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at the race

Saddle up, here is the flow of the event…

SEEDING   |   DAY ONE    |    DAY TWO   |    BOOK A MASSAGE    |    PRIZE CAT.   

all the details

What you need to know...



Number collection will take place at the Protea Hotel Lobby, this is upstairs and no longer in the conference room. We will be open for all two day riders from 10:00 - 21:00 on Friday then again on Saturday from 14:00 - 17:00 for the single day riders.

You do not need to bring with proof of registration, you only need your name or team name if registered in a team and you can collect numbers on behalf of other riders. If you have ordered race merchandise it will be there for you with your number board.

Substitutions / batch changes : -

Substitutions can done from the race office in the lobby, you will need written consent from the person subbing out to proceed, there is a fee of R80 for all subs which will be applied prior to any changes being made. You will also have to fill out a substitution form for your indemnity.

We take batching super seriously, if you are not happy with your batch you can only change with proof of results being presented to us. We do not choose your batching, this is provided by SAS Seeding and requires your ID number. In some cases, a rider may not have provided a accurate ID number. This will affect your seeding.

Kit changes : -

There are riders who pre-ordered kit and merchandise for the event. This was ordered to size for you, we cannot swap sizes at registration. If you come back on Saturday afternoon, we may be able to swap out then.

Number boards : - VERY IMPORTANT!!

Please make sure you do this correctly for us to collect your timing and images. If you do not mount the boards correctly, times and images may not be collected. It takes only 2 cable ties to mount your board correctly, this is done so the number face forwards and towards the front. You can mount from the top holes only and this can be done onto your bars or cables. It does not have to overtightened or bent, the board must be straight and the chip at the back MUST NOT be tampered with or rest against the metal on your bars, it will not read if it is resting against the bars.

Example of correct board mounting below :-

Note, if your GPS is on your bars, you can mount onto the cables.


Start / Finish : -

The event will start and finish at the Clarens Golf Course, start times will only be finalized in the week of the race. Riders can expect to start day 1 from 08:00 am and leave in intervals of 5 - 10 minutes. We want you to start in the sunlight, trust us when we say that you will appreciate this point. You will receive an sms with your start times 2 days prior for the Saturday and the evening before for the Sunday event.

Parking : -

There is NO parking on site at the Golf Course club house, we do however have set vehicle parking at the end of the driving range on the Golf Course. There is a fee of R20 for this service which goes directly to the Golf Course who have made this parking available. Even easier though is just rolling down to the start from your house.

Water Points : -

We would hate to see you go thirsty or hungry, so we have stocked out the water points for you, you will be able to get banana bread, salted potatoes, beer, sweet snacks, wors, crampeze & even chain lube.
There is only one water point on day 1.

Summary of day 1 : -

Route warnings : -
- Downward arrows mean caution, pump the breaks!
- Road usage, there are road crossings and road usage, there is marshalling, but you will also need to take responsibility here as we do not have road closure.
- CUT-OFF, there is a cut-off at 28km on the Thaba e Kholo, this will be at 10:30 at which point we will send you on the shorter route.

Let's start by answering the question. Why is Day 1 so short? It is simple, this is because it is tough, this is Big Mountain Country! The mountains were there long before this race, we cannot change that and we cannot avoid them. To put day 1 in perspective the average speed for most riders in 2022 was 14km/h while the leader clocked just 20km/h.

Now that we are done scaring you, let's give you the good news, we have managed to take out 4 of the major short sharp sniper style climbs in favour of switch backs and alternative routes. This will speed up the race dramatically. Our suggestion is not to burn all your matches within the 1st 15km, save the leg's for the Beast of the East and then open the taps because after the Beast it get's much faster, particularly for the shorter distance riders. For the longer distance riders, we suggest you wait until Bubbles before opening the taps. Bubbles is where this race can be won and lost, it is just 400m, but it is brutal. It's fast, flowing and rolling from Bubbles onwards and if you are in a group you may not get away.

Route marking : -

The route is GPS enabled and we encourage that, because anything can happen to the signage on route once we have put it out there. Cows are curious little creatures that like to move things, so to eliminate all doubt USE A GPS! We do mark at every turn, the arrows will be before the turn, on the turn and then right after the turn confirming that you are going the right way. If you do not see an arrow at a turn, you may be on the wrong route and on your way to Lesotho, so pay attention to the signs. It is your responsibility to follow the route correctly.

GPS routes will be available for download from below from Thursday prior to the event.


*One day riders, welcome to the Freestate, you are included in this day, we look forward to seeing you out there.

Start / Finish : -

The Start & Finish for day 2 will also be at Clarens Golf Course who look forward to welcoming you for another day of adventure. Riders can expect to start as early as 07:30 on this day as we wait for the 1st sun to hit the course. Batches will then leave in waves of 5 - 10 minutes apart and will receive their starting times the evening before the ride.

Parking :-

Parking is available at the end of the driving range again. Please do not enter through the main gate to the Golf Course as you will be turned away. Your weekend parking pass will be valid from Saturday.

Water points : -

There are 1,5 water points on this day. Please read on for more...
Our official water point will now be held at Andes Cafe, this venue is nothing short of fantastic and the entire reason we decided to move the water station from the Ash River. It is around 8km further on route than before, but it will be worth it. We will have an emergency top up point at the Ash River crossing, but this is literally there for water top ups and nothing else.

To be very clear, the water point for day 2 will be at 39km in for both distances.

Apart from the amazing setting on the lucious lawns of Andes cafe, riders will also be treated to great hospitality, hydration, food snacks, lube and even beer. Don't overindulge, you still have NoO2 between you and the finish line.

Summary of Day 2 : -

You are in for an absolute treat today with average speeds jumping up to 28km/h for the leaders and around 18km/h for the rest of the pack. Riders will be guided out of the village of Clarens and up the mighty Titanic before entering the rolling district roads, these are fast and furious and go on for over 25km. It is a massive change from day 1, but there is still work to be done.

The first section to take note of is the Ash River Express, this little beauty snakes along the banks of the silver Ash River, just keep an eye out for resident farmers cattle here. The crossing at the Ash is special, the fast flowing waters below can throw you a little but the scenery is on another level. This is also home to the Kingsbrook Pods and some sizeable wild river trout. There is a little work to be done leaving this farm, but you will soon be rewarded with an amazing waterpoint.

The route splits at Andes Cafe, this is the jewel of the Freestate in terms of country dining and somewhere we highly recommend you visit. The Big Mountain crew will head on and up towards the daunting NoO2 which will leave no prisoners, it is much shorter than previous years climbs but also much sharper. On a positive note, you do ride up concrete strips. The shorter distance riders will now cruise in at speed towards the village of Clarens, these riders will be spoilt to fast flowing single trail before cruising back towards the golf club.

Longer distance riders still have some work to do after NoO2, well that is of course if you consider having fun to be hard work. It is 16km of incredible single trail above the village of Clarens, this will snake you along the sky trail before dropping you in at the village dam and then on through the back of the commonage to the welcome site of the Golf Course.

Route marking : -

The same route marking and GPS rules as day 1 apply here.


Hosted on the Friday afternoon before the main event, this is an optional enduro ride for those keen to warm up their legs. The concept is completely a trial and if it takes off, we will expand into it in 2024.

What is it? : -

This is a 1,8km loop which will need to be completed 4 times as part of the event. Riders will be seeded for this to make sure you don't end up stuck in the course. As a trial concept, we have decided not to make this too technical, but there is still work to be done.

The slowest batches will go first and a single batch will last 30 minutes with fastest batch going off at 16:00.

Why? : -

We obviously have a long term plan, but we need to see interest in these kinds of events first.

Will this count towards my results? : -

No, this is stand alone and considered a warm up to the main event.

Do you have to enter? : -

Riders must be entered into any of the 2 day events to qualify for this, there is no entry fee, you will be sent an sms to opt in or out of the enduro.

Where is it? : -

This is on course, just 1km from town, we will send an exact pin. Vehicles cannot readily get to this part of the course, but there is parking at the gate leading to the trail.

There is nothing there : -

Please do take note that barring a hydration station, there are no other facilities there. The route is spectator friendly, you can literally see the riders for 90% of the course from the Start / Finish.


We do have massage stations available courtesy of the super talented Nicola Martin and Shane Muller Physiotherapy practices.

They will be positioned at the Start / Finish to of the race.

You can book massages on Whatsapp : -

Nichola 072 180 1594

Shane 083 441 7905


Please take note of the official prize categories for this event : -

Thaba e Kholo 2 day : -

- 1st team, male & female
- 1st - 3rd solo male & female

Thaba e Nyenyane 2 day : -

- 1st team, male & female
- 1st - 3rd solo male & female

*No prize category for single day riders

*Prize winners must be present to qualify