Relish the Journey as much as the Destination (AKA: Don’t sweat the big stuff)
Sometimes an ultra-distance run is better undertaken as a luxurious weekend affair, punctuated with a swim and a nap and fireside fun camaraderie. Sometimes a route offers so many diversions that racing through it leads to intense FOMO. Sometimes you do just have to stop and smell the fynbos. And watch the whales. And explore the rockpools. And take the photos.
Introducing the exclusive Whale Journey 2023, on offer to just 12 trail nuts. A unique opportunity to run the 53km route but as a two day adventure, enjoying the space and freedom and then all the vibe of the big event without any race day stress.
AN ALL INCLUSIVE JOURNEY OF THE BODY AND SOUL for 3 nights
– Fully catered from the moment you arrive at the haven of De Hoop Collection with every detail carefully considered. Nothing more to do but indulge in the magnificence of the reserve.
As a member of the small group you are invited to run at your own pace, either fast or meandering.
Day 1 takes you 28km over the Potberg mountain and through fynbos valleys until the coastline calls a stop at the welcoming Noetsie hikers Hut. Continue to explore the wild beach cove or relax around the firepit and put your feet up for the afternoon whale extravaganza put on in the bay.
Your overnight bag awaits you as well as a sumptuous feast.
After a leisurely breakfast on Day 2, first marvel at the famous athletes flying past as they complete the second half of their route and then join the field of the official Whale of Trail race runners covering 25km of rocky cliff ridges, open beach and flowing coastal path. You however, can divert to investigate the caves if you wish, frolick a while wherever the desire strikes you, and run that beach stretch on fresh legs.
Just finish at Koppie Alleen any time before dark! Join the festivities there and back at De Hoop race village.
Date: Thursday 3 August 2023 – Sunday 6 August 2023
Entry fee: R9 000
- Permit and unique opportunity to run this trail over 2 days
- CapeNature fee for De Hoop Reserve and the trail
- Thursday accommodation at De Hoop Collection (sharing)
- Thursday night dinner and Friday breakfast at De Hoop Collection
- Transfer from De Hoop to the start (approx. 45min)
- Accommodation, snacks, dinner and breakfast at Noetsie Hut for the midway overnight stay on Friday night
- Tog bag for overnight gear (issued at registration)
- Transport of your overnight bag to Noetsie Hut
- Saturday lunch at finish
- Complimentary leg massage at finish
- Finisher’s medal
- Saturday night accommodation at De Hoop Collection (sharing)
- Dinner & prize giving for the Whale of Trail Race
- Sunday breakfast at De Hoop Collection
Entry fee does not include:
- Drinks at restaurant dinners
- Personal race nutrition.
Entries open: A Non Refundable deposit of tbc will be required to secure your booking with the remaining tbc being payable before the 30 April 2023. Please email should you want to make arrangements for payment in installments.
Refunds: 70% refund (of total entry fee) possible up until 5 May 2023 (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 3 August 2023 be cancelled due to National Restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, entries will be transferred to the 2023 Whale of Trail event.
Substitutions: Substitutions are possible up to 12h00 Friday 28 July 2023 (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.
Runners Info: Runners must be self sufficient for both days along the route although on Day 2 you will have access to a fully stocked water table.
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
- WATERPROOF rain jacket
- Base layer
- Buff or head gear
- Space blanket
- Cell phone – emergency numbers will be supplied
- Recommended Equipment – Sunglasses, Sun block, Camera, Nutrition.
Overnight Gear to be sent to Noetsie Hut
- Small tog bag will be issued at registration and is the only bag that will be transported to Noetsie Hut
- Sleeping bag
- Personal toiletries
- Earplugs are recommended
- Warm clothing for the evening – expect 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 Noetsie Hut.
Noetsie Hut: Competitors will spend Friday night at the newly renovated basic hiking facility, Noetsie Hut, along the coastline with beautiful views. There are four rooms with bunk beds and external ablution facilities with a gas geyser 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 will be served. Breakfast will be on offer on Saturday morning and the start of Day 2 is at a leisurely time of 09h30 (late start to ensure Journey runners do not impede leaders of the 53km ultra).
Event Schedule (Provisional):
Thursday 3 August 2023
- 16h00 – 19h00 – Registration, Dinner and Briefing at De Hoop Collection
Friday 4 August 2023
- 07h00 – Breakfast at De Hoop Collection
- 08h00 – Transfer to Potberg / Start
- (All day) – Run, laugh, play, stop a lot, photograph, enjoy
- 18h00 – Dinner at Noetsie Hut with friends around a fire under our African sky
- = One of the better days of your life
Saturday 5 August 2023
- 07h30 – Breakfast
- 09h30 – Start of Day 2 route
- (All day) – Run, laugh, play, swim, photograph, enjoy
- 18h00 – Dinner at De Hoop Collection
- 20h00 – Prize Giving at De Hoop Collection
Sunday 6 August 2023
- 08h00 – Breakfast at De Hoop
- Optional full body massage from sport therapists