Big Five Event Information



Date: June 24, 2017


Course: The start and finish line are both situated at Lakeside Lodge on the upper escarpment. After the start, the marathon as well as the half marathon routes take the runners past Ravineside Lodge, the Entabeni Monolith and further on to the lower plateau. The narrow and very steep Yellow Wood Valley is the sole connection between the escarpment and the plateau below. Our route takes us trough the valley – please be aware of the many loose stones on this part of the route. On the lower plateau the route takes the runners round in a circuit (in ”lion land”), before going up through the valley once again.

Back on the upper escarpment, the route home towards the finish line go through “The Loop” where we run through a small valley on a circular route of about 6 km between the valley's two rock faces. There is a slight climb and corresponding descent as we exit the valley. A beautiful isolated valley with rare cycads. If you come across rhino we advise you to continue running (although quietly!).

The end of the run is fairly hard. We run halfway down the ridge, which provides us with a wonderful view out over the Plateau's lake. The route climbs steeply the rest of the way towards our goal and the surface is fairly bad, consisting of hard uneven stony ground with plenty of large rocks and stones of all sizes. It pays to keep a careful watch on the ground as we climb towards our goal. With the finish line in sight you can now take it nice and easy.


Cut-off Time Warnings:

Please be aware that this is an extremly difficult course with a major hill that is to steep to run down and impossible ro run up. There are also some sandy and rocky parts of the course that drastically slow your pace. To ensure runners’ safety three cut off points have been established on the route:



Cut off 1 - 25,5 km - 4 hours 15 minutes after the start

Cut off 2 - 31,5 km - 5 hours 15 minutes after the start

Cut off 3 - Finish line - 7 hours after the start


Half Marathon

Cut off 1 - 10,5 km - 4 hours after the start

Cut off 2 - 16,5 km - 5 hours after the start

Cut off 3 - Finish line - 6 hours 45 minutes after the start

  • Runners who haven’t reached the cut off points in time will not be allowed to continue and will be picked up by a ranger vehicle and taken back to the finish line.
  • The cut off times are strictly enforced to keep everybody safe!
  • All decisions made by the rangers, race officials, and/or medical team are final and not up for discussion! This also includes the decision to stop a runner and take him/her out of the race. Due to the outline of the route with many steep ascends and descents you should take into consideration that you need to add at least 25% to your "flat" marathon time.

Weather: The weather is very dry, sunny and cool at this time of the year. Participants can expect an average temperature of around 15-20 Celsius, but with variations due to sun, shade, wind and altitude.

Age Requirements:   All marathon and half marathon participants must be at least 18 years old on race day