to take the pebble out or just wiggle your foot around a bit to move the pebble to a more comfortable position. Don’t have that debate! That little pebble is possibly the beginning of a blister. If you deal with it the minute you feel it you’ll probably be fine. If you ignore it or wiggle around with it you may end up finishing but you’ll do so with a dagger in your shoe.
3. Finally, you will undoubtedly have a moment between Skiwdor and Edgehill when you feel like you need a Quad Transplant. Everyone feels this way. The downhill pounding you put your legs through at Salomon Skyrun grinds the muscles in your quads into sausage. Don’t let it bother you. Assuming the pain you’re experiencing is less severe than someone sticking a red hot poker into your quad, just slow down, stay hydrated, and shuffle on.
One of the main reasons why the race was first started in the mid 1990’s was to raise awareness and fundraising for the local charities and home based care givers who look after the local children whose lives have been seriously rocked by misfortune. The charities rely heavily on the race for support, and the organisers encourage athletes and supporters to bring along any donations including stationary, writing paper, clothes and money. These donations make a huge difference to these children’s lives and the charity chosen for this year is the House of Light.
For more information please visit www.skyrun.co.za, and find them on facebook and twitter.