The run is held in and around the Karkloof Nature Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal. The route includes off-road tracks through forests and grasslands as well as paths through forests across the Gilboa escarpment.
The field is limited to 300 runners with the 32km opening stage on 24th February, followed by 42km on 25th February and another 25km on 26th February.
Andrew Booth, race organiser said: “The course on day two has been slightly modified with the last 10km being rerouted as it will create more variation on the day on some flowing track.
“Exciting aspects of the race include two slides of the Karkloof Canopy tour on Day One and a ‘time-out’ zone at the beautiful Benvie Gardens, where runners will have the chance to go off the clock and enjoy the scenery for a while.
“The key is to maintain the habitat in a state that suits them. The conservancy is made up of a number of role players including local farmers. The Karkloof Nature Reserve does provide a sanctuary of pristine veld and wetlands for them to breed and survive, however the sustainability of the crane populations relies on co-operation between all land owners.
“A main aim of the Old Mutual Wild Series is to raise funds for Wildlands and its local partners (in this case the Karkloof Conservancy) as well as expose entrants to some of South Africa's most spectacular landscapes.”
Buyi Dlamini, Wildlands’ strategic manager for marketing said: “The fundraising aspect of the Three Cranes Challenge is crucial as it supports a fabric of conservation work in the area – supporting Wildlands' work in managing the Karkloof Nature Reserve, and the protection of our three crane species (crane, crowned and wattled), oribi antelope and the unique grassland and indigenous forest habitats on the reserve.
“The funds further support the amazing work of the Karkloof Conservancy, which co-ordinates an array of environmental education and land conservation programmes around the reserve. Participants are encouraged to further raise funds through Old Mutual's ‘More than Yourself’ platform.”
Karen Thomas, Old Mutual Head of Brand adds: “We are proud to be associated with the Wild Series, which aligns with many of our objectives. Besides introducing athletes to a stunning part of the country, the Three Cranes Challenge and the other Wild Series events support the conservation of our precious flora and fauna. We at Old Mutual are passionate about our country and the wellbeing of its people and environment, all of which are fostered by the Wild Series events.”