Hobbit 90km Journey – Two Day

Friday 28 April 2023 and Saturday 29 April 2023 

Entry fee: TBC (includes VAT) 

  • Limited to 32 runners
  • PRE ENTRIES ONLY and subject to application being approved
  • Entries open on Monday, 12th September at 09h00 for 32 spots

  • Entrants must be 18 years or older on race day
  • Entries fee: Full entry fee is due on entry. If payment does not reflect within three days of entry, entry will be cancelled unless arrangements have been made with Mountain Runner for payment in installments. Please email to discuss. 
  • Refunds: 70% refund possible up until 28th January 2023 (3 months before the event) following a written notification of withdrawal. Please note: most of our costs for this event are incurred and committed to long before you even start training. As such, it is to both our benefit that a substitute is found and we have a very fair substitution policy.
  • Substitutions: Substitutions are possible up to 12h00 Friday 14th April 2023 (2 weeks before the event) with a fee of R800. Substitutions must be offered to the wait list first.
  • Should the event scheduled for the 28 – 30 April 2023 be postponed due to National Restrictions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, entries will be transferred to the rescheduled event or the 2024 Hobbit Trail Runs.
  • Tog bag and gift items included in race entry are only for those who compete in the event and will not be handed to third party recipients.

Race entry includes:

  • Permit for the trail
  • Bus transport from Hogsback to the start (approx. 1hr45min)
  • Accommodation, snacks, dinner and breakfast at Cata Hut for the midway overnight stay on Friday day night
  • Tog bag for overnight gear (issued at registration)
  • Transport of your overnight bag to Cata Hut
  • Paramedic team on site in 4 X 4 vehicle
  • Personalised finisher’s memento

Race entry does not include:

  • Briefing and prize-giving dinners
  • Accommodation before or after the event
  • Personal medical, nutritional and hygiene requirements
  • Any snacks or performance nutrition during each day’s run
  • Helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport or hospitalization, which will be at the athlete’s cost.

Event Itinerary:

Thursday 27 April 2023:

  • 17h00 – 19h00 – Registration and compulsory pre-race briefing

Friday 28 April 2023:

  • 04h00 – Bus transport from Arminel Hotel to start line at Maden Dam
  • 06h00 – Start at Maden Dam

Saturday 29 April 2023:

  • 05h00 – Start at Cata Hut
  • 19h00 – Prize-giving

Route Overview

90km of mostly single track mountain paths, passing through indigenous forest, plantations and mountain grasslands with a total elevation of 4800m and drop of 4100m. It follows the five day hiking trail maintained by the Department of Water and is marked with their signs and painted symbols, though at times these can be slightly sketchy. It is not route marked for the race.

This is a tough, gruelling, exhausting trail run; be prepared to be out for between 7 and 15 hours per day and aware that you may complete each stage after nightfall.

See interactive map of the route here


The first day starts at Maden Dam and follows the Amathole Hiking Trail to Gwili-Gwili and over Mount Kemp, up to Dontsa just below Mount Thomas and then turns to follow the ridge towards Cata, the half way stop at 45km. The second day of 43km begins at 05:00am with a climb over Geju Peak and then once again follows the ridge line past Mnyameni and Zingcuka with a final climb up Hog 1 and then straight down to the finish at the Arminel Hotel, a total distance of 90km.

Maps will be distributed to all runners at the start; detailed instructions, maps and GPS co-ordinates will be emailed in the final two weeks before the event.

Runners Info

  • Times per day range between 7 and 15 hours – see previous results to see split times.  
  • Runners must be self-sufficient on the route. No seconding and no feeding stations.
  • There is plenty of potable water available from natural waterways along the trail.
  • Basic hiking map reading ability is essential.
  • In the interest of safety and at the organiser’s discretion, there will be cut off times along the way, after which emergency routes must be followed. This does not disqualify you.
  • Runners must be fit and have run a trail marathon within one year of participation of this event.
  • Runners must stick to the marked trail on the map provided. No short cuts are allowed.
  • There will be a sweeper.
  • There will be checkpoints. Missing a checkpoint will move you to the end of the results.


  • This Journey is a serious challenge even to a mountain goat. Due to the nature of the trail this event should be considered extreme.
  • There will be emergency services with 4×4 vehicles on the course but be aware that they could take several hours to reach an injured runner – hence the compulsory equipment.
  • Helicopter evacuation, or any hospitalization transport or hospitalization, which will be at the athlete’s cost.
  • Should the race medic declare any participant unfit to continue, he or she must withdraw from the event.

 Compulsory Running Equipment

This is for your own safety and is not debatable. MISSING COMPULSORY EQUIPMENT MEANS NO RUN. There will be kit checks at registration and along the route.

  • Backpack
  • Water container min 2l.
  • Waterproof rain jacket (NOT just a wind breaker)
  • Base layer / Fleece – Top
  • Base layer – legs/pants
  • Buff / Beanie
  • Headlamp and spare battery
  • Whistle
  • Space blanket
  • Food/drink requirements for the day
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Cell phone – emergency numbers will be supplied at race briefing
  • Compass
  • GPS is not compulsory but highly recommended.

Recommended Equipment

  • Gaiters to stop grass seeds and stones getting in your shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block
  • Camera.

Overnight Gear to be sent to Cata Hut

  • Small tog bag will be issued at registration and is the only bag that will be transported to Cata Hut
  • Sleeping bag
  • Towel
  • Personal toiletries
  • Earplugs are recommended
  • Warm clothing for the evening – expect very cold temperatures at night
  • Race clothing and trail food for Day 2.
  • NOTE: Warm clothing used for the bus trip on Day 1 to the start will be taken to Cata Hut.

Cata Hut

Competitors will spend Saturday night at the basic hiking facility, Cata Hut, high up in the mountain with beautiful views. There are four rooms with bunk beds and external ablution facilities with a rustic donkey boiler for hot water showers.

Our staff and your overnight bag will be there to greet you. Snacks will be available and a warm and hearty dinner is served in the Lapa at 19h00. Breakfast will be on offer from 04h00 on Sunday and the start of Day 2 is promptly at 05h00.

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