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The Event

  • The South African Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon will be organised by Augrabies Extreme Marathons cc.
  • The route is changed each year.

The Competition

  • The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon is a self-sufficiency foot race covering a distance of approximately 250km, held in 6 stages over 7 days.
  • Each participant must carry his/her supplies for the duration of the race; these may be checked by a race official at any stage during the competition. Competitors must plan ahead of time what supplies they will carry with them which include all food, supplements, clothing, sleeping gear, toiletries and survival gear. All equipment and supplies started with must be carried for the duration of the race. The only items that can be discarded, and only at checkpoints or overnight camps, are:
    • Food and food packaging
    • Supplements packaging
  • No discarded food or equipment can be used by any other participant.
  • The route each day is over a set distance, with a timed start and finish.
  • Except for first day there will be staggered starts every day. These start times are based directly on the overall times of each participant. These start times are posted each evening after the last participant has finished. These start times CANNOT be altered. If you miss your allocated starting time, your overall time WILL be calculated on you allocated starting time.
  • There are checkpoints at approximately every 8 – 11km intervals.
  • It is the responsibility of the participant to ensure that the check point time keeper has listed them as having passed through the check point.
  • The route will be clearly marked with marking tape and boards to indicate the route. Each participant will be given a handbook with maps. Participants must navigate using their handbook and maps plus the marker tapes. The markers are positioned at approximately 300 to 400 meters apart.
  • The route of the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon is mainly on jeep track and dust roads, the overall distance is measured on these tracks which often wind their way between the hills. It is NOT PERMITTED to leave the track and deliberately take a short cut across open ground to reduce the distance and gain an advantage. Any participant seen deliberately taking a short cut off the tracks to shorten the distance of the marked route will be considered a NON FINISHER of the event. It is permitted to run parallel to the track to find harder ground.
  • One day/night stage will be included and this stage is approximately 80km. On this day the slower participants leave at 06:00, the starts are staggered throughout the morning with the fastest participants leaving at 13:00.
  • Once darkness has set on the night stage it is essential to keep your headlamps ON at all times as the route markers are reflective.
  • Except for the long day, the cut off for the daily stage is 19:00 as the route is not set for the dark.
  • The cut off time for the long stage is 09:00 the following morning.
  • Cover for overnight stops are provided at the finish camps in the form of Stretch Tents. Stretch Tents sections will be numbered and 6 participants will be allocated per section. Participants must only sleep in their allocated section. These allocations CANNOT be changed.
  • No competitor is permitted to leave the overnight camp areas.
  • Participants will be required to run with their race numbers, un-obscured, on their front.
  • All other areas can be used for personal advertising on condition that it is not in conflict with any of our sponsors.
  • Augrabies Extreme Marathon cc reserves the right to modify any part of the competition as a result of circumstances beyond its control.
  • No competitor may interfere with another competitor.
  • Abuse directed at ANY other competitor or ANY crew member will not be tolerated and will result in immediate disqualification.
  • Should a participant see anything during the event that they are unhappy about, please discuss this with the Check Point Captain or Camp Master immediately; they will communicate this with the Race Director.  Do not leave this until after the event as no action will then be taken.
  • The Race Director’s decision regarding any dispute or disqualification is final.
  • Participants can be withdrawn from the competition if instructed by the Race Director, or on advice of the medical team if it is obvious that they are not coping with the extreme conditions that an event such as this demands, or if they disregard any of the rules and regulations as set out in this document.
  • For safety to both the participant and other participants, earphones will not be allowed whilst on the route.  They are permitted at the overnight camps only. (Cannot hear someone calling for assistance, shouting a warning to you or being aware of your surroundings.)
  • Only the medical team, physios, photographers and race directors will be allowed at the Finish Camp on the rest day.

Entry Conditions

  • The competition is open to persons 21 years and over.
  • Juniors 18 – 21 years must have written permission from a parent or guardian.
  • Competitors’ medical examination must be done after 01 August and must be emailed to us by 15 September.
  • The Race Organisers of the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon reserve the right to refuse an entry.

Prizes and Trophies

  • Each finisher receives a trophy which is a unique hand-blown glass leopard made by Ngwenya Glass.
  • Winners Trophies are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd man and for 1st, 2nd and 3rd lady.

Ecological Regulations

  • The Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon runs over an ecologically sensitive and protected area. Any of the activities listed below are NOT PERMITTED. It is a SERIOUS AND PUNISHABLE OFFENCE. KAEM management and the KAEM brand completely dissociate itself from any of these activities. Should a participant be seen performing any of these activities, it will result in immediate disqualification. Should the participant be found guilty of any of the activities by the South African Augrabies Falls National Park or any private farmer, it could result in prosecution.
    • Littering (any form of littering)
    • Deliberately damaging any flora and/or fauna (any form of plant and animal life)
    • Deliberately damaging the terrain (veld, tracks, roads, rivers, riverbeds, etc.)
    • Removing anything from the terrain, including plants, trees, branches, animals, animal remains, birds, fish, eggs, stones, rocks, or anything found in the veld.
    • Making a fire or burning anything.


  • Registration will take place on arrival.
  • Briefing will take place at 10:30 on the Friday morning before the start of the first stage on Saturday.
  • Competitors will be required to produce their relevant medical certification, compulsory equipment, and self-sufficient provisions for the duration of the race.
  • Anyone without the relevant documentation and compulsory items will be regarded as a non-starter.
  • ALL medication is to be shown and declared to the medical doctor.

Food Requirements

  • Participants must carry enough food to sustain themselves during the event.
  • A minimum of 2000 Calories per day is recommended. (See notes on food.)
  • It is at the discretion of the event doctor at inspection to ascertain if you are carrying sufficient food.
  • During the event, should you dehydrate or if the medical team feels you are undernourished and are endangering yourself, you will be re-hydrated orally or intravenously.  Should you require two (2) intravenous drips or regular oral re-hydration, you will be withdrawn.

Water Distribution

  • KAEM is sponsored by and provides participants with aQuellé water (still and plain).
  • Check points during the event are approx. 8 – 11 km apart –1.5 litres of water is supplied per participant at each check point
  • 5 litres at the finish camp each day. These 5 litres are also for filling your water bottles the next morning from the start to Check Point 1.
  • An additional of 1 litre of hot, boiled water for cooking will be allocated per participant each day.
  • An additional 5 litres will be supplied for the rest day.
  • This is the only water that will be supplied to the participants.
  • Additional water supplies may be issued if the conditions demand it.  This water will be distributed from drums.

Geographical Conditions

  • The terrain varies from flat plains, fertile valleys, rocky mountainous outcrops and sandy desert.
  • Areas covered will include a wildlife sanctuary, private farmlands and cultivated vineyards.
  • Day temperatures in the area during October average between 33 – 45 degrees Celsius (in the shade), dropping to 5 degrees Celsius at night.

Assistance during the Competition

  • No assistance may be accepted from any person or facility not connected to the event or crew.
  • No participant may carry equipment or supplies for another participant.
  • Only water and medical assistance may be accepted from crew at check points and the finish. Participants may not accept or take any food, drinks or any other supplies from other participants, crew or medical team member.
  • The organisers reserve the right to make allowances for any participants with a disability.

Medical Assistance

  • A full medical team will be in attendance throughout the duration of the event.
  • Any self-medication taken during the event MUST be declared and approved by the race doctor at registration.
  • Any medication taken during the event that has not been approved by the doctor will result in disqualification.
  • The medical team is there for the participant’s wellbeing, and not to dress blisters related to normal wear and tear on an extreme event.
  • Participants must carry their own blister treatment kit and look after their blisters. (See notes on foot care.)
  • The medical team will attend to feet at their discretion, should an infection be starting.
  • Strapping to prevent chafing must be carried by the participant.
  • No strapping will be done for chafing. If this becomes necessary as a result of infection or raw skin, this strapping will be charged for.
  • This does not include strapping for injuries such as sprains, pulled muscles, etc.
  • If the race doctor feels medical assistance is being used to give the participant an advantage, the organisers can decide on whether to withdraw the participant or deny them a podium finish.

Event Abandonment and Retirement

  • Participants may withdraw from the race at any time and if so, he/she HAS TO NOTIFY an official.
  • Should a participant retire or be withdrawn from the event, accommodation will be reserved on his/her behalf and all costs incurred (i.e. accommodation, meals, etc) must be paid directly to the provider by the participant.
  • Withdrawal or being withdrawn from the race will not automatically allow the participant to become part of the crew. The participant will only be allowed to join crew members at check points or in the field by permission from the Race Director the participant will have to obtain permission for every time that he/she has an opportunity to join the crew.

Compulsory Equipment – Survival Gear to be supplied by participant and must be carried at all times

  • Backpack (30 litre is suggested)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Overnight & warm clothing
  • Head cover (Cap)
  • Insect net to cover face or a Buff
  • Eye Protection / Sunglasses
  • Mirror
  • Whistle
  • Torch
  • Knife
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Blister treatment kit
  • Strapping or anti-chafe cream for chafing
  • Sun block lotion
  • Toilet paper or tissues
  • Eating utensil
  • Space blanket
  • 10 x Safety pins
  • Water containers or bladder to carry minimum total quantity of 1.5 litres.

Suggested Equipment (not compulsory) – To be supplied by participant if desired

  • Sleeping mat
  • Additional 300ml Water bottle
  • Spare cotton shorts and t-shirt
  • Socks – 7 pairs
  • Small Towel
  • Soap
  • Sandals
  • Face cloth
  • Underwear
  • Big Plastic Bag (in case of rain)
  • Gaiters
  • Foot plasters
  • Head ache tablets
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toothpaste & toothbrush.
  • Various container bags – e.g. ziplock bags
  • Wind Breaker
  • Sewing kit
  • Cooking / eating container

Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon Roadbook

  • The roadbook will include the complete event details, with stage distances, and route maps.
  • This will only be disclosed to participants on the Friday at registration.
  • The roadbook must be kept on the competitor’s person at all times during the competition stage of the event.
  • The daily distances will be sent to the participants closer to the time for planning purposes.