Registration is open for the 2020 Golden Gate Challenge to be hosted at Golden Gate Highlands National Park in the Free State.
The marathon forms part of the WILDSERIES and is hosted in partnership with Wildlands Conservation Trust and the SANParks Honorary Rangers in the KwaZulu Natal region.
According to Park Manager, Paddy Gordon, the theme for the event will be ‘The Forgotten Year’. “Those familiar with the race will attest that this is a one-of-a-kind mountain marathon that requires both agility and precise strategy from participants,” says Gordon.
The marathon will take place over the weekend of October 30 to November 1 and offers an ideal opportunity for nature lovers who have been cooped up due to the nationwide lockdown to get active in the great outdoors, says Gordon.
He emphasises that all COVID-19 safety protocols will be observed. This means that only 40 participants will be allowed in the park, however those who cannot physically join the race will have the opportunity to join virtually through the use of an app.
According to Strategic Manager at Wildtrust, Hanno Langenhoven, the organisers will follow the International Trail Running Association and South African Association of Mountain Endurance Sports best practices for safety during the event. Social distancing will be required and all participants must wear masks for the staggered start to ensure the safety of the runners and the staff and volunteers from the SANParks Honorary Rangers.
SANParks Honorary Rangers Chief Operations Officer, Francois Peenz said: “We are over the moon that it has become possible once again to host this event, even though it is under difficult conditions pertaining to COVID-19 regulations.”