WALKERS & RUNNERS
THE original Blue Cross was an extremely arduous, super-tough event that was only undertaken by heroic and committed athletes. To keep the event afloat its format has had to change over the years to cater for both endurance athletes and people of average fitness who want to participate.
RUNNERS are very welcome on the SPCA BLUE CROSS, and much of the information they require will overlap with walkers. Potential runners would use the same route, but with different splits. As a 500 km ULTRA MARATHON, the BLUE CROSS is just waiting to be put on the map. It will be a remote, tough, isolated, adventurous and beautiful experience for those who participate. It is, however, not for the faint of heart, beginning in a wilderness area teeming with wildlife and ending in rugged mountainous terrain. Running in relays is an option to be considered for the not so extreme athletes.
As is the case with runners,WALKERS can walk alone, or in relays, as long as they, or their team, complete the full the 500 km course. The number of walkers allowed in each team is not prescribed, however in past events team sizes have ranged from two to six active walkers. Although it is not as physically demanding as some of the other disciplines it is still a very challenging, enjoyable and unique event. Based on past experience teams members generally end up as firm friends who are justifiably proud of what they have accomplished together.
Both runners and walkers use the same ROUTE which is detailed lower down on this page. Overnight stopping points are not prescribed, however suitable secure sites are be provided along the route for those who want to use them.
Participants wishing to enter as part of a multi-disciplinary team may do so on the understanding that the full 500kms of the route must still be covered by at least one member of the team. Multi-disciplinary teams may comprise any combination of non-motorised, non-mounted activity and would adhere to the official Runners/Walkers route.
The McIlvains set off!
The 2nd group of walkers set off
THE OVERALL ROUTE
The walk starts at an altitude of 197 meters at Chilo Lodge on the boundary of the Gonarezhou National Park and ends on the summit of Mt Nyangani at an altitude of 2,693 meters. These are the lowest and highest altitudes in Zimbabwe. The total distance walked or run following this route is 500 km. For details of each days suggested distance and stop over points please click on the following link.