Welcome to Om Die Dam Ultra Marathon
The Om die Dam Ultra Marathon is the largest inland ultra-marathon in South Africa, offering a 50km ultra marathon, and a 21km half-marathon. The Om Die Dam is now in its 29th year and has a reputation for its scenic route, the high standard of organization, the timing in the buildup to both Comrades and the Two Oceans Marathons, and the ability to be used as a family weekend break.
The organizers are of course aware of the challenges that have been experienced by the number of venue changes that have been enforced since the move from the High School grounds. Such moves have also impacted on travel for the many day visiting runners who come from Johannesburg, and Pretoria.×
What Happened in 2018! In 2018 it was believed that the solution had been found: The Hartbeespoort Resort was sufficiently outside the Schoemansville town and with many arterial routes to the “R511”. As is now history the race fell subject to a mass of roadworks, none of which had been finished as planned for the race weekend. Some things can be controlled, others one must to do what you can, and not surprisingly the runners were met with substantial travel challenges and the race was castigated in social media. The organisers accepted this, even although they had no control over the roadworks, and have taken major decisions for the 2019 event, to ensure that there is a return to the very high standards of organization.×
Some of these can already be seen on these web pages and include
The roadworks on the access road have already been completed and additional steps have been taken to ensure easy access and parking. Those taking an early entry will, along with those who book accommodation at the resort, be allocated parking at the venue.
Those taking an early entry will, along with those who book accommodation at the resort, will be allocated parking at the venue.
Those who buy one of the Park and Ride bus packages from Johannesburg or Pretoria venues will be delivered directly to the venue and collected from the venue back to their point of departure.
A number of local accommodation venues will be offering their own travel for guests to and from the venue.
At the time of entry you will be requested to indicate whether you will be travelling to the venue by car, this will enable the organiser to estimate more accurately the size of parking area needed.
All of the above will be seen to have created a far more controllable and manageable system. The changes are not only with getting runners to the venue, and back, but also to make the race more enjoyable.
For the 2019 edition the organizer’s will neither have a 10km nor a 5km fun run in March. These distances will be offered later in the year, and a cap of 4,000 runners will be accepted for the 50km and 2,000 runners for the 21km. This will ONLY be open from 6 December 2018 to 31 January 2019, or when the capped numbers are reached.
Race substitution will only be provided on the last registration day on the day before the race. This will assist those who missed out or are keen to do the 50km qualifier, or half marathon which will again offer spectacular views by crossing the dam wall twice.
At time of entry EVERY runner will be given the opportunity to get front line seeding by qualifying as a ‘contender’. The contender’s status is open to all runners who can substantiate that they have in the last 6 months prior to entry (between 12 and 9 months prior to the race) met the criteria times to be in contention for one of the awards on offer. Contenders are not simply for the open awards but also all age categories from 40 years right through to 70 plus in both genders. Those who qualify will be given seeding in the first block at the front of the race start and will be the ones who need to abide by 100% of the IAAF, ASA, and ANWN rules.
Only Gun to Finish time will be used for contenders in the allocation of awards. As an internationally recognized event, the contenders will also be required to abide by the IAAF regulations regarding advertising and marketing. The officials will be entering the contenders start in order to assist runners with trying to ensure that all athletes are compliant in what would be described as an administrative disqualification such as improper number location, age category tags, and unacceptable advertising or branding.
The remainder of the field will, as a result of their championchip, be able to use mat to mat times for qualification to other events including Comrades and Two Oceans etc. In addition, where the roads are closed some rules for non-contenders will be relaxed allowing the use ONE headphone and they will not be approached with regards pacing between men and women etc. They will however be subjected to all IAAF, ASA, and NWNA rules concerning the reputation, health, safety and general administration of the sport.
There are a number of other changes and innovations that will be found on the various web pages on this site. This is one of the main reasons that for 2019, there will no longer be the 10km and 5km events. The race cap is expected to be lifted and the race offering extended again for 2020.
The facilities at the race venue, not only includes accommodation at very attractive rates, but also ample picnic spots around the swimming pools as standard at the resort and food stalls and a beer tent with lively music for the race day. Although acknowledging the challenges of the 2018 road works the Om Die Dam organizer’s are determined to regain their status whereby the race was consistently voted as one of the top national races with the ultra being the flagship event.
Gold medals are awarded to category winners, silver medals to men finishing under 3:45 and women finishing under 4:10, and bronze to all other finishers within the respective cut-off times.
Both 50km and 21km races are timed by ChampionChip which means they offer Gun to Finish times and for mass participation, the mat to mat times and intermediate times at various points along the route. Of course, this requires every runner to ensure that their chip data is correct and a page has been provided on the web site to allow each runner to confirm their details and amend should they have changed an ASA license number, club, address, email, cell number or other personal detail. This of course ensures that your results are provided both efficiently and correctly.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OM DIE DAM
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
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