12/03/2020 - Om Die Dam Focusing on the runners: For the 30th running of the Om Die Dam on Saturday, 50km runners have two chances to qualify for both Comrades and Two Oceans marathon. With runners expected to face temperatures starting at 18 degrees and rising to 30 degrees, the slower runners will be facing the heat as they head to the Dam Wall. There will be timing mats from ChampionChip at the marathon mark and any runner who fails to make the qualifying times at the 50km, will be able to submit their 42.2km time as a qualifier:
“We are grateful to both Two Oceans and Comrades organisers who immediately accepted this additional opportunity for runners. The whole running community is aware of the ever-evolving situation with corona virus, and we at Om Die Dam, want to assist all runners in their desire to qualify for these other events,” said Jaco Venter, the race director, adding, “We are one of the first events to have instituted steps in terms of the sanitizers, wash hand basins, and such measures, but no-one knows what additional steps are coming in future weeks, and so we feel it is prudent to give our 50km runners this fall-back opportunity to qualify, particularly given the predicted high temperatures for late in the race.”
The organisers have been able to get 200 sanitisers which will first be seen at the race number collection at the clubhouse tomorrow. The previously planned use of PostNet delivery of racepacks, plus the packs being placed on the official buses to the start reduce the need for mass gathering of runners. On race morning sanitisers and hand basins will be found at the toilet zone, and at the medal and handout zone at the finish, plus around the general club areas. All volunteers will be issued with rubber gloves. ‘Although this has hit us at the last minute, we have tried to look at how best we can help the runners who support this historic event,’ concluded Venter.
The first Old Mutual Om Die Dam was run in 1991 and has grown into one of the finest ultra-marathons in South Africa. On non-race day the venue is an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, or around 40 mins from Pretoria. On race day runners should allow considerably more time, and it is important to see the route maps on the other pages. Keep in mind that most of the routes have now been upgraded with wider and better roads, making for quicker trips than in the last decade.
That said it is always better to make a weekend of it, by driving through to the area on Friday and leaving on Sunday, which not only allows for race recovery and celebration, but also the opportunity to enjoy some of the many tourist attractions from game lodges, and craft markets to balloon rides and zip lining. A trip to the Hartbeespoort Dam is always a pleasure, and if that wasn’t enough the magnificently scenic routes will have you wanting to do a second lap when you reach the finish.
The official race photographer is Jetline Action Photo. Kindly follow the instruction as indicated on the race number. Contact number: +27(0)11 887 7660 or visit them at jetlineactionphoto.com.