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Kruger2Canyon Challenge 2019

05 - 07 July 2019

Course Details

Day 1

As runners set off from Franklyn Park, the climb up the stream towards the mountain is gentle… at first. And then it’s not… The gradient gets steadily steeper on the 4.8km climb up the side of Mariepskop, becoming seriously tough and technical towards the top. This is a great spot to stop & curse the race organiser, wish you had trained harder, maybe cry a little. Otherwise just use the enchanted forest and views as a distraction on your up. On summiting, the route turns left to run a clockwise loop on an incredible, descending single track over these 5km (a welcome relief!) to the first aid station. It is fantastic running, but we do suggest that you conserve yourself in these first 10km – hold back and your body will thank you later! After Aid Station 1, the course changes into jeep track with rolling descents and climbs – nice and runnable, nothing serious. This section is a fast part of the course and kilometers can tick by quite quickly and runners will traverse into the Blyde River Canyon and reach Aid Station 2 at approx. 23km mark. This will be the lowest point on the course. For those who are adventurous and unconcerned about their time, running all the way down to the river (and back) adds a good few kilometres (ok 5km in total…), but an epic swim in the Blyde River adds to the experience! We will buy a beer for anyone who brings us a selfie taken at this spot!! The climb out of the Canyon from Aid Station 2 is steep, technical and tricky at times. It starts on an old forestry road that gives way to a forested drainage line to the top – a nice cool section if the day heats up, but if you burnt matches in the first half, this is going to be tough! The route purposely deviates to bring runners out to some spectacular viewpoints over the Blyde River Canyon and Dam. Aid Station 3 is at the top of the climb on a concrete road at approx. 30km. From here, the final 12 km are on an undulating, forested trail that joins in with the short course along the escarpment at final aid station at around approx. 35km. While much of these final 7km are downhill, the route is still technical and demands respect.

Start time: 5:30 am

Distance: 42 km

Elevation gain: 2858 m

Race Course and Profile:

 Day 2

Starts again at Franklyn Park and heads down into the bushveld (Franklyn Park is right on the transition between mountain side forest and the bushveld of the lowveld) and entrance into the Blue Canyon Conservancy, a Big 4 Reserve. There is an aid station at 9km when entering the reserve – rehydrate and collect your game-spotting eyes here! The route does a 10km loop in an anti-clockwise direction through the reserve, with Aid Station 2 approx. 4.5km into this loop. Enjoy the privilege of running in this area, as well as the good footing and flat terrain! Be careful as you are marshalled across the tar road, then enjoy your third Aid Station before the steady 4km climb back up to Franklyn Park. Although this section is outside the reserve, there is still plenty of small game and the course winds its way through beautiful natural bushveld, following the riverbed at times.

Start time: 6:30 am

Distance: 28 km

Elevation gain: 497 m

Race Course and Profile:

*Please note that distances are subject to change.

Day 1

As runners set off from Franklyn Park, the climb up the stream towards the mountain is gentle… at first. And then it’s not… The gradient gets steadily steeper on the 4.8km climb up the side of Mariepskop, becoming seriously tough and technical towards the top. This is a great spot to stop & curse the race organiser, wish you had trained harder, maybe cry a little. Otherwise just use the enchanted forest and views as a distraction on your up. On summiting, the route turns left to run a clockwise loop on an incredible, descending single track over these 5km (a welcome relief!) to the first aid station. It is fantastic running, but we do suggest that you conserve yourself in these first 10km – hold back and your body will thank you later! After Aid Station 1, the course changes into jeep track with rolling descents and climbs – nice and runnable, nothing serious. The 25km course splits from the long course at the 14km mark and is accompanied with a change from plantations to towering indigenous forest which undulates and is technical in places. Runners will reach Aid Station 2 at the 18km mark and will climb the final 7km to the edge of the escarpment which overlooks the expansive lowveld. Then it traverses the rocky ridge line before linking up to the steep trail back down to the finish at Franklyn Park.

Start time: 5:30 am

Distance: 26 km

Elevation gain: 1873 m

Race Course and Profile:

Day 2

Participants will be transported from Franklyn Park to the entrance to the Blue Canyon Conservancy. This maximizes the time runners will spend in the Big 4 Reserve and incorporates the best parts of the bushveld. It will be cold on the open game viewing vehicles, so bring a thermal layer!! The route does a 10km loop in an anti-clockwise direction through the reserve, with Aid Station 1 approx. 4.5km into this loop. Enjoy the privilege of running in this area, as well as the good footing and flat terrain! Be careful as you are marshalled across the tar road, then enjoy your second Aid Station before the steady 4km climb back up to Franklyn Park. Although this section is outside the reserve, there is still plenty of small game and the course winds its way through beautiful natural bushveld, following the riverbed at times.

Start time: 6:30 am

Distance: 19 km

Elevation gain: 355 m

Ultra Distance Compulsory Gear

  1. 2.0L Hydration Capacity (Pack)
  2. Some basic nutrition
  3. Space Blanket
  4. Charged Phone
  5. Rain Jacket
  6. Base layer (Long Sleeve)
  7. Headlamp for Day 1 start

Marathon Distance Compulsory Gear

  1. 2.0L Hydration Capacity (Pack)
  2. Some basic nutrition
  3. Space Blanket
  4. Charged Phone
  5. Rain Jacket
  6. Base Layer (Long Sleeve)
  7. Headlamp for Day 1 start

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Ulttra distance
stage race

Spectator Packages
available

In 2015 and 2016 Kruger2Canyon was hosted uder the Wild Series banner. In 2017 and 2018 it was hosted by KZN Trail Running and Kruger2Canyons Biosphere successfully and has quickly earned itself iconic status on the South African Trail Running Scene.

The route offers an incredible opportunity to explore the most northern reaches of the Drakensberg, in and around the Blyde River Canyon, as well as the bushveld adjacent to the Kruger National Park. The Blue Canyon Conservancy in which the second stage is laid out, has all of the Big 5 other than buffalo within its bounds. In 2016 a number of runners got to view African Wild Dog while on route, while in 2017 a herd of elephants watched on as the runners made they way along the course.

For an exceptional South African trail running experience, make sure you enter Kruger2Canyon 2019.

2019 Entry options include:

  1. Ultra Distance (70km over 2 days)
  2. Marathon Distance (42km over 2 days)
  3. Single Day entries
  4. Spectator Package

Registration 05 July

Stage 1: 6 July – 42km or 25km – Blyde River Canyon and Mariepskop
Stage 2: 7 July – 28km or 17km – Blue Canyon Conservancy (adjacent to Kruger National Park)

Entrance to Franklyn Park is R30. This is included in your entry but is payable by spectators and visitors to the Park who do not have a prior booking.

For more information, please visit the main Kruger2Canyon Challenge Website by clicking Here.

Directions

Venue: Franklyn Park, Hoedspruit. 

Travel distances and Times:

  • Johannesburg/Pretoria-  450km with an ETA of 5 hr 30 min.
  • Hoedspruit – 30km with an ETA of  20 min.
  • Nelspruit -150km with an ETA of 2 hrs

Click here for directions.

In Association With

All the gear you’ll need for your next trail expedition. Available online from Trail Shed.