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Race Report: Richtersveld Transfronteir Wild Run: Day 1

Day 1: Sendlingdrift to De Keogh

43km - 1180m climbing

At 8am we were all on the start line nervously with GPS in one hand and map in the other. We immediately went a different route to everyone else, having to negotiate a barbed wired fence unnecessarily and so I had the first war wounds within 10 minutes of starting! But we trotted on seeing other runners appearing in front from all directions. 

jo williams outside sports nz

We found a few locals to follow and thought “they will know the route” but soon were completely off track.We managed to find our way back on track before Check Point 1 (CP1), after splitting from the locals and a few others. 

Stephen, Linda, Tobias and I made our way through the first 30kms, although we did lose each other at least once. Tobias and I explored an extra valley and had to scramble up out of it.

"We found ourselves further back in the field when approaching the aid station and had to work hard to make up lost ground."

 

The terrain was mixed with white crystal stones, beautiful dry river canyons and hills with stunning views. We came to a section of 4 wheel drive road, so was an opportunity to run to "Helskloof Pass" before a more technical ascent up to Numeesberge. 

At this point it was only Dawid (local from Sendlingdrift) and I, with Tobias and Stephen just a little behind. We ran well together, Dawid route/track finding and me on the GPS and map.Communication was a little difficult with Afrikaans and English, but it worked. With encouragement from Dawid that the finish was round the corner, we made it to the Wild Runner finish banner and had a sprint for the line, coming over together joint first! Unfortunately though, Dawid had missed the first check point so ended up with a 1 hour time penalty. This is a shame and maybe due to the briefing being in English and he did not use the GPS and Map. I am sure next year will be different with some navigation coaching organised by Boundless prior to the event.

jo williams outside sports nz

Peter, one of the national park staff, who specialises in the flora, fauna and wildlife, gave us a fascinating slideshow during the evening briefing. He certainly brought the desert to life as he did with the complicated Latin pronunciations! he has an incredible passion for the area.

#WhereAdventuresBegin

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