SKYRUN
65

Race Information

UTMB Qualifying Race - 3 Points

iTRA Qualifying Points - 4 Points

Distance

65KM

Elevation

3145 M

Cut Off

16 Hours

Checkpoints

6

SkyRun 65

The SkyRun 65 is unique in that it is truly self-supported and self-navigational races, where athletes tackle the remote terrain of the Witteberg Mountain range with a Map a Compass or GPS unit and a back pack containing all there food, water and compulsory equipment that will enable them to survive in this harsh environment, while operating at an average height of between 2200-2500 meters above sea level.

The trail starts in Lady Grey and finishes at Wartrail Country Club. The route climbs sharply out of Lady Grey to the first check point at the Tower; this is about a 12km run and is a combination of hiking trails and mountain running. As you climb the trail to the tower the majestic landscape unfolds in front of you and it now feels as if you are on top of Africa. Following the fence line you make your way along the ridge line to the second check point which is at Olympus, this is another 10km and the terrain is now devoid of paths and trails and athletes must decide which is the best route to the check point.

After Olympus the athletes can pick up a small trail that will lead them to Snowden which is check point 3 another 11km or so, there is a natural spring just past Snowden where you can fill up your water bladders (does depend on how much rain has fallen so not always guaranteed a lot of water) before making your way to Avoca Peak the highest point (2756m) on the race. The climb up Avoca peak is challenging as the gradient is steep and the terrain is rough especially after good summer rain. From Avoca the route takes you over the “Dragonback” a ridge line that is about 3 meters wide with steep descends on either side, a fantastic formation of rock that is a feature of the race and a spectacular viewing point on a clear day. The route flattens out for a while as you move towards CP6 at Skidor which is again a leg of about 10km. At Skidor you descend into the valley down a technical descend before picking up the river that will lead you to the compulsory stop at Balloch Cave having now covered about 55km of the race.

Once Athletes have done their medical and been give the all clear by the doctor, it upwards and onwards as they take on the challenge of “The Wall” a climb with a vertical ascent of over 500m in just 3km and back down the other side on the way to the dirt road after reaching the dirt road turn right onto the road and 4 km down the road is the finish line at Wartrail Country Club.

Accommodation

In the town of Lady Grey, there are many accommodation options from the Mountain View Country Inn where race headquarters are based, to the many B&B’s and Backpackers in the area. For more info on what Lady Grey has to offer visit www.ladygreytourism.co.za The only seconding point on the route is at Balloch Caves where athletes’ descend into the valley and can be supported by their seconds. Accommodation options are available at Balloch which has a few chalets and a camping area for seconds. This is some of the most exquisite terrains in the area and well worth the overnight stop. Visit the website www.ballochcottages.co.za or www.wartrail.co.za for more B&B and activities in this truly beautiful part of our country. The race is famous for Margy frost food at Balloch Caves and the finish that all the entrants are able to enjoy as a reward for taking on this epic challenge.

Directions
Lady Grey can be accessed through all the major road networks in South Africa and is about 3hrs from Bloemfontein, 6 hrs from Durban 7 hrs from Johannesburg and 10hrs from Cape Town by car.
Schedule
Pace Chart
100km Pace ChartLocationDiscriptionCP distance (KM)Total Distance (KM)Record PaceSub 24HrsSub 30Hrs
CheckpointLocationDiscriptionCP distance (KM)Total Distance (KM)Leader CP TimeLeader Real TimeLeader Overall TimeCP TimeReal TimeOverall TimeCP TimeReal TimeOverall TimeCUT-OFF
StartLady Grey---4:00 AM--4:00 AM--4:00 AM-
CP 1Tower771h 0m5:00 AM1h 0m1h 33m5:32 AM1h 33m1h 48m5:48 AM1h 48m6:00 AM
CP 2Olympus11.718.71h 14m6:14 AM2h 14m2h 5m7:37 AM3h 38m2h 42m8:30 AM4h 30m9:00 AM
CP 3SnowdenMedical Staff11.630.31h 2m7:16 AM3h 16m1h 47m9:25 AM5h 25m2h 26m10:56 AM6h 56m11:30 AM
CP 4AvocaMedical Staff1040.31h 0m8:16 AM4h 16m2h 25m11:49 AM7h 50m3h 5m2:00 PM10h 1m2:00 PM
CP 5Skidaw7.547.81h 0m9:16 AM5h 16m1h 35m1:25 PM9h 25m2h 17m4:17 PM12h 18m4:30 PM
CP 6BallochMedical Staff, Bag Dropoff Zone, Seconding Access9.557.31h 13m10:29 AM6h 29m1h 42m3:06 PM11h 7m2h 15m6:32 PM14h 32m7:00 PM
CP 7Edgehill9.466.71h 23m11:52 AM7h 52m3h 32m6:39 PM14h 39m4h 24m10:56 PM18h 57m12:30 AM
CP 8TurnMedical Staff16.282.92h 23m2:15 PM10h 15m4h 35m11:13 PM19h 14m7h 0m5:56 AM25h 56m6:00 AM
CP 9Halstone11.294.11h 21m3:36 PM11h 36m3h 13m2:27 AM22h 27m2h 48m8:43 AM28h 44m8:00 AM
FinishWartrail Country ClubBag Dropoff Zone, Seconding Access4.9990h 32m4:08 PM12h 8m1h 34m4:00 AM24h 1m1h 19m10:02 AM30h 3m10:00 AM
Destination

The Witteberg is a South African mountain range just off the south-west corner of Lesotho. The range, which rises to 2408 metres, stretches for about 60km from Lundin’s Nek in the east to Lady Grey in the west. The range lends its name to the Witteberg Series, the uppermost fossiliferous sequence of the Cape System of sedimentary rocks in South Africa. The race starts in the town of Lady Grey which is famous for its annual Nativity Play and its quaint houses and incredible scenery. Discover the wonder of Balloch cave along the route with it bushman art and idyllic setting nestled between some of the highest peaks in the Witteberg. 

The Witteberg range is one of the most picturesque places in South Africa with some distinctive peaks like Avoca and Halston Peaks dominating the skyline.

Terrain

The Witteberg is a South African mountain range just off the south-west corner of Lesotho. The range, which rises to 2408 metres, stretches for about 60km from Lundin’s Nek in the east to Lady Grey in the west. The range lends its name to the Witteberg Series, the uppermost fossiliferous sequence of the Cape System of sedimentary rocks in South Africa. The race starts in the town of Lady Grey which is famous for its annual Nativity Play and its quaint houses and incredible scenery. Discover the wonder of Balloch cave along the route with it bushman art and idyllic setting nestled between some of the highest peaks in the Witteberg. 

The Witteberg range is one of the most picturesque places in South Africa with some distinctive peaks like Avoca and Halston Peaks dominating the skyline..

DURATION: Anything from 8hrs to 16hrs

 CONFIGURATION: Start in Lady grey and traverse the Witteberg Mountain to Wartrail Country Club

 START POINT: Lady Grey

 GPS COORDINATES: 30.7135°S 27.2186°E

 TERRAIN: Mainly no track Navigation by GPS

 MAP: Basic map to be provided

 TRAIL MARKINGS: NO MARKINGS! Must self-navigate – GPS units/GPS Watches are compulsory

 FACILITIES: Camping and B&B in the area

 CELL RECEPTION: Minimal coverage in the valley’s on-mountain coverage

 BEWARE: Hydration is critical. Keep a look-out for snakes and loose rocks

 LOCAL INFO: www.ladygreytourism.co.za

SkyRun 65 Fast Facts

  • VENUE: Lady Grey
  • DISTANCE : 65KM
  • TIME OF YEAR: November
  • ENTER AS : Individuals
  • CUT-OFFS: Will be enforced
  • AVERAGE DURATION : 10/14 hrsww.skyrun.co.za