WELCOME TO SOUTH AFRICA
The Big Five Marathon is held in the African savannah, among some of the area’s unique wildlife. Runners from all over the world will converge on one of the ‘Big Five’ game reserves in Africa to enjoy this exceptional race.
Travelling Fit is offering a 7 Day Package staying at the private game reserve Entabeni, located in the Limpopo Province, There is also plenty of opportunity to experience several game drives.
You also have the option to stay longer and treat yourself to one of the 3 extension options which include:
- 5 Days/4 Nights – Safari and Panorama Route
- 5 Days/4 Nights – Cape Town and Tour of the Winelands
- 4 Days/3 Nights – Victoria Falls
PLEASE NOTE: The extension packages sell out so you need to book in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment
deposit and payment structure
The start and finish line are situated at Lakeside Lodge on the upper escarpment. After the start, the half marathon route takes the runners past Ravineside Lodge, the Entabeni Monolith and further on to the lower plateau. This first section is run on dirt roads made up of red sand. Runners will pass a few hills (nothing too bad…the worst is yet to come!). And when you reach Hanglip View Point, you backtrack and run back before you reach Yellow Wood Valley. Pay attention to this section as the surface is very uneven with loose rocks, pebbles and holes.
The Yellow Wood Valley is the most dreaded part of the course. You are about to run down the steepest slope of your life! This sharp descent is on a paved surface. The next three kilometres or so will be excruciatingly hard on your quads as you negotiate the steep slope. You reach lion country after the descent and although the next 2kms are flat, you’re running through deep sand. This brings you back to Yellow Wood. And yes, you guessed correctly – you’re going up the dreaded hill this time! Be prepared to take things slowly as it’s virtually impossible to run up this hill.
The route carries on to Long Drive, a narrow valley that you run across to reach the final section of the route. This section is run on dirt trails, a welcome respite from the deep sand and loose stone terrain earlier on.
The end of the run is fairly hard (final four kilometres). You run halfway down the ridge, which provides you with a wonderful view out over the plateau’s lake. The surface is fairly bad, consisting of hard uneven stony ground with plenty of large rocks and stones of all sizes. This final part has quite a few hills and as the surface is loose, it pays to keep a careful watch on the ground as you run towards the finish, but with the finish line in sight you can now take it nice and easy.
The course will be marked with kilometre signs but these should be used as a guide only and are not intended to be used to gauge your pace.
Have you thought about extending your stay? Check out our amazing optional tours to make your holiday the trip of a lifetime.
The entry fee for the Big Five Half Marathon is incorporated into the price of the package you choose and cannot be purchased independently.
Please note that all competitors MUST be 18 years of age on race day
There are no qualifying times for the Big Five Half Marathon.
The half marathon is planned to start at 09:00. Please note that the presence of wildlife near the route may cause delays.
- Cut-off 1 – 10.5km – 4 hours after start
- Cut-off 2 – 16.5 km – 5 hours after start
- Cut-off 3 – finish line – 6 hours and 45 minutes after start
Runners who haven’t reached the cut-off points in time will not be allowed to continue and will be picked up by a ranger vehicle and taken back to the finish line.
The cut-off times are strictly enforced to keep everybody safe!
The Big Five Half Marathon will be accurately timed using the Champion Chip system.
You will get two copies of the your bib number for the Big Five Half Marathon. Both must be worn visibly during the race – one on the front of your body and one on your back.
T-Shirts and Race information (including race numbers) will be handed out to you on inspection day.
Drinks stations are located along the route at approximately every 4km (2.5 miles). Water and Coca Cola are served at all stations.
The drinks stations will be open until the last runner has passed. Electrolyte drinks and bananas are served at selected drink stations and at the finish line.
A team of Danish doctors and South African paramedics will also be present during inspection and race days.
Personal Refreshments and Clothing
It is possible to leave jackets, sweaters, hat and other personal belongings at the start and pick it up after finishing the race.
If possible, please leave personal belongings in a bag or backpack. Please mark your personal belongings clearly with your name and bib number! Do not place any valuables among the items you hand in on race day.
Although the personal belongings are under staff surveillance, Entabeni Safari Conservancy and the Big Five Half Marathon organisers cannot be held responsible for any lost items.
You will be transported to the start of the Big Five Half Marathon on race morning and transported back after the race.
There is no Expo associated with the Big Five Half Marathon
Finishes T-Shirts, Medals and Certificates
All finishers will receive a t-shirt, certificate and finishers medal.
All results will be net time, meaning your time starts from the moment you cross the start line.
However, the top three male and female finishers of both distances are decided on gun time – the first three to physically cross the finish line.
The weather is very dry, sunny and cool at this time of the year. Participants can expect an average temperature of around 15-20 Celsius, but with variations due to sun, shade, wind and altitude.
Please Note: It can drop to between 0 and 5 degrees Celcius in the early mornings and overnight so please be sure to bring a warm coat, gloves, beanie and scarf.