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9Special Stage 9: Blackhill & Jonkersdam

01 June 2021

Special Stage 9: Blackhill & Jonkersdam

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9Special Stage 9: Blackhill & Jonkersdam 01 June 2021

We head to the Blackhill for Special Stage 9 of the Trail Series® Phantom Rally.  This is an all weather running spot, perfect for being deep in winter!

This stage will run from 1 June to end of July 2021.

How does the Phantom Rally work?

Getting setup with Komoot

Short

Distance | 5.5km +130m
Start Time | Any!
Cost | R100
Grading | Yellow 7A i

Long

Distance | 10km +230m
Start Time | Any!
Cost | R110
Grading | Yellow 9A i

XL

Distance | 17km +330m
Start Time | Any!
Cost | R120
Grading | Yellow 9A i
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Long

This middle distance rally route tackles three ridges hence the 230m of vertical height gain.  It's a downhill finish from the 8.5km mark, including a stunning fast section of trail! So open up those taps and send it home...

Short

It's a steady climb for the first 2km, all very runnable.  The next 1.5km is a stunning run down the middle valley before a short climb to 4km.  The last 1.5km is fast - down a fun trail section before hitting the last section of jeep track back to the finish. 

XL

This 17km is a super undulating and relatively fast course with 'only' 330m of vertical height gain.  There are five significant climbs along the way, with top-outs at 2, 4, 9, 13 & 15km respectively.  This route takes us path both Kleinplaas and Lewis Gay dams (the later the 4th & steepest climb!), linking up the best of the tracks and trails in the area.  Like the other distances, the final 1.5km is downhill and fast for that final sprint 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.

DEFINITIONS:
'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

FOR EXAMPLE:
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%
3= 21-30%
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