ITRA points: 2 & Mountain Points:5
MAC MAC ULTRA 46km Route Description
The Sabie River is a river in South Africa that forms part of the Komati River System. The catchment area of the Sabie-Sand system is 6,320 km in extent. The Sabie is one of the most biologically diverse rivers in South Africa, with generally good water quality.
It rises in the Drakensberg escarpment of Mpumalanga province, flowing eastwards into the lowveld. It crosses the breadth of the Kruger National Park before cutting through the Lebombo range into Mozambique. Some 40 km from Moamba it enters the large Corumana Dam before finally joining the Komati. Settlements on its banks include Sabie, Skukuza and Lower Sabie.
Merry Pebbles to Ceylon Hut
The 46km route will start at Merry Pebbles next to the fast free flowing Sabie river. The first 5 km will have a fast start with some single track and jeep track. The runners will be able to warm up the legs properly with a slight uphill to Ceylon hut.
Ceylon Hut to Stables Hut
From Ceylon hut you will make your way up to the Loerie walking trail up to Bridal Veil and Glynis Falls and you will also be able to view Bridal Veil Falls from above after a spectacular single track section. From here you will continue UP via the Pine tree plantations on single track and plantation road. Eventually you will reach the top where you will be met by the friendly people at the Stables hut
Stables to Anderson Split
If you are able to pull yourself away from the festivities at Stables, back on to a plantation road, warming up the legs on a nice uphill, the falling into the magnificent Hartbeesvlakte with a free flowing single track. Watch out not to miss the rock pool to the right and feel free to stop , smell the flowers and take a goef. Be on the lookout for Eland, Hartebeest, and Zebras to name a few. The single track will continue across the valley below Mt Anderson to the Mt Anderson split.
Mt Anderson Split
Mt Anderson Split to Maritzbos Hut
Now we are getting to the business end of things, you should welcome some downhill. Some call it the Towerbos or Magic Forest others call it Pain forest. A super steep slippery wet descent to Maritzbos that never ends. This section is a real gem of 6km indigenous forest, rivers, rock pools and the most spectacular waterfalls. You will cross several streams on slippery wooden bridges. The final stretch flattens out till you get to the Party at Maritzbos aid station
Maritzbos Hut to Ceylon Hut
The first section between Maritzbos and the Ceylon Hut is a runnable 8.7 km jeep track section with one or two climbs to negotiate. At Ceylon hut you can almost see the end, and this is where you are going to start swearing at the RD
Ceylon Hut to Merry Pebbles
This is a real tester for the mental training you have done over the past year. Steady jeep tracks climb to the top of the “The Why the F” koppie aka ‘Frikkie’s Folly’. A really spectacular descent on a MTB single track brings you to the bottom were you will follow the Sabie river, one more river crossing and a cold Sabie Brewery beer awaits you at the finish.
MAC MAC ULTRA 46 km 13 week program
You need to be coming off a decent base of training and running consistently before using this program for the final 12-13 weeks of preparation.
Be sure to keep your easy runs very easy and your hard runs hard.
You can incorporate strength and cross training days into this program.
You can incorporate walking into your long runs as you will be using this on race day and so it is important to practice this.
Guided training paces: (*note these are as a guide for finishers and will vary)
Hill repeats: 5:30-6:05
Time Trial: 27:20-27:40
Remember that less is more and its better to arrive on race day a little under cooked but fresh as opposed to over trained!
Enjoy the training!!
Sport Science Unit,
Sport Exercise Medicine Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI)
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