On Friday I run the 1st stage of the Golden Gate Challenge, a three stage, 3 day trail & mountain challenge. The distances are 27km, 29km and 17km. However, the organizers make it very clear that no one must be fooled by the distances as this is heavy technical mountain running. “Expect to be on the mountains 6 – 8 hours each day” is what they communicate.
From the race info:
What to bring:
- Headlight for Day 3 (compulsory)
- Bright Waterproof light weight jacket (Compulsory in misty conditions)
- Whistle (compulsory equipment)
- Hydration System (Camel Back) (Compulsory equipment for Day 1. No less than 2L)
- Walking poles – recommended (some steep ascents and descents)
- Extra socks – might be a good idea to carry a pair of dry socks in your backpack. There are some river crossing on some of the days and it might be wise to change socks after these.
- Sense of humor :)
Watch out for….
- Ticks – please search all possible places for these little buggers!
- Mountain edge: there are some big mountains and sometimes the trail go close to the edge so please be mindful and careful
- Rocks – enough of these around, lift those feetJ
- Heat & Dehydration –drink enough and bring some sunscreen. Please note that Day 1 is very remote and you will be without water between the checkpoints for a long time – hence the compulsory equipment rule for a Camelback or water bottles.
I’m going into this race with great inspiration from a friend, Pieter Pretorius, who is paraplegic and in a wheelchair. Pieter wrote this on Facebook yesterday:
“Did my longest ever distance this weekend at Reach for a Dream with 82km. I never thought I could roll this far. It just shows us again how much more we can achieve than we think we can. I wanted the 100km desperately, but my hands were raw and very sore. I will roll that 100km one day. I learnt so much from everyone this weekend. Thank You Lord for my health.”
This gave me goose pimples. How many of us can even walk 82km? To do this in a wheelchair is simply amazing. I take this into my race as inspiration.
Thank you Pieter!
I will see if I can update FB each day. We are leaving on Thursday and will be back Sunday evening. Race report and feedback next week.
Run safe and strong everyone!