1Hennops Beast21 October 2018
The first race of SA's original & only National short course trail running series is infamously known as the “Hennops beast”, and rightfully so. It starts off with a series of climbs before descending on technical single track and finishing on a flowy fast track through a valley alongside the roar of the Hennops river, one of the largest rivers in Gauteng. The short course is perfect for a family adventure in the bush!
Entries are limited and pre-entry online is advisable!
“The Hennops Beast,” is what this course has become infamously known as. The long course (12,06km) starts out on a flat jeep track for about a kilometer along the farm roads, runners then link up to some flowy high veld single track with a few ups and downs to warm up the legs till the 4,5km mark. A sneaky surprise hill, that’s been the cause of plenty a curse words, awaits everyone around this mark, a rocky 100m ascent, followed by some technical, very rocky but super fun flat trails. And to make up for all the hard work and climbing at the beginning of the course you’re met at the top with stunning views, a technical downhill, finishing off with some fun flowy trails along the Hennops River.
The short course (6,83km) at Hennops River is not to be out classed by its longer older brother. This feisty course gets straight into business. Runners head out on a flat jeep track along the farm roads until the 1km mark, after which the climbing starts for 2,5km up a dry rocky mix of jeep and single track. Once at the top you’re basically half way home. A technical downhill awaits runners until the 6km mark, where runners then have a fun flowy flat single track along the Hennops river through the forest all the way home.
WILDRUNNER TRAIL RUNNING GRADING SYSTEM (WTG)
Download the WTG here.
The Wildrunner Trail Grading system (WTG), was developed in 2009 and designed to help you make informed decisions on trail running events around the country. Unlike road running, trail running routes and races have many more facets to them, making them either harder or longer (in time) than you may expect.
Every race/event should give you the total distance and accumulative ascent, but using road running sense to work out your time based on these factors alone would be a mistake!
The three primary 'trail factors' affecting your overall time and effort on a trail run are as follows:
1. Terrain difficulty (easy or tricky?)
2. % single track/off-road to on-road (how much on difficult terrain?)
3. Route severity (how steep?)
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The three factors mentioned above have been expanded into an easy three part grading system. Each trail factor is listed below with the descriptions. Look out for races with a WTG and use this guide to make informed decisions.
'Technical' terrain = trail that is ‘busy’, that requires extensive concentration and trail running technique - for example a rocky hiking path, or a 4x4 track.
'Off-trail'= Describes sections that do not have any obvious or established route, for example a river bed, grass field or a section of beach.
'Single-track' = Describing a trail that is narrow and typically only wide enough for one runner to run on at a time and in single file. Examples of typical single track would be a hiking trail, mountain bike trail, game trail, livestock trail
Cape Winter Trail Series® - Tygerberg Nature Reserve: YELLOW 8B
Gauteng Summer Trail Series® - Leeuwenkloof: ORANGE 7A
Jonkershoek Mountain Challenge 36km: GREEN 8B
Skyrun 100km: RED 9B
All Wildrunner events (www.wildrunner.co.za) carry this grading system - look out for the grading on the event listing.
PART 1: TERRAIN DIFFICULTY
YELLOW = Easy, non-technical terrain, all on established trails and tracks
ORANGE= Moderately easy terrain, short sections of ‘technical’ terrain but largely easy running, all on established trails and tracks
GREEN = Moderate challenging terrain, with a mix of ‘technical’ and ‘non technical’ terrain, mostly on established trails and tracks but may or may not have extended sections regarded as being ‘off-trail’
BROWN = Moderately difficult terrain, more ‘technical’ terrain than ‘non-technical’ terrain, challenging but mostly on established trails and tracks although may or may not have extended sections regarded as being ‘off-trail’
RED = Difficult terrain, majority ‘technical’ terrain that is extremely demanding, may or may not have large sections on un-established trails and tracks
PART 2: % SINGLE TRACK/OFF-ROAD
1 = 1-10%
2 = 11-20%
4 = 31-40%
5 = 41-50%
6 = 51-60%
7 = 61-70%
8 = 71-80%
9 = 81-90%
10 = 91-100%
PART 3: ROUTE SEVERITY
A = Mostly runnable gradient
B = Mostly runable gradient, but has some steep ascent and descent that may require walking
C = Lots of steep ascent and descent that may require walking