The Pirates 21km powered by Medshield Medical Scheme is Joburg’s toughest half marathon! Here’s what you need to know in the week building up to race day and what to expect on the day itself!
Joburg’s toughest half marathon takes place on Sunday 18 February 2024 at the Pirates Club in Greenside at 6am. If you haven’t signed up yet? Get your entry now: https://pirates21.co.za/
Pirates 21km race-day tips for success
Our #MedshieldMovement ambassador, Amy Hopkins, who has run the race twice says: “The race itself is notoriously hilly, so don’t burn too hard, too fast in the beginning and save some energy for the climbs. There are three main hills, during the course, the first – relatively smaller climb – is in the first 5km. The two major climbs – known as K1 and K2 – occur mid-race, between 8-12km. And, just because it is Joburg’s toughest half marathon, there is a fourth small climb at the end – the sting in the tail. But the event is so much fun and nothing feels more epic than conquering those big climbs!”
Because of the brutal course, it’s important to manage your nutrition and hydration appropriately. Make sure that you’ve hydrated enough two days prior to the event and include electrolytes. The day before, eat healthy meals that don’t contain too much fibre or spice – ideally, don’t try anything new the day before or on race day.
Prioritise your quality of sleep two days leading up to the event, so that you’re fresh and ready to take on the day. And be realistic about your health – do not attempt to do the race if you are feeling ill. If you have any concerns, speak to your medical doctor.
This might sound counterintuitive because you want your legs well rested, but doing a short run the day before the event (about 3km) with some intervals can help you on race day. Don’t forget to warm-up on the morning itself with a few strides and stretches.
Here are some other Pirates 21km race-day tips and know-how:
1. Get to the venue early. There is always traffic and limited parking, so it’s advisable to get to the start at 5am (the race starts at 6am) and take an uber if you can.
2. Portaloos are provided in the parking prior to the start, but the clubhouse is not open to runners before the start.
3. There are water points along the route, but it’s advisable to carry your own running water bottle if you can.
For more information, visit https://pirates21.co.za/ and follow us on social media for race updates @medshieldsa on instagram #MedshieldMovement. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts and stories!