Entries Open for 2017 Dryland Traverse

The Dryland Traverse offers the unique opportunity to run through a section of the Cango Caves. Seen here, Landie Greyling in action in 2016. Photo by Oakpics.com.
The Dryland Traverse offers the unique opportunity to run through a section of the Cango Caves. Seen here, Landie Greyling in action in 2016. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Dryland Event Management’s only event to bear the Dryland name, the Dryland Traverse Adventure Trail Run, has garnered a reputation as a challenging but highly enjoyable event – both on and off the trails. In 2017 the Dryland Traverse will take place from the 2nd to the 5th of November and entries for the race open on Thursday the 16th of March at 12:00.

The Dryland Traverse is a four day, three stage and a prologue, trail run in the Swartberg Mountains and its foothills. The event provides a challenging mix of technical mountain trail running, scenic kilometres of rural jeep track – which offer trail runners the opportunity to raise their eyes from the trails and take in the beauty of the area – and the unique experience of running through the Cango Caves during the prologue. Route highlights include running up the Swartberg Pass, descending along an old trail from the heights of the Swartberg back to the race village at De Hoek, and of course the two kilometre long section through the Precambrian limestone caverns of the Cango Caves.

The Dryland Traverse route features some challenging mountain singletracks. Photo by Mark le Roux.
The Dryland Traverse route features some challenging mountain singletracks. Photo by Mark le Roux.

While the trail running is undoubtedly fantastic the event is equally famous for its festive spirit. With the sprawling De Hoek Mountain Resort providing the race village, trail runners can choose to stay in Dryland’s famous red tents, upgrade to luxury tents – complete with beds, white linen, power points and camp chairs – or book their own accommodation in De Hoek. With the option to camp, caravan or stay in one of the De Hoek chalets the Dryland Traverse is the perfect event to bring the whole family too. Non-trail runners can explore the Cango Caves, visit the Cango Wildlife Ranch in Oudtshoorn, hike up to the Rust-en-Vrede Waterfall – near the start of Stage 2 – or simply relax at De Hoek’s swimming pool with a book.

The Saturday night Dryland Traverse fancy dress party has also become one of the key attractions to the race. The theme changes annually and the 80’s theme of 2015 and the Beach theme of 2016 were both exceptionally well received. With the final stage’s start time being pushed back to 09:30 and with only 11 kilometres to negotiate virtually the entire field of trail, runners party well into the night. In 2016 even the race leaders joined in the festivities.

Robert Rorich provided entertainment on and off the trail; running to a superb overall victory and partying up a storm at the 2016 Dryland Traverse. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Robert Rorich provided entertainment on and off the trail; running to a superb overall victory and partying up a storm at the 2016 Dryland Traverse. Photo by Oakpics.com.

The Dryland Traverse is not just special to the event entrants however, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Dryland Event Management team too; as Race Director Bernard le Roux explains: “the entire Dryland crew looks forward to the Dryland Traverse every year. It’s such a fun event to organise and work at. Plus trail runners are just so relaxed and fun loving that they make the entire event a pleasure. It helps that the Saturday night party also doubles as my birthday party too I guess.”

Katja Sogott was one of a number of trail running starts to take part in the 2016 Dryland Traverse, when she ran to the women’s category victory alongside Chantel Nienaber. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Katja Sogott was one of a number of trail running starts to take part in the 2016 Dryland Traverse, when she ran to the women’s category victory alongside Chantel Nienaber. Photo by Oakpics.com.

Entries to the 2017 Dryland Traverse open on the 16th of March at 12:00 and early bird entrants will be rewarded with a 10% discount if they enter before the 31st of May. Entry options include solo and team, with a choice of camping, luxury camping or own accommodation available. Please visit www.drylandtraverse.co.za for more information or follow @DrylandTraverse on Twitter and like the Dryland Traverse Facebook page to stay updated.

Men’s team champions Francois Maquassa and John April taking on the obstacle course section on Stage 3 of the 2016 Dryland Traverse. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Men’s team champions Francois Maquassa and John April taking on the obstacle course section on Stage 3 of the 2016 Dryland Traverse. Photo by Oakpics.com.
Fast Facts: 2017 Dryland Traverse
Dates 2 – 5 November 2017
Website www.drylandtraverse.co.za
Venue De Hoek Mountain Resort | www.dehoekmountainresort.co.za
Distances Prologue: 8km | Stage 1: 27km | Stage 2: 23km | Stage 3: 11km
Solo Entry R4 450 | Early bird: R4 200 (until 31/05/2017)
Team Entry R8 600 | Early Bird: R7 900 (until 31/05/2017)
Luxury Camping R2 500 (for two)
Non-Runners R1 600 (Supporter package inc. all meals & standard camping)
Facebook Dryland Traverse
Twitter @DrylandTraverse
Instagram drylandtrail
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