The Giant’s Cup is a 2-day trail run stage race, set over the 5-day Giant’s Cup Hiking Trail, in the Maloti Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site in the Southern Drakensberg.
Runners will enjoy 62km of beautiful mountain trails and be able recover and relax afterwards in the comfort of the three resorts along the route.
The principle beneficiary of The Giant’s Cup is the local branch of Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) based at Cobham Nature Reserve. R500 per runner will be dedicated to this cause that will focus on local issues within the Maloti Drakensberg Park. These include alien vegetation, maintenance of the trails, funding of vital equipment for EKZNW staff and assistance with monitoring of critically endangered species such as the Bearded Vulture.
The event weekend starts with registration and dinner on Thursday 21st May 2020 at the Premier Resort Sani Pass, and finishes at the Bushman’s Nek Resort on Sunday 24th May 2020 with the farewell breakfast.
Registration will take place from 16h00 at Premier Resort Sani Pass.
Runners are accommodated in the newly upgraded Premier Resort Sani Pass. Rooms are allocated on a sharing basis. Runners wanting their own room may request this option. It is dependent on availability and the will require a top-up fee.
Dinner and breakfast will be provided in the hotel and lunch will be provided at the finish of both days of the event. For those seeking additional replenishments there are cash bars and ala carte menus available at the resort.
Dinner on the final night of the event will be in the form of an Awards Dinner whereby the overall podium positions will be awarded their prizes together with any category winners and lucky draw prizes.
Runners are welcome to book extra seats at the Awards Dinner for friends and family for an additional charge and must do so when entering the event. The cost per extra ticket will be R325 p.p.
Runners will be shuttled to the start of each day and will be shuttled back to the resort from the finish of Day 1. The finish of Day 2 is at the resort.
There will be a full medical team on standby throughout the event to respond to any medical emergencies that may arise.
Injured or ill runners will be treated on site by the medical personnel who will gain access by foot, horseback or vehicle where possible.
Should any extraction of a runner be deemed necessary this will be done by horseback or by vehicle where possible.
The isolated nature of the course means that extraction could prove time consuming and difficult and runners will be expected to acknowledge this in the indemnity form that will need to be signed when entering the event.
Should the need arise for any security on the Trail this will be provided by EKZNW Field Rangers.
GC 30/32 runners start at the Bushman’s Nek Hotel and follow a short section down the district road before entering the Giant’s Cup Trail. It is then the long climb up to the high point of the day in the saddle below Langalibalele Peak at 2158m.
This is followed by the fast and flowing descent down to the Mzimude River and the short sharp climb out of the valley and the gentle descent into the Aid Station at Swiman Hut which is the 15km mark and the start point for the GC 15/12 runners.
From Swiman the runners undulate along the Garden Castle Ridge line towards Black Eagle Pass before the steep and technical descent down to Wintershoek Hut. From the hut there’s the small bump past the Castleburn Windmill before the drop into the finish of Day 1 at Castleburn Farm.
Once on the Giant’s Cup runners will climb for a further 2km until levelling out at the 6km point from which it is a couple of kilometres of flat running followed by the 4km descent down into Cobham Nature Reserve and the first checkpoint at 13km.
Leaving Cobham, start of GC 20/15, it is a sharpish climb for 2km until reaching an undulating section of approximately 5km before the 2km descent into Mzimkhulwana Hut and the second checkpoint at 22km.
From Mzimkhulwana it is a fair climb for the following 5km until you reach the high point (1969m/6460ft) of the day at Crane Tarn. It’s all downhill from Crane Tarn until until turning onto the new section of trail that links to the finish at Castleburn Farm on the banks of the Umzimkulu River.
GC 30/32 runners start from Castleburn Farm and follow the Mhlambonjwa River before the short climb over the ridge and down to the Mzimkulu river crossing. From the river starts the longest climb of the day up to Crane Tarn. The descent from Crane Tarn down to the 1st Aid Station at Mzimkulwana Hut (11km) is long and fast.
From the Hut the second climb of the day looms as runners climb towards Bathplug Cave. After topping out the trail contours around past Tortoise Rocks and down towards the 2nd Aid Station at Cobham (20km) which is also the start for the GC 15/12 runners.
From Cobham there is the climb up the slopes of Ndlovini before a section of undulating trail and the final drop into the Gxalingenwa Gorge. The 4km descent down the beautiful Gxalingenwa is one of the highlights of the event after which runners pop out onto the golf course of the Resort for the final 800m into the finish.
The trail then descends for the next 1.5km to Wintershoek Hut after which it climbs steeply up the slopes of Garden Castle with a vertical gain of 370m within 2km. After this intense effort there is a relatively flat piece lasting 6km before a steep descent and a further flat section to the checkpoint at 14.5km at Swiman Hut, start of GC 20/15. This is the only checkpoint on Day 2.
From the checkpoint runners turn South and head towards Bushman’s Nek. There are some gentle climbs before a steep 1km descent down to the crossing point over the Mzimude River which appears at 21km. This is a good opportunity to replenish liquids before the final haul to Bushman’s Nek.
From the Mzimude there is quite a bit of climbing for the next 5km to the high point of Day 2 (2158m/7080ft) at the saddle in front of Langalibalele Peak after which it is a continuous descent before joining newly cut trail, with 2.5km to go, that takes you all the way to the finish at Bushman’s Nek Resort.
Due to the variable and potentially dangerous weather experienced in the Drakensberg the Compulsory Kit list is taken very seriously by the Organisers.
We will use weather forecasts to determine the level of kit to be carried by all runners.
Conservation is a subject close to the heart of The Giant’s Cup and as a result we take our environmental footprint very seriously. In light of this the event will be a ‘cup free’ event and all runners will be required to carry their own cup for use on the trail and at the water tables.
Please ensure that you bring your own cup or equivalent to the event.
Entries for The Giant’s Cup will open on 1st October 2019 at 09h00. Only 100 entries will be made available.
Race Package – includes 3 Nights hotel accommodation on a room sharing basis and 6 meals (dinners / breakfasts) in the three hotels en-route including the awards dinner on the Saturday night
Supporters Package – a limited number of packages for supporters are available at the rate of R 3950. This includes 3 nights accommodation on a sharing basis / all hotel meals (3 dinners including awards dinner & 3 breakfasts) / health lunches at end of both days. Access to cheese and wine and sundowners where applicable. Any supporters packages required must be selected at time of entry.
– Early Bird entries will open at 09h00 (SAST) on 1st October 2019
– Early Bird Entry Fee is R5750
– Early Bird entries will close at 17h00 (SAST) on 7th October 2019
– Standard Entries will open at 17h00 (SAST) on 7th October 2019
– Standard Entry Fee is R6450
The race package also includes:
– 2 Healthy lunches at the finish of each day.
– Quality garment(s) from our apparel partner The North Face.
– A bespoke panorama of the Berg along the Giant’s Cup Trail, hand-sketched by local author and general mountain man Dr Tod Collins.
– Pre dinner entertainment / presentations at the hotels on the Friday and Saturday nights.
– An afternoon of cheese and wine tasting on the Saturday afternoon after the finish of the event.
– Nutrition at the checkpoints along the route.
– Sweeping and support along the trail.
– Access to full medical support during the event and an evacuation plan overseen by EKZNW that includes horses and a helicopter if required.
– R500 from each entry will be donated to EKZNW and these funds will be ring-fenced and used on local projects within the Giant’s Cup biosphere.
– Further donations will be made to the local branch of the Honorary Officers.
– Best of all … a fully supported event along a 62km trail in a World Heritage Site
Runners will be able to register for the event using a South African ID Number or an International Passport Number, and must be 18-years of age to register.
Once entries are full you may register on the waiting list. If entries become available due to cancellation the waiting list will be used on a first come first served basis. The next person on the waiting list will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to accept their entry otherwise they will be removed from the waiting list and the next in line will be contacted.
Full payment is required on entry. Email confirmations will be sent on completion of the on-line entry form with details of how to make payment. Payments can only be made via EFT or bank deposit.
Please note: payment needs to be received within 48 hours to secure the entry. If no payment is received the entry will be cancelled and you will be notified as such. You will then need to restart the entry process if you wish to enter, providing entries are still available. Only once a participant has paid in full will they have a confirmed spot in the event.
For information about our payment plan option please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Substitutions can be made but it is the withdrawing participants responsibility to find a substitution and not that of the event organisers.
– A fee of R200 will be charged for all substitutions and apparel gender / size changes will only be made if stock is available.
– After 24th April 2020 no apparel changes will be possible.
– Substitutions will be accepted up until 1st May 2020.
To request a substitution please contact us at email@example.com
The event organisers will refund 90% of the entry fee if an entry is cancelled on or before 10th April 2020.
To request a cancellation please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Under no circumstances may someone take part under another athlete’s name, proof of identification will be required at registration.