The Lesotho Wildrun 2011 began on a perfect day – no clouds, beautiful blue skies and cool clear air. On the 24th March 2011, 33 runners set off into the Maluti mountains of Lesotho to take on the unknown, and a journey like no other.
Day one of the Lesotho Wildrun is 43.5 kilometers of unmarked mountainous terrain, requiring not only fitness, but navigational savvy and a very strong mind! This day turned out to be somewhat more challenging than most expected, with navigation forming a larger part of the experience than most were prepared for. This is when those that are used to finding their own way excelled, and those more used to running on the road really suffered.
The first long and steep climb to CP1 proved to be the most challenging, with many struggling to stick to the GPS tracklogs and finding themselves a little ‘off course’ now and then. Coupled with very little runnable terrain, this was Not the bit everyone raved about! However, everyone made it, albeit some having taken more ‘detours’ than others!
The next leg from CP1 to CP2 – the only required checkpoints of the day – proved a little easier on the legs and nav, although still only rare moments of pure running were to be had. Nevertheless, this leg was flatter and easier, and saw everyone picking up the pace a bit. From CP2, the route again became easier and began a descent (of sorts!) into the Maletsunyane valley, and down through the last town into Semonkong Lodge.
Sore feet, tired legs and weary faces were met at the finish for day one, although the beautiful Semonkong lodge, nestled in a small valley with the Maletsunyane river flowing by, did much to alleviate the pains of the day.
The full article is available on the Lesotho Widrun website.