iSimangaliso Trail Challenge
Date: 7 – 9 July 2017
Venue: iSimangaliso Wetland Park, Sugarloaf Campsite, Lake St Lucia Estuary
Format: The event consists of 3 stages
Stage 1 (7 July 2017 ): Full moon beach run 6km (Open to spectators, family and friends not doing the full event)
Stage 2 (8 July 2017): Maphelane Loop 37km
Stage 3 (9 July 2017): Cape Vidal to Sugarloaf Campsite, Lake St Lucia Estuary 38km
*All stages start and finish at Sugarloaf Campsite where the race village is located, other than the third and final stage which starts at Cape Vidal.
Team prizes will be awarded to the first team of 2 and team of 3 across the finish line. Team members to not need to stay together throughout the event, instead their overall times will be added together to determine final team placings.
Stage 1: Starting at 7pm when the tide is at its lowest, participants will head out from the race village across the boardwalk in small batches. Rangers and marshalls will be positioned along the way to ensure a safe passage to the beach. The course will take runners north up the coastline to a turn around point where an aid station will be located. Runners will then return to Sugarloaf campsite, Lake St Lucia Estuary back along the beach. This stage is open to all spectators, friends and family at no charge. The stage can be seen as a “warm-up” or “ice-breaker” and won’t be timed.
Stage 2: Starting at 7am, the second stage is where the real challenge begins! The course will take runners south along the coastline, across the mouth of the St. Lucia estuary toward the ship wreck known as the Jolly Rubino. From here the course will take runners inland through beautiful indigenous coastal forest, past the Cape St. Lucia Lighthouse, which will serve as the turning point and aid station. The return route is completely different, taking the participants back toward the Maphelane Campsite along jeep and single track through coastal and swamp forest. The final section to the finish involves beach, crossing the St.Lucia Estuary mouth, and finishing back at Sugarloaf Campsite, Lake St Lucia Estuary
Stage 3: The final stage will start with a transfer through the Eastern Shores of iSimangaliso Wetland Park to Cape Vidal. This final stage will start on the beach at Cape Vidal taking the runners south along the beach before diverting inland into the big 5 area in the grasslands and bushveld of the Eastern Shores of the park. Climbing off the beach along steep dunes will be challenging, but the views from the dune tops over Lake St Lucia Estuary and the ocean will prove well worth it. There will be a controlled section through the big game area where the clock will be turned off while runners are guided by rangers through certain sections of the park where rhino, buffalo and elephants are sometimes seen. After the bushveld section, runners will return to the beach heading further south, before finishing along some of the best single track in the small game area.