Expedition Africa 120km Adventure Race - Wakkerstroom

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Strong Entry for Expedition Africa - Wakkerstroom Adventure Race

Press Release / 11.05.2022See All Event Posts Follow Event
Merrell Songlines will be racing at Wakkerstroom
Merrell Songlines will be racing at Wakkerstroom

Race directors and married couple, Joléne & Thinus Matthysen from Expedition Africa, are super excited to host the Expedition Africa 60km & 120km Wakkerstroom Adventure Races  this upcoming weekend from 13-15 May 2022. The 120km race, #2 of 5 in 2022, is part of the prestigious 2022 ARWS Africa series and the winning team of this series will WIN a FREE entry into the Adventure Racing World Championships in 2023. 

Team Merrell Songlines (the 2021 ARWS AFRICA Champs), will be on the starting line for the 120km distance with Team Addicted2Adventure.co.za (currently lying 7th on the ARWS AFRICA rankings) right next to them. Other teams to look out for will be Team Slowvelders, Team Oosrand Skollies and Team The Challenged. It’s always inspiring to see schools entering - keep your eyes on Stanford Lake College who entered a team into the 120km distance as an all male team. There will be a total of 40 teams at this prestigious adventure race.

Joléne says: “As we are adventure racers ourselves, we really understand that adventure racers like to explore Mother Nature by going to places where others haven’t been before, to feel tough by taking on endurance distances by MTB, on foot and on a kayak … and to take on the world by facing the hard and sometimes unforgiving elements of the weather, be it a scorching hot day, rain coming down hard or a gusty wind. And to top it all off, the navigation part of it just puts adventure racers in another league.”

“We scouted the Wakkerstroom (directly translated: Awake Stream) area extensively, which is the second oldest town in the Mpumalanga province, South Africa”, says Thinus who also scouted and planned the route. “The town is on the KwaZulu-Natal province  border, 27km east of Volksrust town and 56km south-east of Amersfoort town. With the Balele Mountains to the south, the area surrounding the town is mountainous with kloofs, mountain springs, vlei areas, dams, conservation and heritage sites.

It is internationally renowned as a “birders paradise”, due to the high occurrence of rare wetlands and the proximity to the sources of three rivers, the Vaal, Tugela (via Buffalo tributary) and Pongola. We looked for a terrain which will be enjoyable to look at, test all athletes’ fitness and of course add some adventure.” he added. He also mentioned: “The race start will be epic as the adventure racers will be trekking up a historical site, but we’ll leave this as a surprise for map hand-out day.”

The race distances will be as follows, all split into a variety of legs:

> 60km Adventure Race: Trekking 18.5km, Cycling 40km and Kayaking 7km 

> 120km Adventure Race: Trekking 25.5km, Cycling 87km and Kayaking 16km

The weatherman’s predictions for Saturday, 14 May 2022 (race starts at 09:00) is a minimum of 8 degrees celsius and a pleasant afternoon with clouds and sun of 23 degrees celsius. Those who will race into Sunday, 15 May 2022, will experience some colder weather with a minimum of 5 degrees celsius going up to 17 degrees celsius.

Mandatory equipment and gear includes a bivvy or sleeping bag, long sleeve fleece top and long pants. Joléne’s advice in the pre-race e-mail to the adventure racers was, “Please don’t take the compulsory list lightly, the weather can change in minutes . Equipment rules are not enforced to inconvenience competitors, but to prevent any bad situations.”  The full Moon is on Monday, 16 May 2022 which means that adventure racers will enjoy very good light at night.

Jolene, Thinus and Elon

The organsing couple hope that everyone will fall in love with this 'plattelandse dorpie' (countryside town), Wakkerstroom, as they did. Therefore there is also a charity drive where they have requested adventure racers to bring any blankets, warm clothes or tinned food to the race, which will be handed out at Wakkerstroom for those in need. 

Adventure Racers and their friends and families will be accommodated at the beautiful Wetlands Game Lodge,  which will also be used as the race venue, only 6.5km’s outside of Wakkerstroom or at any of the B&B’s in town.

.What a privilege to be able to race in Africa!  Wetlands Game Lodge is the home of a variety of game, bird and plant life that can be seen on the diverse landscapes of grasslands and wetlands.r. They have a variety of species ranging from the Cape Buffalo, Fallow Deer, Eland and many more. Catch and release of their trout is also a big attraction. 

The ARWS Africa Series is very proud to be associated with Merrell, the premier outdoor apparel and shoe choice of adventure racers. Wakkerstroom Tourism Association and the friendly local people from Wakkerstroom (photographers and volunteers) have also offered their assistance with the race and the organisers are very thankful for that. 

The Expedition Africa organizing team is looking forward to welcoming everyone to Wakkerstroom.

LIVE tracking from Saturday, 14 May 2022 at 09:00: http://expafrica.live/ 

More race info: http://www.expafrica.net/Events/Expedition-Africa-120-km-Wakkerstroom

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