17 – 19 MARCH, 2017


1st December 2016

Greetings from the Matobo Hills

Yebo Abagijimayo


The Event

The Matobo Heritage Trail Run (MHTR) made its debut in 2016, and will be hosted again from 17-19 March, 2017.
The MHTR is a two day stage race through the magnificent Matobo Hills, summiting the highest point in the Matopos, Mwazi, and is run entirely within the Matobo Hills World Heritage Site, making the event unique in trail runs.
Casual runners can also enter the second day only.
Entries for the stage race are initially limited to 100 runners, so enter now, and get training!

Runners will be well looked after during the full duration of the race, with meals and accommodation taken care of should they choose the “In-Village” option at Camp Dwala. They will stay in the very cosy Camp Dwala, with hot showers and either lodges or tents (allocated on a first come first served basis). This Camp hosts the annual Matobo Hills World Heritage MTB Challenge, the Matobo Classic MTB, Ironwill Zimbabwe and other events.

Please note that this option is primarily for stage runners only, and family members who are not entering the stage race can only be considered on application.

The “Out-of-Village” option is for stage runners who would prefer to organise their own accommodation for the weekend, and is perfect for those who would prefer to have their families around to support them. Out-of-Village options will be provided on request, and include Zindele Safaris and Morning Glory. It will also include meals for the participant during the race.

The second day of the stage race is also open to runners who would prefer just to enter one day only. This day is perfect for the whole family, with plenty of activities, great food and drinks, and various race distances to choose from to keep everybody entertained. Athletes taking part in the one day event will start AFTER the event competitors on Sunday.

The Competition

  • 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.
  • The route will not be marked but will be available on GPS and IT IS MANDATORY  that you run with a GPS.
  • The route of the MHTR is mainly on paths and tracks; 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.
  • 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 7km 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 each day is over a set distance, with a timed start and finish.
  • Competitors must plan what equipment and supplies they will carry with them.
  • All equipment that you start with must be carried for the duration of the race and only food / food packaging may be discarded at the check points
  • 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.
  • 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 Race Directors or the Camp Master immediately.  Do not leave this until the finish of the event.
  • The Race Director’s decision regarding any dispute or disqualification is final.
  • The Organisers reserves the right to modify any part of the competition as a result of circumstances beyond its control.
  • 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.
  • For safety to both the participant and other participants, earphones will not be allowed whilst on the route. 

Entry Conditions

  • The competition is open to persons 16 years and over.
  • Juniors 16 – 18 years must have written permission from a parent or guardian.
  • It is assumed that by entering this event that each competitor has satisfied themselves as to their medical fitness to participate in this event.
  • The event is run in a wilderness area and the organisers accept no liability for accident, death, loss of property that may arise during the event.

Prizes and Trophies

  • “Prize giving” will be held at Camp Dwala at 12 noon on the second day.
  • Recognition is for 1st, 2nd and 3rd man and for 1st, 2nd and 3rd lady, subject to number of minimum entries (ten per category)

Ecological Regulations

  • The MHTR will be run over an ecologically sensitive area.
  •  Anyone littering or deliberately damaging any flora or fauna will be asked to leave the event without compensation.


  • Registration will take place at 16:30 on the Friday before the start of the first stage on Saturday.
  • Anyone not present for registration will be regarded as a non-starter.
  • 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.

Food Requirements

  • Participants must carry enough food to sustain themselves during the event.
  • During the event, should you dehydrate or if the medical team feels you are endangering yourself, you may be stopped and possibly withdrawn.

Water Distribution

  • Check points during the event are approx. 10 km apart – Water is supplied per participant at each check point.
  • There is unlimited water at the Camp Dwala each day.
  • Water is untreated, but supplied from a well.
  • Additional water supplies may be issued if the conditions demand it. This water will be distributed from drums.

Geographical Conditions

  • The terrain of the Matopos is varied – some long sweeping valleys, steep dwalas, and rugged boulders will be encountered. There may well be sand along the route.
  • Areas covered will include a wildlife sanctuary, private farmlands and communal lands. Please respect the owners / residents en route.
  • Close any gates through which you pass, and restore any fences that you may cross.
  • Day temperatures in the area during March average between 15 – 25 degrees Celsius (in the shade), and can drop to 5 degrees Celsius at night.
  • Thunderstorms during the event are a distinct possibility.

Assistance during the Competition

  • No assistance may be accepted from any person or facility not connected to the event or crew.
  • Only water, food and medical assistance may be accepted from crew or family at check points and the finish.
  • The organisers reserve the right to make allowances for any participants with a disability.

Medical Assistance

  • A medical team will NOT be in attendance throughout the duration of the event.
  • Please ensure that organisers have been informed of any special conditions that may apply to you.
  • You must have a valid Medical Aid / Insurance. Any medical costs are strictly for the competitors account.
  • The medical team is there for the participants’ 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.)
  • Strapping to prevent chafing must be carried by the participant.

Event Abandonment and Retirement

  • There will be no refund for a participant who retires or is withdrawn from the event,
  • It is essential that if any participant retires from the competition, that he/she notifies an official.

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

  • Backpack (1,5 litre is suggested)
  • Head cover (Cap)
  • Eye Protection / Sunglasses
  • GPS (Garmin preferred) with route loaded.  There are limited markings along the route, and no facilities to copy routes at the start, so a pre-loaded GPS is essential.
  • Whistle
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Sun block lotion
  • Toilet paper or tissues
  • ID card,
  • Medical Aid card and some cash, US$10 (for emergency transport)


  • Spare batteries or power-bank for GPS to last the entire event as charging facilities are limited
  • Cell phone, fully charged and with air time. Please note there is limited cell phone network coverage in the Matobo Hills.  Ask local people where the nearest signal is.
  • First Aid Kit consisting of three (3) wound dressings, plasters, anti-inflammatory tablets, pain relief tablets, tweezers

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

  • Sleeping mat
  • Additional 300ml Water bottle
  • Spare cotton shorts and t-shirt
  • Socks – 3 pairs
  • Small Towel
  • Soap
  • Sandals
  • Face cloth
  • Underwear
  • Big Plastic Bag (in case of rain)
  • Gaiters
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Blister treatment kit
  • Strapping or anti-chafe cream for chafing
  • Foot plasters
  • Head ache tablets
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Various container bags – e.g. ziplock bags
  • Wind Breaker
  • Sewing kit
  • Batteries (for GPS)
  • Space blanket
  • 10 x Safety pins

MHTR  Routebook

  • The routebook will include the complete event details, with stage distances, and route maps.
  • This will be disclosed to participants on the Friday at registration.
  • The routebook must be kept on the competitor’s person at all times during the competition stage of the event.
  • The organisers reserve the right to modify the route at any time.

MHTR  Programme

Friday Registration                          16:30 – 17:30

Briefing                                   18:00

Dinner                                     19:00

Sat      B’fast                                      05:30

Transfer to start                                 06:15

Start                                         07:00              At Gulubaghwe Cave

Lunch                                    12:00 – 15:00

Briefing                                  18:00

Dinner                                     19:00

Sun     B’fast                                    05:30

Start                                         07:00                     At Camp Dwala

Lunch                                    12:00 – 14:00

MHTR  Routes

  • Start Gulubaghwe Cave, Old Gwanda Road
  • Distance 30.1 kms
  • Highlights; Mazhowe Valley, Danamombe Climb, Mwazi (Highest point)
  • Elevation Gain 644m; Elevation Loss 444m; Net Gain 200m
  • Max Slope 27%; Avge 3,3%


  • Start Camp Dwala
  • Distance 20.0 kms
  • Highlights; Mtshabezi Gorge, Mshashasha Valley, Dwala heights
  • Elevation Gain 293m, Elevation Loss 293m, Net Gain 0m
  • Max Slope 13,9%; Avge 2,4%