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SOLO WALKERS & RUNNERS ROUTE

IN 2019 WE WELCOMED BACK FULL 500KM EVENT WALKERS AND A RUNNER.     

This year, our 27th consecutive staging of the Blue Cross, we have had more soloists register already for this phenomenal challenge. A marathon a day for 12 days puts the Blue Cross back into that physical event category that will be undertaken by long distance walkers and runners in a league of their own.

NB - ALL BLUE CROSS ROADS REQUIRE A HIGH CLEARANCE 4X4 VEHICLE, and on-the go navigational equipment in the form of a hand-held GPS and/or mobile devices loaded with the GAIA App and the respective route for the discipline.

Participants choosing the self-regulated competitive option for either the Light or Heavy Infantry disciplines must ensure that they have suitable software (Strava or equivalent) on their navigation devices which will allow for the capture of their daily and aggregate times.

The 2022 Solo Runners/Walkers (SRW22) daily splits, approximate to a Standard Marathon per day, & are predicated on the location of the recommended campsites:

Day 1: 43.3k to Camp Ni S1 

  • Load  'SRW22 D1 43.3k' & walk/run to camp 'Ni S1' .  (See .gpx and .kml route files)

  • Road conditions poor to rough gravel & cotton soil road with numerous washaways. Low range work required.

  • Back up vehicles to shadow participants through Jamanda Concession due to possible Elephant/Buffalo encounters.

  • Obstacle now impassable to vehicles. Back Up vehicles follow the 5.4k cyan track around the 'Obstacle' to RV with Runners/Walkers at Camp Ni S1 (358m ASL) in open field just east of road.

Day 2: 42.4k to Camp Ni S2

  • Load 'SRW22 D2 42.4k' & run/walk to camp 'Ni S2'

  • Road conditions as for D1 giving way to very stony stretches with some low range work required.

  • At 33.4k from the day's start, Back Up vehicles follow the 4.7k cyan track around 'Xtreme Hazard'.

  • Follow magenta track 'Ni 2 Access' through rough and thorny alleyway to Camp Ni S2 (635m ASL) in secluded clearing surrounded by thorny scrub.

Day 3: Shortest Day: 36.2k to Ni S3A or NiS3B

  • Load 'SRW22 D3 36.2k' & run/walk to camp at either 'Ni S3A' or 'Ni S3B'.

  • Road conditions very rough and stony throughout, with steep gradients particularly beyond Mwangazi Village around half way mark. Grading underway north of Mwangazi Village. 

  • Option of 2 adjacent camps in brachystegia grove (1050m ASL).  

  • Camp Ni S3A more spacious but, if inadequate, follow cyan snail trail 'Ni 3B Access' to smaller camp area with more level sites. 

Day 4: Longest Day: 45.4k to Fiddlers-on-the-Green

  • Load 'SRW22 D4 45.4k' & run/walk to Fiddlers-on-the-Green (FOTG) (970m ASL).

  • Road conditions scenic but rough and slow-going in places.

  • Sign in at main entrance gate of Makandi Estate, observe Covid protocols and carefully follow magenta track through Makandi orchards. 

  • Overnight camping at Fiddlers. Meals available courtesy of Chipinge ladies.

  • See 'Overnight Stops' and book/pay individually. Budget guide US$20 pppn including supper and breakfast.

Day 5: 41.7k to Arda Rusitu Coffee Workshops (abandoned) (1079m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D5 41.7k and walk/run 41.7k to Camp Ni S6 at Arda Rusitu Coffee Workshops (1079m ASL).

  • Soloists unsupported for first 7.3k to Junction Gate Road.

  • Back Up vehicles follow the 10.6k cyan track 'Chipinge Bk Up Route 10.6k' through Chipinge Village.

  • Road conditions very poor for first 33 kms to Rusitu road. Thereafter tar and reasonable gravel to O/N camp.

  • Arda Rusitu Coffee Wksps only level area.

  • Obtain permission from Mr Dirikwe  of Arda Rusitu   (+263773255140) to use site. Site Caretaker: Tennyson Mpandhle (+263779999910)

  • Treat as dry camp. Functional Blair toilet available. May need cleaning.

Day 6: 41.8k to Uplift point at Ngangu Township (Chimanimani) (1367m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D6 41.8k' and run/walk to Uplift near Chimanimani (1367m ASL).

  • Roscommon Road is rough, steep and stony in places but passable throughout.

  • Tar road reached 26.5k from the start. Persists to the day's end.

  • Overnight stays by own arrangements (see 'Overnight Stops' page).

​Day 7: 42.9k to Camp Ni S7 (1792m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D7 42.9k' & run/walk 42.9k to Camp Ni S7 ((1792m ASL)

  • Road condtions passable but rough, stony and dusty in places.

  • Steep climb up towards the iconic Tank Nek. 

  • Camp Ni S7 is dry camp.

Day 8: 43.8k to Camp Ni S8 (Whitewaters Bushcamp) (956m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D8 43.8k' & run/walk 43.8k to Whitewaters BushCamp (WWBC) (956m ASL).

  • Road conditions passable throughout but some rough, stony areas on the Cashel Scenic road.

  • 11 kms of tar between Cashel Village and  turn off just west of Mutambara Mission.

  • Passable dirt road through minimally populated Whitewaters area to secluded camping area amongst the granite outcrops and miombo woodland.

  • Follow cyan track 'Ni 8 Access WWBC' to camp site.

  • Dry camp so fill up at WP15 or 16.

  • Advisable to have small bag of sugar or salt as 'mutete' in case of visit from nearby kraalhead (sabuku). 

Day 9: 41.8k to Camp Ni S9A or B (927m ASL)

 

  • Load 'SRW22 D9 41.8k' & run/walk 41.8k t0 Camp Ni S9A or S9B (927m ASL).

  • Road conditions a mix of fair to good, sandy, dirt road crossing to west of the Mutare - Birchenough road before swinging north and finishing on broad tar of Bazeley Bridge road.

  • Follow red snail trail to secluded Camp Ni S9A, or follow green snail trail to larger area at S9B; latter an Apostolic Sect gathering area off-limits during their times of worship.

Day 10A: 30.5k to Uplift at Zimunya Township on main Mutare - Birchenough Road (1110m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D10A 30.5k' & run/walk to Uplift Point at Zimunya Township (1110m ASL).

  • Road conditions a mix of tar and reasonable sandy dirt. Concreting of Laurie's ladder completed.

Day 10B: 8.0k to Hillside Golf Club (1158m ASL)

  • 22.8k Vehicle transfer from Uplift Pt to 'SRW22 D10B Start 409.8k' in urban Mutare.

  • Load 'SRW22 D10B 8.0k' & run/walk 8.0 kms to Hillside Golf Club (HGC) (1158m ASL).

  • Total distance D10 = 38.5k.

  • Overnight stops by own arrangement.

  • HGC offers camping, hot showers and meal option (subject to any prevailing Covid restrictions)

Day 11: 39.6k to Camp Ni S11 (1182m ASL) BX Signature Day

  • Load 'SRW22 D11 Tfr 24.7k' & drive to D11 start point on Koodoosberg Road at 'SRW22 D11 SPt 417.8k'.

  • Load 'SRW22 D11 39.6k' & run/walk to Camp Ni S11, 80m ENE of day's end (1182m ASL) just beyond Nyadiri R bridge.

  • Road conditions all-weather gravel but rough, steep and stony in places. Spectacular scenery.

Day 12A: 19.1k to Uplift at Bonda access road (1672m ASL)

 

  • Load 'SRW22 D12A 19.1k & run/walk to Uplift point at Bonda rd 'SRW22 D12A Uplift 476.4k'.

  • Road conditions as for D11.

Day 12B: 20.6k to Nyangani Car Park (2144m ASL)

  • Load 'SRW22 D12 Tfr 30.2k' and drive to D12B start point at 'SRW22 D12B SPt 476.4k'.

  • Load 'SRW22 D12B 20.6k' and walk/run to Nyangani Car Park (2144m ASL).

  • Total distance D12 = 39.7k.

  • Road conditions a mix of tar, all weather gravel and rough gravel.

  • Prepare yourself for a Hero's welcome!

  • Back up vehicles bring camp chairs and cooler boxes.

  • Overnight stays by own arrangements (see Overnight Stops page)

Day 13: Summit Day: 2.9k to Nyangani Summit (2565m ASL)

  • Drive to Nyangani Car Park to arrive no later than 0800 hrs. Allow 75 mins from Nat Parks office.

  • Load 'All Summit Day 2.9k '. Use navaids in case of white-out.

  • Assess personal climbing strength & opt for slow, medium or fast climbing group.

  • Sign large red book for full-distance participants at the summit. Brown book for back up and supporters.

  • Limit Summit dwell time to quick photo shoot only & then descend.

  • Head straight for Rhodes Hall for Spirit of the Blue Cross Celebratory Lunch and Awards Ceremony commencing at 1300 hours.

  • Half Portuguese Chicken and Chips to be served. Cash bar available but bring cooler boxes for any special tipple.

  • Further info closer the time.

SOLO WALKERS & RUNNERS ROUTE  - ELEVATION PROFILE

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