Merrell Hobbit Trail Runs

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“I’m Going On An Adventure.”

Merrell Hobbit Journey 90km – Friday 29th & Saturday 30th April 2016
Merrell Hobbit 38km – Saturday 30th April 2016MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Dayone-17
Merrell Hobbit 16km – Saturday 30th April 2016
Merrell Hobbit 5km – Saturday 30th April 2016

Set yourself off on a wonderful, wandering Hobbit journey by tackling the iconic and notoriously demanding Amathole Hiking Trail of the Eastern Cape as a two day staged run. Take advantage of the long weekend at the end of April 2016 to embrace all that the area has to offer.

Just you amongst thirty brave journeymen and women are to share in the adventure covering 90km of varied and magical terrain. From Maden Dam explore the enchanted indigenous forests and intriguing Amathole mountains up to Cata mountain hut to pass the night with good food, good cheer and tired company. The next morning forge onward past cascading waterfalls and across crystal clear streams while enveloped in glorious vistas, and no small amount of sweat, to finally descend into Hogsback.

It’s Bucket List stuff for those who have already ticked off several tough trail marathons.

Meanwhile, the 38km run on Saturday may be referred to as the short one at this event but this phenomenal route is consistently noted as the ‘most value per kilometre’ trail run in the country. Showcasing an immense variety of terrain and challenges, the course has determined runners building a very special relationship with the ups and downs of mountain running.

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The 16km and 5km routes are neither flat nor easy, but very doable and see a mixture of racers and casual runners all loving the magical vibe of the forest along well marked routes.

RACE VENUE AND ACCOMMODATION:

Arminel Hotel, Hogsback, Eastern Cape. The Arminel has been our race venue of choice for four years, offering excellent accommodation and restaurant facilities and a perfect social finish area where you can promptly collapse on a lounger by the pool.
All rooms and chalets at the hotel have been reserved for the race and bookings are managed by Mountain Runner.

Unfortunately bookings are now closed via Mountain Runner. Please contact the hotel directly should you still require accommodation at the Arminel Hotel.

Remember the Hobbit Trails fall on the long weekend, with both Wed 27th April and Mon 2nd May being public holidays.MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Dayone-33

GETTING TO HOGSBACK:

Flights to East London and then 120km (1hr30) drive. Transfers available from www.awaywiththefairies.co.za

Other Accommodation Options www.hogsback.co.za/

Comprehensive driving directions from all over the country

NON-COMPETITORS:

Family and friends of those running have no fear of being bored in this mystical fairy tale land, reportedly the inspiration behind J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

The area is a haven of creativity with many arts and crafts studios to visit and workshops to attend. Horse riding, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Birding and Abseiling and plenty of coffee shoppes.

www.hogsback.co.za for more info.

The shorter 16km and 5km runs on Saturday 30th April are also suitable for those wanting to explore and experience the excitement of the trails, finishing in the same place and just before the first 90km runners return.

RACE INFORMATION

Merrell Hobbit Journey 90km Race Info

Friday 29th & Saturday 30th April 2016MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Daytwo-50

Entry fee: R2400

  • Refunds: 70% refund possible up until 29th Jan 2016 (3 months before the event) following a written notification of withdrawal. Please note: most of our costs for this event are incurred and committed to long before you even start training. As such, it is to both our benefit that a substitute is found and we have a very fair substitution policy.
  • Substitutions: Substitutions are possible up to 12h00 Friday 15th April 2016 (2 weeks before the event) with a fee of R450. Substitutions will be offered to the wait list first, before runners are able to offer to their contacts.
  • Tog bag and gift items included in race entry are only for those who compete in the event and will not be handed to third party recipients.

Race entry includes:MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Daytwo-35

  • Permit and map for the trail
  • Bus transport from Hogsback to the start (approx. 1hr45min)
  • Accommodation, snacks, dinner and breakfast at Cata Hut for the midway overnight stay on Friday night
  • Tog bag for overnight gear (issued at registration)
  • Transport of your overnight bag to Cata Hut
  • Paramedic team on site in 4 X 4 vehicle
  • Personalised finisher’s memento

Race entry does not include:

  • Briefing and prize-giving dinners
  • Accommodation before or after the event
  • Personal medical, nutritional and hygiene requirements
  • Any snacks or performance nutrition during each day’s run
  • Helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport or hospitalization, which will be at the athlete’s cost.

Event Itinerary:

Thursday 28th April 2016:

  • 17h00 – 19h00 – Registration and compulsory pre-race briefing at Arminel Hotel

Friday 29th April 2016:

  • 04h00 – Bus transport from Arminel Hotel to start line at Maden Dam
  • 06h00 – Start at Maden Dam

Saturday 30th April 2016:

  • 05h00 – Start at Cata Hut
  • 19h00 – Prize-giving at Arminel Hotel

Route Overview

90km of mostly single track mountain paths, passing through indigenous forest, plantations and mountain grasslands with a total elevation of 4800m and drop of 4100m. It follows the five day hiking trail maintained by the Department of Water and is marked with their signs and painted symbols, though at times these can be slightly sketchy. It is not route marked for the race.

This is a tough, gruelling, exhausting trail run; be prepared to be out for between 7 and 15 hours per day and aware that you may complete each stage after nightfall.

MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Dayone-20Route

The first day starts at Maden Dam and follows the Amathole Hiking Trail to Gwili-Gwili and over Mount Kemp, up to Dontsa just below Mount Thomas and then turns to follow the ridge towards Cata, the half way stop at 47km. The second day of 43km begins at 05:00am with a climb over Geju Peak and then once again follows the ridge line past Mnyameni and Zingcuka with a final climb up Hog 1 and then straight down to the finish at the Arminel Hotel, a total distance of 90km.

Maps will be distributed to all runners at the start; detailed instructions, maps and GPS co-ordinates will be emailed on the closing date of entries.

Runners Info

  • Times per day range between 7 and 15 hours (Results with split times 2015)
  • Runners must be self-sufficient on the route. No seconding and no feeding stations.
  • There is plenty of potable water available from natural waterways along the trail.
  • Basic hiking map reading ability is essential.
  • In the interest of safety and at the organiser’s discretion, there will be cut off times along the way, after which emergency routes must be followed. This does not disqualify you.
  • Runners must be fit and have run a trail marathon within one year of participation of this event.
  • Runners must stick to the marked trail on the map provided. No short cuts are allowed.
  • There will be a sweeper.
  • There will be checkpoints. Missing a checkpoint will move you to the end of the results.

Medical

  • This Journey is a serious challenge even to a mountain goat. Due to the nature of the trail this event should be considered extreme.
  • EACH PARTICIPANT MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY.
  • There will be emergency services with 4×4 vehicles on the course but be aware that they could take several hours to reach an injured runner – hence the compulsory equipment.
  • Should the race medic declare any participant unfit to continue, he or she must withdraw from the event.

 Compulsory Running Equipment

MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Dayone-10 This is for your own safety and is not debatable. MISSING COMPULSORY EQUIPMENT MEANS NO RUN. There will be kit checks at registration and along the route.

  • Backpack
  • Water container min 2l.
  • Waterproof rain jacket (NOT just a wind breaker)
  • Base layer / Fleece – Top
  • Base layer – legs/pants (added 26 April 2016)
  • Buff / Beanie
  • Headlamp and spare battery
  • Whistle
  • Space blanket
  • Food/drink requirements for the day
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be supplied at race briefing
  • Compass
  • GPS is not compulsory but highly recommended.

Recommended Equipment

  • Gaiters to stop grass seeds and stones getting in your shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera.

Overnight Gear to be sent to Cata Hut

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  • Small tog bag will be issued at registration and is the only bag that will be transported to Cata Hut
  • Sleeping bag
  • Towel
  • Personal toiletries
  • Earplugs are recommended
  • Warm clothing for the evening – expect very cold temperatures at night
  • Race clothing and trail food for Day 2.
  • NOTE: Warm clothing used for the bus trip on Day 1 to the start will be taken to Cata Hut.

MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Dayone-50 Cata Hut

Competitors will spend Friday night at the basic hiking facility, Cata Hut, high up in the mountain with beautiful views. There are four rooms with bunk beds and external ablution facilities with a rustic donkey boiler for hot water showers.

Our staff and your overnight bag will be there to greet you. Snacks will be available and a warm and hearty dinner is served in the Lapa at 19h00. Breakfast will be on offer from 04h00 on Saturday and the start of Day 2 is promptly at 05h00.

MerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Daytwo-44

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Merrell Hobbit 38km Race Info 

Saturday 30th April 2016
Route map and profile

Online Entry fee: R450

  • Enter at www.entrytickets.net
  • Entrants for the 38km must be 18 years or older on race day
  • No refunds but substitutions are allowed up to three days before the event (for a substitution fee)
  • Entries will be available on the day with a late entry fee.

Race entry does not include the following:

  • Personal medical and nutritional requirements
  • Any snacks or performance nutrition during the event
  • Basic medical support is offered for emergencies but excludes helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport, which will be for the participant’s cost.

Registration and start times

  • Registration at Arminel Hotel from 06h00 on Saturday, 30th April 2016
  • Race Briefing 38km – 6h55
  • Race start 38km – 7h00
  • Prize-giving when the majority of runners are finished

Route Overview 38km

The Zingcuka Loop starts at Hobbiton and after a short downhill to the Tyumie River climbs steeply up the mountain and behind The Hog. From here there is a steep descent and rock scramble down to the Wolf River where the trail joins up with the Merrell Hobbit 90km trail, negotiating two river valleys and then contouring along the top of the cliffs of the Zingcuka Valley forests.  A very steep descent and a cool forest path leads to the hiking huts and the forest road.  A little further the check point the long arduous climb up the Hog begins from where it is “all downhill” to the finish at the Arminel Hotel.

The route will be marked.

Runners Info 38km

  • Runners must be self-sufficient for the day, no seconding, and no feeding stations.
  • There are no water stations on the 38km route. There is adequate water at the many streams along the trail to refill bottles and bladders.
  • There will be cut off times along the way, after which emergency routes must be followed.
  • Times per day range between 4 and 10 hours.
  • Runners must be fit and have completed at least a 20km trail (as opposed to a dirt road) run recently
  • Runners must stick to the marked trail. No short cuts are allowed.
  • There will be a sweeper
  • There will be checkpoints
  • Race results 2015
  • Smile and take in the scenery – that is why you are there!

Medical

  • There will be emergency services on standby but participants must be fit, healthy and, under normal circumstances, be able to complete the event safely without aid.
  • Should the race medic declare any participant unfit to continue, he or she must withdraw from the event.
  • EACH PARTICIPANT MUST TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN SAFETY.

Compulsory Running Equipment 38km

  • Backpack
  • Water container min 2l.
  • Waterproof rain jacket (NOT just a wind breaker)
  • Base layer / fleece top
  • Base layer – legs/pants (added 26 April 2016)
  • Buff / Beanie
  • Headlamp with new batteries
  • Whistle
  • Space blanket
  • Food/drink for the day
  • Basic First aid kit
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be on your race number.

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Merrell Hobbit 16km Race Info 

Saturday 30th April 2016
Route Map and ProfileMerrellHobbit2015:BruceViaene:Daytwo-24

Online Entry fee: R150

Race entry does not include the following:

  • Personal medical and nutritional requirements
  • Any snacks or performance nutrition during the event – there will be one water table on the 16km route.
  • Basic medical support is offered for emergencies but excludes helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport, which will be at the participant’s cost.

Registration and start times

  • Registration at Arminel Hotel from 7h30
  • Race Briefing 16km – 8h55
  • Race start 16km – 9h00
  • Prize giving when the majority of runners are finished.

Runners Info 16km

  • The route will be marked
  • Times for the 16km vary from 1h15 to 3h00 (Results 2015)
  • Runners must be self-sufficient for the day; there will be one water point on the 16km
  • Runners must stick to the marked trail. No short cuts are allowed.
  • There will be a sweeper
  • Smile – this is a great trail run!

Optional Running Equipment 16km

  • Wind breaker
  • Water bottle / bladder
  • Food/drink for the run
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be on the race number.

Recommended Equipment

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera
  • Water

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Merrell Hobbit 5km Race info 

Saturday 30th April 2016

Hobbit photo for 5km

Online Entry fee: R100

Race entry does not include the following:

  • Personal medical and nutritional requirements
  • Any snacks or performance nutrition during the event – there is no water table on the 5km route
  • Basic medical support is offered for emergencies but excludes helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport, which will be at the participant’s cost.

Registration and start times

  • Registration at Arminel Hotel from 7h30
  • Race Briefing 5km – 9h25
  • Race start 5km – 9h30
  • Prize giving when the majority of runners are finished.

Runners Info 5km

  • The route will be marked
  • Times for the 5km vary from 23min to 1h15 (Results 2015)
  • Runners must be self-sufficient, there are no water points
  • Runners must stick to the marked trail. No short cuts are allowed.
  • There will be a sweeper
  • Smile – this is a great trail run!

Optional Running Equipment 5km

  • Wind breaker
  • Water bottle / bladder
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be on the race number.

Recommended Equipment

  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera
  • Water

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