53km Ultra Trail Run Info

It’s bold. It’s boisterous. It’s the WOW one!

Quick Info

  • Date & Time: (Rescheduled) Saturday, 16th January 2021
  • Start time: 05h30
  • Registration: 15th Jan 2021 – 16h00-19h00 at De Hoop Collection
  • Briefing dinner: 15th Jan 2021 – 18h30 – 20h00 at De Hoop Collection
  • Prize giving dinner: 16th Jan 2021 – 17h30 – 20h00 at De Hoop Collection
  • Distance: 53km
  • Entry fee: R3 900 
  • Prize Money: R90 000
  • Entries open online: ENTER HERE
  • Race Venue: De Hoop Collection on De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • Start: Potberg Nature Reserve
  • Finish: Koppie Alleen – De Hoop Nature Reserve.

Race Route

Date: The race is held on Saturday 16 Jan 2021 and will start at 05h30 at Potberg Nature Reserve.

Registration: Registration will be from 16h00 – 19h00 on Friday 15 Jan 2021 at De Hoop Collection, De Hoop Nature Reserve and from 06h00 at the start venue at Potberg for those staying outside the Reserve.

Briefing: Friday 15 Jan 2021 at 19h00 at De Hoop Collection. Those only registering at Potberg on race morning will be given the essentials briefing then.

Prize-giving: Saturday 16 Jan 2021 at 20h00 at De Hoop Collection.

Accommodation: There is a variety of accommodation available at De Hoop Collection. Please see the Accommodation page and contact De Hoop Collection directly for specials that will be offered for the event as well as alternative accommodation options further afield.

Tented accommodation: Available at the De Hoop Collection for the Friday and Saturday nights at R525 pppn. See details on the Accommodation page here.

Transfers: Competitors will be transferred on the morning of the 16 Jan 2021 the 30km from De Hoop to the start line at Potberg.  Competitors may deposit an official tog bag (to be issued at registration) that will then meet them at the finish area at Koppie Alleen.

Transfers will run from the finish at Koppie Alleen back to De Hoop Collection throughout the day (leaving every 45mins) for competitors.  Spectators are welcome to use this shuttle to get to and from De Hoop Collection and the finish area. No private cars will be allowed to travel the 17km from De Hoop Collection to Koppie Alleen.

Distance: The route will follow the well-established CapeNature 5-day hiking Whale Trail and is 53km with approximately 1900m ascent. The route will be marked only where necessary.  Deviations from the established hiking trail will not be allowed and it is mandatory to stay on the paths at all times. There will be two water tables along the route and various checkpoints.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE WHALE TRAIL IS CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC unless booked on the hiking trail. No route scouting or pre-running is allowed.  Any runners found on the trail illegally will be banned for all future events.

Rules & Regulations: Please read the Whale of Trail Rules & Regulations here

Entry Fee: R3 900 per runner – ENTER HERE

Entry includes:

  • Permit and unique opportunity to run this trail
  • CapeNature fee for De Hoop Reserve and the trail
  • Paramedic support with 4×4 vehicles (excludes helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport, which will be at the athlete’s cost)
  • Transfers to and from race venue to start and finish points
  • Water tables with food on the route
  • Friday night briefing dinner
  • Saturday night prize giving dinner
  • Meal at finish
  • Complimentary leg massage at finish
  • Finisher’s medal

Entry fee does not include: 

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Drinks at dinners
  • Personal race nutrition.

Entries online open: A Non Refundable deposit of R1170 will be required to secure your booking with the remaining R2730 being payable before the 30th September 2020. Entries after the 30th September, will be required to deposit the full entry fee of R3900 to secure your booking. Please email should you want to make arrangements for payment in installments – ENTER HERE

Entrants who entered for the event scheduled on the 25 July 2020 (ie entered pre 9 July 2020): Entrants have three options as listed below. Cut off date for selection of which option will be 17 October 2020. Should you not communicate your choice to us, your entry will automatically be transferred to the 16 Jan 2021 event with no option of then changing selection.  

  • transfer their entry to the 16th Jan 2021,
  • transfer their entry to the 2021 (scheduled for Jul/Aug 2021) or 2022 Whale of Trail event (no top up payments will be required)
  • refund of 70% of entry fee as per our refund policy below

Refunds: 70% refund (of total entry fee) possible up until 17 October 2020 (3 months before the event date) following a written notification of withdrawal. Please note: Most of our costs for this event are incurred and committed 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.

Cancellation: Should the event scheduled for the 16 January 2021 be cancelled due to National Restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, entries will be transferred to the 2021 or 2022 Whale of Trail event.

Substitutions: Substitutions are possible up to 12h00 Friday 8 January 2021 (8 days before the event) with a fee of R800. Substitutions will be offered to the wait list first. Should you want to make a substitution, contact the organisers.

Prize Money: Thanks for the generous sponsorship from PSG Wealth, both the Male and Female first place winners will receive R25 000 cash, second place – R10 000 and third place – R5 000. There will also be a R10 000 lucky draw prize for all finishers of the 53km, 35km and Journey. De Hoop Collection, whom host the race village, will again offer an incentive of an additional R10 000 for breaking the existing course record for the first male and female. The fastest winning times to date stand at 4h30 for men and 5h28 for the women. Prize winners have to be present at prize giving dinner on the Saturday night in order to receive the prizes.

Goody Bags: Gift items included in race entry are only for those who compete in the event and will not be handed to third party recipients.

Runners Info: Runners must be self sufficient for the day. No seconding allowed. There will be cut off times along the way, after which competitors will be pulled off the route and transported to the finish. Times range between 5 – 11 hours. Runners must be fit and should have run a marathon or at least a 30km trail (as opposed to a dirt road run) run recently. Runners must stick to the marked trail. No short cuts are allowed. There will be a sweeper. There will be checkpoints.

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

Compulsory Running Equipment: 

  • Water containers min 2 litres
  • WATERPROOF rain jacket
  • Base layer
  • Buff or head gear
  • Whistle
  • Space blanket
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be supplied at race briefing.
  • Recommended Equipment – Sunglasses, Sun block, Camera.


Event Schedule (Provisional):

Friday 15 January 2021:

  • 16h00 – 19h00 – Registration at De Hoop Collection
  • 18h30 – 21h00 – Dinner at De Hoop Collection
  • 19h00 – Briefing at De Hoop Collection

Saturday 16 January 2021:Whale of Trail 2015

  • 05h30 – Transfer from De Hoop Collection to Potberg Nature Reserve
  • 06h00 – Registration opens for non-residents of De Hoop
  • 07h00 – Start
  • 11h30 – 12h30 – Winners expected at Koppie Alleen
  • 18h00 – Dinner at De Hoop Collection
  • 20h00 – Prize Giving at De Hoop Collection

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