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The WildSeries Three Cranes Challenge

20-23 February 2020

Course Details

Day 1 starts with a steep climb out the back of Bushwillow on a trail that makes its way through the indigenous forest before breaking out into the grassland at the base of Mount Gilboa in the heart of the Karkloof Range. The trail then explores parts of the Karkloof Nature Reserve in a spectacular and pristine grassland environment. This is when runners have their best chance at seeing any, or all, of the three different crane species found in the area.

The course then descends back through the forest, past Rockwood, and through to the Karkloof Canopy Tour. Here runners are treated to some time off the clock where they can choose to experience two of the zip-lines. 

There are only 6km to go after the canopy tour, but the legs are feeling it and the farm terrain does ask a few final questions.

Course Route and Profile:

KZNTR Three Cranes Day 1 Route MapKZNTR Three Cranes Day 1 Elevation Profile

Day 2 is traditionally the long day of the race measuring just over 40km. But in the spirit of opening the race up, we have added a shorter 25km option.

Both courses will head out together through the UCL pine plantations. A steep climb after 10km takes the courses into Mbona Private Nature Reserve, the first highlight of the day. Forest and grassland singletrack wind through the reserve, and the longer and shorter courses will split at one of the Mbona Dams around the 15km mark. 

The longer course then heads towards the second highlight of the day – Benvie. These magical gardens allow for another “time-out” zone and some tea in the stunning surrounds. 

The long and tough climb out of Benvie is challenging, but the final few kilometers are gentle if it’s not too hot!

The shorter course having broken away at Mbona climbs initially, but then descends all the way back down to the race village at Bushwillow.

Introducing the new 25km Day 2 option in 2019. There is no price difference for this option, but you may “upgrade” or “downgrade” at any time. Even leaving the decision until you are out on course and at the split!

40km Course Route and Profile:

25km Course Route and Profile:

The final leg of the Challenge starts at 4.30am in the dark! Its a little tough to get out of bed and going, but once you are warm and the blood starts to flow around the legs, most runners find it exhilarating. 

This is the shortest stage of the challenge, but it still involves climbing to the highest point of the race at the top of Mt. Gilboa.

The final 10km in from this highest point is mostly downhill and fast if you are willing to let go and run free. It does get quite interesting when it rains and becomes muddy!

The final brunch and prize giving and celebration take place around 9.30 am.

Course Route and Profile:

KZNTR Three Cranes Day 3 Route MapKZNTR Three Cranes Day 3 Elevation Profile

All compulsory must be carried at all times and random equipment checks may be carried out. Compulsory equipment includes:

  • 2L Hydration Pack
  • Rain Jacket
  • Thermal Layer
  • Gloves
  • Buff or Beanie
  • Space Blanket
  • Small Medical Kit

Race Itinery

Thursday,  20 February:

  • 15:00 pm – Registration Opens
  • 17:00 pm – Dinner available
  • 18:00 pm – Race Briefing

Friday, 21 February:

  • 05: 00 am – Breakfast available
  • 06:00 am – Race Starts
  • 11:00 am – Lunch available
  • 17:00 pm – Dinner available

Saturday, 22 February:

  • 05:00 am – Breakfast available
  • 06:00 am – Race Starts
  • 11:00 am – Lunch available
  • 05:00 pm – Dinner available

Sunday, 23 February:

  • 04:00 am – Tea and Rusks
  • 04:30 am – Race Start
  • 07:00 am – Breakfast
  • 09:30 am – Prize Giving

*Please note: To book personally guided forest experiences, contact John Roff at 083 662 2306 or visit his website by clicking HERE.

Stage Race
with shorter distance
option

Family Friendly
Event

The WILDSERIES Three Cranes Challenge will be the first event of the WILDSERIES Challenge in 2020 and will bring the event into its sixth year of an exciting partnership between WILDTRUST and KZN Trail Running. With the changes and challenges of 2019, the Three Cranes Challenge was a spectacular success and the 2020 event will maintain the promise of keeping the event viable and relevant to the trail community.

It is also no-longer feasible for humanity to continue in a business-as-usual fashion in the way we consume everything around us. The WILDSERIES events have always aimed to expose the public to some of our unexplored, incredible natural heritage, as well as raising vital funds for conservation. The beautiful Karkloof Valley, just outside of Howick, is a significant part of our natural heritage as it serves as a breeding ground for South Africans Three Crane species – all of which are now endangered as a result of mans exploitations into their delicate habitats. By hosting this event within the magnificent Karkloof Valley, we hope that this will generate an appreciation for these spectacular habitats by capturing the imaginations of the trail community, and hopefully, it will inspire a push to a new way of doing things that is eco-friendly and sustainable. Just by entering the Three Cranes Challenge, you will be contributing to the conservation of these incredible birds and their habitats.

With all of this in mind, we will be bringing an intimate, craft feels to the race village. We don’t want these events to be something that takes participants away from their families (unless you need some “me-time”), rather than can be experienced together. You can expect locally sourced, gourmet food and beverage options as well as opportunities throughout the weekend to soak up the heart and soul of the Karkloof Valley, through the eyes of the locals who know it best.

The 2-Day Event

2019 saw the successful addition of the 2-day option. This will allow runners to enter on just the Saturday and Sunday courses of the event. Furthermore, on the Saturday participants will get to choose between a 25 and 40km course, a decision which can be made and changed before and even on course.

Customise Your Race Entry Package

Customise your race package to suit your individual needs – decide from the fully inclusive “Full Package” or opt for a “Runners Package” where you can add meals and accommodation to meet your requirements. Additional components can also be purchased thereafter, allowing entrants to take advantage of the Early Bird or Grand Slam Runner Entries early on and then adding meals and/or accommodation at a later stage.

KidZone

KZN Trail Running’s KidZone will be available for Children (2yrs+). Experienced childminders will allow parents to get out and enjoy exhilarating trails by distracting (and watching over) the little ones with stimulating and fun activities at the Race Village.

Directions

Take the Howick North / Tweedie offramp off the N3 and turn towards Howick. Continue straight on Main Road and at the 4th set of traffic lights (SupaQuick on the corner), turn left onto the Karkloof Road.

Travel for approx. 22km (the last 1.3km is dirt) and turn left to Bushwillow Park (turn signposted).

GPS Co-ordinates: 29°19.174′ S 30°18.303′ E 

*Note: please ensure that you follow the written directions as GPS navigation will take you via indirect farm roads.

In Association With

Gallery

Enter Here

To enter, please select the quantity of tickets for each of the respective packages that you would like to purchase. Details about each respective package can be found on the left, below. For all race entry packages, selection for which days and events  will only take place once you have proceeded to registration. Please note that not all packages include accommodation and/or meals. These can however be purchased separately and are sold on a per person basis. For any package that includes tented accommodation, please note that each ticket includes a single mattress and that all other bedding and accessories are not included. Separate meals can also be purchased from the vendors for the duration of the event.
WILDSERIES Grand Slam
  • 3 Day Runners Package into the WILDSERIES Three Cranes Challenge
  • Runners Package into the WILDSERIES Mont-Aux-Sources Challenge
  • Runners Package into the WILDSERIES  Golden Gate Challenge
Details Price Qty
Grand Slam Challenge Full Packageshow details + R5,150.00 (ZAR)  
Grand Slam Challenge Dual Packageshow details + R3,400.00 (ZAR)   Goes On Sale
February 20, 2020

Race Entries
  • Entry into all three staged events for Three Cranes Challenge.
  • Race Garment
  • 3 Day Race Trophy
  • Tented accommodation  for one  (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night)
  • All catered meals (From Thursday dinner through to Sunday brunch)
  • Entry into two staged events (Saturday and Sunday) for the Three Cranes Challenge
  • Race Garment
  • 2 Day Race Trophy
  • Tented accommodation  for  Friday and Saturday night
  • All catered meals from Friday dinner to Sunday brunch
  • Entry into all three staged events for Three Cranes Challenge.
  • Race Garment
  • 3 Day Race Trophy
  • Campsite for one (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night)
  • All catered meals (From Thursday dinner through to Sunday brunch)
  • Entry into two staged events (Saturday and Sunday) for Three Cranes Challenge.
  • Race Garment
  • 2 Day Race Trophy
  • Campsite for one for  Friday and Saturday night
  • All catered meals from Friday dinner to Sunday brunch
  • Entry into all three staged events for Three Cranes Challenge.
  • Race Garment
  • 3 Day Race Trophy
  • No Accommodation
  • No meals
  • Entry into two staged events (Saturday and Sunday) for Three Cranes Challenge.
  • Race Garment
  • 2 Day Race Trophy
  • No Accommodation
  • No meals
Details Price Qty
3 Day Full Package (Tented Accommodation)show details + R4,750.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Full Package (Tented Accommodation)show details + R3,600.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day Full Package (Self-camping)show details + R3,700.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Full Package (Self-camping)show details + R2,950.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day Runners packageshow details + R2,400.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Runners packageshow details + R1,850.00 (ZAR)  

Accommodation
  • Tented accommodation  for one  (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night)
  • Tented accommodation  for Friday and Saturday night
  • Campsite for one (Thursday, Friday and Saturday night)
  • Campsite for one for Friday and Saturday night
Details Price Qty
3 Day Tented Accommodationshow details + R1,300.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day U18 Tented Accommodationshow details + R650.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Tented Accommodationshow details + R850.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day U18 Tented Accommodationshow details + R425.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day Self-campingshow details + R500.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day U18 Self-campingshow details + R250.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Self-campingshow details + R350.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day U18 Self-campingshow details + R175.00 (ZAR)  

Meals
  • All catered meals (From Thursday dinner through to Sunday brunch)
  • Catered meals from Friday night to Sunday Brunch
Details Price Qty
3 Day Meal Ticketshow details + R1,050.00 (ZAR)  
3 Day U18 Meal Ticketshow details + R525.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day Meal Ticketshow details + R850.00 (ZAR)  
2 Day U18 Meal Ticketshow details + R425.00 (ZAR)  

KidZone
  • Entry per child for KidZone per day for the Three Cranes Challenge Event.
Details Price Qty
KidZone Ticketshow details + R30.00 (ZAR)  

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