The final day was here and I awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed – must’ve loosened up the tired legs with all the jolling the previous night 🙂 Now to enjoy the last 11kms of trail on the Fairview Dryland Traverse.
For the final run, the compulsory equipment list would not be enforced which meant I could shed some weight in my hydration pack and run lighter.
The course would start and end at De Hoek, taking us around some of the trails in the vicinity.
On my way to the start with Phil and Lisa (my camping neighbours), it felt like the energy from the previous night’s party was still alive and well in the start chute.
The race started with us heading out from De Hoek and climbing up single track to a hill overlooking the race village. From there we looped back to De Hoek, eventually running past the chalets and turning off towards a ridge just outside the resort.
That single track along the ridge felt like we were running off trail. But, after 3 days of tackling some gnarley terrain, I felt pretty confident skipping across the rocky sections.
The course flowed down to the marsh areas and we were soon winding through an old obstacle course, intersecting a river a few times – be prepared for ankle deep wading.
We then followed the road and turned up the end of the trail which we had followed from the Cango Caves on the prior days. But this time we were tackling it in reverse which meant that the last downhill turned into a beast of a climb up to the water point.
From the Water Station
There was only one water station on route and it was immediately followed by single track towards the top of a hill. The next downhill section is the longest and most technical of the day and leads into grassier track similar to what you experienced earlier just before the old obstacle course.
The last 3kms behind De Hoek joined the route which we’d followed at the start – only now in reverse.
A few mini water crossings later and I was running down the final stretch of grass across the finish line and then dished out some high fives to mates I’d made over the weekend – we all made it through the four days!
I followed my (now) post-race ritual and headed straight to the pool for a dip before joining the final prize giving.
With my first multi-day race done and dusted, I feel that I’ve definitely learnt more about trail running and the awesome community around it. Whether it was elite athletes or the back of the pack runner, everyone shared an awesome experience during the weekend and this race is a must for all.
It was tough. It got real. The adventure was totally worth it.
The Dryland Events team have a special race and it is clear why so many of the participants are returning runners or first-timers who’ve pledged to return once more.
Hopefully, I’ll be one of them too.
Have you taken part in the Fairview Dryland Traverse and lived to tell your tale? Feel free to share your comments below.