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Skukuza Half Marathon

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Meandering Mouse
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Re: Skukuza Marathon

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:37 pm

Prinzo, a very warm welcome to you :D

The Skukuza half marathon is a fairly undulating course with lots of "cross country" moments. There is also the option of doing a 10 km race.

There is a cut off at about 15 kms for those who are not going to make the finish in a time of three hours. Runners will be taken in a combi to the sports ground. This is not to be difficult, but to protect the runners from a few serious predators. The back markers, in particular, might find themselves alone for long intervals.

The course goes around the village, twice I think, and then at about 7 kms heads out into bush. It tends to stay close to the village, passing the back of the bomas where captured animals are kept awaiting transport. Unfortunately we don't see these animals at all.

and there are hills, big ugly hills

There is a section on tar which goes onto one of the main Kruger roads. It is not a long section, but it is a welcome section. By this time the legs are weary from running on uneven gravel and the hard tar is a relief.

The last few kilometres are through the village again.

There are water tables about every 3 kilometres. These are sponsered by various local businesses, such as Sportsmans Warehouse. The honoray rangers are also on duty with firearms to protect the runners in isolated areas. The traffic department is also fantastic, lending support where and when they can. I also seem to remember the defence force getting involved.

It is a community experience at its best.

I do not think there would be an attack, but one never knows. Runners also sometimes need to "answer the call of nature", and in this regard, the rangers are essential. This is one place where you don't just duck behind a bush.

As EJ said, there is a helicopter flying overhead for the whole race. It does not land until the last runner is in safely.

There have been a few interesting experiences, the most notable when the front runners had to jump onto the back of the lead vehicle due to a pride of Lions deciding to rest in the road. Needless to say, that was not a year for personal bests. They had to wait for the Lions to be chased away before continuing.

Start booking accomodation now, but don't stress about not getting what you want at this point. Many people book and don't pay a deposit. Many more change their minds through the year and cancel their bookings. Just keep looking.

The first time I ran, I stayed outside of the Park and entered at Numbi. I was in good time for the start of the race.
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Re: Skukuza Marathon

Unread postby wbevents » Sat Aug 11, 2012 3:45 pm

Hi, here below the website address with all the information, route , contact persons etc, next year will be the 25th skukuza half marathon

It's only a 21km race, not a 10km race at all.

http://www.krugerparkmc.co.za/race-info/course.html

Just returned today form the park and our yearly family kruger week, which start with the half marathon (done number 12 last week!)

All I can say, it's a must do race !!!!!! I have done ironman, comrades, two oceans's etc etc, but the skukuza 21km is a very special and very very unique race... :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up:
July and August 2015 booked !!!

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Re: Skukuza Marathon

Unread postby Tom124 » Sat Aug 11, 2012 11:43 pm

[quote="Meandering Mouse"]
Needless to say, that was not a year for personal bests. They had to wait for the Lions to be chased away before continuing.[quote]

I don't know MM... a pride of lions behind me would almost certainly inspire me to a record-breaking pace! Too bad we didn't implement it for the Olympics - then you'd see just how fast Bolt can really run :tongue:
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Re: Skukuza Marathon

Unread postby Prinzo » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:44 am

Thanks for the replies and useful info, with that in mind, can you imagine a snake popping out fom the bush and sinking its fangs into one of the runners ankles, that's what's so exciting about the Kruger park is that anything can happen in nature, as we humans are all God's animals in his backyard, the Kruger Park

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Re: Skukuza Marathon

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Aug 12, 2012 3:09 pm

Prinzo, we are more likely to get into trouble needing to "answer the call of nature". :wink: Be careful of what you eat and drink the night before.
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Re: Skukuza Half Marathon

Unread postby wbevents » Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:07 pm

That time of the year ! Kruger for 10 days including running the amazing skukuza halfmarathon once again! :dance: :dance: :dance:

Inbox me if anyone need race numbers for saturday?
July and August 2015 booked !!!

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Re: Skukuza Half Marathon

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Wed Jul 31, 2013 5:51 am

I hope you have a wonderful run. Good luck. :thumbs_up: and thanks for thinking of us :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: folk.
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Re: Skukuza Half Marathon

Unread postby ecojunkie » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:51 am

Watch out for me if you are running......usually stationed near the nursery on the gravel road past Lake Panic.
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Re: Skukuza Half Marathon

Unread postby wbevents » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:59 am

Thanks ecojunkie for looking after us and for the well wishes meandering mouse!

Heard there was leopard near km 7-8.

Was an awesome experience as always :dance: :dance: :dance: !!

Looking forward to hopefully doing number 14 next year!
July and August 2015 booked !!!

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Re: Skukuza Half Marathon

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:05 am

:thumbs_up: for number 14.
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Marathon dates.

Unread postby Afriphile » Tue May 13, 2014 4:43 pm

Hi, can any of you athletic types tell me the dates and route of the race.
We have bookings 25/7/14 to 10/8/14 and don't want to be anywhere near it!
Thanks.

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Re: Marathon dates.

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Tue May 13, 2014 5:05 pm

Good idea Afriphle :wink:

It is usually the first Saturday in August.
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Re: Marathon dates.

Unread postby Porridge » Tue May 13, 2014 9:45 pm

As far as the route is concerned, I've stolen this from another site which seems to be quite serious about this, and which is quite well written (http://www.krugerparkmc.co.za/race-info.html):

A thousand athletes line up at the start on the "village green" and are set off by a recording of a lion roar. Clockwise once around the field and then past the nursery school towards a short, steep climb up "Vossie's hill" that takes the runners "out into the bush" The runners pass the golf club and run up along "Lake Panic" dam wall (so named because immediately upon completion in 1981 the park experienced very heavy rains and the dam started filling up rapidly and the Park Warden began to "panic" that the dam wall might not hold) where hippo, waterbirds and a variety of animals coming down to drink are often seen.

At the end of the embankment the first water table comes as a welcome sight. The course briefly crosses the golf course and then follows its periphery passing through "Bok doodgeslaan groot geskrik vir leeu spruit" (translated "buck killed by ball, big fright from lion stream"), so named because a few years ago one of the Skukuza inhabitants hit a golf ball down the fairway and it stopped an impala dead in its tracks when it hit it on the head. The player walked up to the impala and seeing it was dead walked away to continue his game! After he had gone a short distance something made him look around and he saw a lioness come up to and past the impala in a slightly threatening manner. Fortunately the lioness preferred the impala to the golf player!

After crossing the stream the course goes up "Rhino Hill", where a few years ago a black rhino was giving golfers more exercise than they bargained for. He had to be captured and relocated to the Lower Sabie area where he could go about his business unhindered by wayward golf balls. The well kept greens fringed by bush is a pleasant sight to runners and "game viewing" along this stretch of the course offers a welcome distraction.

The next 2.5km of undulating road meanders back through the village. Impala, warthog and baboon can be seen staring non-plussed at the "herd of runners". Exiting onto the village entry road the course drops down towards the starting point. This is a fast part of the course as it is slightly downhill and crowds of spectators line the road urging runners on. At the Nursery School corner runners bear left to start the second and longer lap.

The second lap follows the first lap up “Vossies hill” and at the top of the Nursery road after a short left turn, the runners turn right along a sand road where they follow the fence of the elephant, rhino and buffalo bomas (where animals are held for a period before translocation).

For 6km the route circles both the bomas and on one of the legs of at this stage the runners are running very close to the Sabie river. The two water points manned by the honorary rangers bring relief to the runners during one of the most challenging stages of the race.

The route then goes out on the tourist Nursery road (which is closed to the public for a couple of hours) for about 2km and then turns onto the Kruger Gate/Skukuza tar road at the 13km mark. During this part of the race the runners are running out in the wild and their safety is ensured by rangers on foot and the ever present helicopter having a watchful eye for rhinos and elephants.

A flat 4 km stretch on the tar road towards Skukuza rest camp turns left for another kilometer to meet up with the road that connects the camp with the staff village. There are two water tables just out of sight of the tourists as the runners enter and exit the tar road.

Entering the staff village the road threads its way between the tennis courts, bowling green and swimming pool.Then the road dips down, crossing a small low water bridge and then climbs for about 1km, passing "Loop-en-Val draai" (where Loop-en-Val Motserauteau fell in a sandy patch during the 1989 race but still managed to come second) and on to the last water table run by SAB who also provide a water tunnel to cool the runners.

After a visit at the SAB table most runners run the last uphill with a smile. Turning left at the nursery and this time down with “Vossie’s hill” the field is in sight and the finish banner marks the end of an unforgettable running experience.

Most athletes find the course challenging and are surprised by its undulating nature. There are numerous short but significant climbs and dips and underfoot the course changes between tarmac and graded gravel roads. Temperatures can be expected to be warm but being August there is often a fresh breeze to cool hot, sweaty bodies.


I really don't know how current this is or whether the course still follows the same route, but I found it to be entertaining reading anyway.
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Re: Marathon dates.

Unread postby Afriphile » Wed May 14, 2014 12:20 am

Thanks,seems like it is2-3Aug so as we are far away in Olifants there is no problem.

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Re: Marathon dates.

Unread postby Meandering Mouse » Fri May 16, 2014 7:59 am

Thanks Porridge, that certainly brings back memories. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Afriphile, this will put your mind at ease.

http://www.runnersguide.co.za/clubs/clu ... lubno=5966
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