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Media Release: Addo Elephant National Park - 100-Mile and 50-Mile Marathon

22 April 2005

Eleven contestants will make history on Saturday the 23rd of April 2005 with the first ever extreme marathon through the Addo Elephant National Park.

The 100-mile (160-kilometre) race will start in the northern area of the Park at the Darlington Lake Lodge early on Saturday morning. At the same time, twelve runners will begin a 50-mile (80-kilometer) race from the town of Kirkwood.

The end point of the race is the main camp of the Addo Elephant National Park.

The course is grueling and long, beginning in the arid nama-karoo Darlington area, where runners may have sightings of the park’s black rhinos. The course then winds over the rugged Zuurberg Mountains, following the park’s 4x4 route, and through many river crossings. Contestants will experience the fynbos and grassland habitats of the park on the slopes and plateaus of the mountains. Finally, the course runs through the Nyathi area of the park, home to, among other wildlife, elephant and buffalo.

The long course will see 100-miler contestants running through the night, with only torches and luminous markers for direction, and into midday of Sunday the 24th of April.

The 50-miler contestants will turn down the winding Zuurberg Pass instead of through the Nyathi area.

Pacers on bicycles and on foot will shadow the contestants who must report to marshals at regularly-spaced checkpoints. This ensures that any runners who stray off course or injure themselves can be found if they don’t check in.

Park rangers will patrol the course to prevent any encounters with potentially dangerous animals such as elephants and rhino.

Although this is the first time such a race will be run in the Addo Elephant National Park, the event organizers – Extreme Marathons – hope to make this an annual event.


Issued by South African National Parks

Megan Bradfield
Social Ecologist
Addo Elephant National Park
Tel: 042 233 0556 or 083 650 8649