There are three routes at 16km, 30km and 46km.
Forest Run is held in the Vredefort Dome. This is rugged terrain. There are sections of rough, open tracks where you can mostly just run flat-out and then there are the rocky paths where you’ll have to watch every step. I think I’ve achieved a really good mix.
Description & altitude profile
The three courses share sections. All courses do the same 11 kilometre section first. The 16km has only one short section down from ‘Trig Beacon’ to ‘Windpomp’ that the other two routes do not use. The 30km and 46km courses divert from the 16km at ‘Trig Beacon’. The 46km course diverts from the 30km course at ‘Lotsa tracks’ and joins back there later. The 30km and 46km then continue on the same route. All routes meet at ‘Windpomp’ for the final four kilometres to the finish.
In general, there are tricky, technical sections, lovely open and runnable sections and terrain in between these two. Don’t be shy to walk if it is too rocky for you (safety first!) – I do. Make the best of the easily runnable sections; they’re a reward for getting through the harder sections.
I tried to find a more gentle descent to the finish… but there were no other options. So, the only real sting in the tail is the steep decent near the end. The good news is that it is short and sharp (take it easy) and from here it is a divinely gentle cruise to the finish on open and runnable ground.
Take a look at the photo albums on our Facebook page for photos from my scouting outings – these show you the terrain.
Before you look at the profiles and think, “OMG, look how steep those hills are!”, read my post about elevation profiles.
My scale on the side is in 50m intervals. In reality, the slopes are definitely not as steep as they look here. I’ve run my GPX track through Google Earth and online apps to check cumulative elevation and all programs return different answers. What you see below is ‘worst case’. Real cumulative elevation is certainly a little less.
Here are your altitude profiles – with water points indicated.
Note: Cumulative climb for the 30km route is between 900m to 945m.
Water stations / feed station
There are water stations out on the route (see distances below).
WP3 and WP5 are also feed stations for the 30km and 46km courses.
We’ve got the usual candidates like salty chips, cookies and sweeties plus apples and bananas, PB sammies, Liz’s famous eggy mayo sammies and my extra special date balls. We’ve got Game at WP3, 4 and 5. We decided to drop the salted, boiled baby potatoes because they haven’t been very popular but as I like eating them when I run, I’ll probably sneak in a couple for those who, like me, enjoy them.
There is ONE supporter access point on the 30km and 46km routes at Thabela Thabeng, which is 3.8km from the start/finish on the main dirt road. This is very easy to access. The 16km route is inaccessible to supporters.