Once a Buff, always a Buff!
Watch this space for the race date for Washie 2024
The Washie 100 Miler Story
A small group of runners thought big for East London when they decided in 1977 to stage a race nearly twice as long as the gruelling Comrades.
The Buffalo Road Runners Club was four years old when a member of the main club, Lionel Whitfield, starting talking to the chairman, Viv Rex, about sponsoring an event in memory of his father.
The Buffs had its own marathon. There were big club entries for the Two Oceans, the Comrades. But why not something beyond those? And so the 160km challenge between East London and Port Alfred was born to become the first 100-mile road race in South Africa, and now its most famous.
It was named after Lionel’s father, Granville Washington Whitfield, or Washie for short.
The First Washie – 1977
It is the oldest and most enduring of the super ultras, venturing where even excellent Comrades (90km) runners fear to tread. Comrades is often referred to as a training run for Washie …
From its earliest innovative days the Washie secured national recognition for East London and then, as it became more established, world wide publicity through a website devoted to the more taxing ultra marathons.
It has been the subject of many newspaper and magazine articles and lengthy television and radio programmes, and even a poem.
It has become part of the history of the city, with people throughout the metropolitan region taking pride in the Washie weekend, automatically associating it with a winter
Astonishingly, it has been sustained and well organised since 1977 by a relatively small but friendly and welcoming road running club with a rich tradition, the Buffs, with help from its friends and supporters in Port Alfred and the city itself.
Not the least of its appeal is the Sunday morning prizegiving at the Buffalo club house with its million dollar view over the Indian Ocean.
It is a time of much warmth, humour, and heartfelt congratulations for the back markers as well as the winners, and the cementing of lifelong friendships within the special brotherhood and sisterhood of those who have run the Washie, and the seconds who sustained them.
There are no monetary prizes, but every finisher gets a special track suit top and a unique hand made wooden trophy. These were made for decades in a different ultra marathon feat by the irrepressible Jack Hugo, a Washie veteran himself.
Today they are made by Craig Nelson, the current Chairman of the Buffalo Road Runners club.
Permanent numbers are granted to runners that finish 5 Washies, and there is a bronzed shoe awarded for completing ten.
The Washie 100 Miler starts on Friday evening, July 28, and the cut-off time is 26 hours later at the Buffs Club in East London.
The Route & Profile
Max elevation: 1474 m
Min elevation: 52 m
Total climbing: 2510 m
Total descent: -3602 m
Course Record Men :
Johan Van Der Merwe – 13:07:05
Course Record Ladies :
Rae Bischoff – 14:53:06
On the grounds of weather conditions for the Washie 100 Miler you should include protective gear for cold weather with several towels and clothing changes. A source of warm drinks is also advisable.
REGISTRATION AND RACE BRIEFING:
Registration will be at the start (Cathcart Country Club) from 13h00 to 16h00 on Friday 28th July.
PLEASE NOTE: Race briefing is compulsory for all runners AND seconds, at 16h00 on Friday 28th July 2023.
If you are not at the race briefing, you WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO START!
It is a condition of entry that entrants will provide their own seconds and seconding vehicles.
There is a maximum of 2 vehicles allowed per seconding team.
Runners, seconds and vehicle need to be as visible as possible for the duration of the event.
DISTANCE, TIMES AND CUT OFFS:
The course is measured and is 100 miles. The start is at 17h00 at the Cathcart Country Club.
The finish is at 19h00 at the Buffs Club in East London.
All competitors have 26 hours to complete the race.
Athletes will be cut at the ¼ way (40kms) after 6 hours and ½ way (80kms) after 13 hours.
Live tracking will be introduced at the 2023 Washie 100 Miler.
All athletes will be required to carry a small tracking device on their person at all times.
A live tracking platform will be made available to the general public for the duration of the race.
Copies of results will be available at the prize giving and on the Buffs website www.washie100miler.com
Prize giving. Buffs club on Sunday 30th July 2023 at 10am:
a) A beautiful handmade Washie 100 Miler trophy.
b) Novices will receive a unique tracksuit top.
c) Permanent Numbers will be awarded for completion of five journeys or three overall victories together with a Washie tracksuit top.
The Race Rules
The following outlines the rules of competing in the Washie 100 Miler.
By entering this race, all entrants agree to abide by these rules, and to accept any and all consequences for breaking them.
- Entries are online only via the official website https://washie100miler.com
- The race entry fee is R1500 for novice (first time) Washie runners, and R1200 for previous Washie finishers.
- The race will be held under any Covid-19 protocols applicable at that time.
- All South African athletes must be licensed with an ASA club. No temporary numbers will be issued.
- The race is run in strict accordance with the rules of World Athletics, Athletics South Africa and Border Athletics.
- All foreign athletes must comply with World Athletics rules and have permission from their local federation to compete in this event.
- Athletes are not required to qualify for the Washie 100 Miler.
- All participants must be 20 years or older.
- Registration will be at the start (Cathcart Country Club) from 13h00 to 16h00 on Friday 28th July.
- All entrants must collect their race packs, wrist bands and trackers at registration between 13h00 and 16h00 on 28th July 2023.
- All athletes will be required to run with a small satellite tracking device. This device must be carried on their person at all times. The athlete tracking data will be checked prior to publication of the final results.
- All seconding team members must must collect their car signs, wrist bands and sign the seconding register between 13h00 and 16h00 on 28th July 2023.
- Only official participants displaying their race numbers, and accompanying registered seconding teams & vehicles displaying their car signs are allowed to interact on the route.
- The athlete’s race number must be worn on the front at all times and must be clearly visible.
- Race briefing is compulsory for all runners AND seconds, at 16h00 on Friday 28th July 2023. Any runner not present at the race briefing will NOT BE ALLOWED TO START.
- The route will be discussed in detail at the race briefing.
- The race starts at 17h00 on Friday 28th July. NO LATE STARTS will be permitted.
- The race ends at 19h00 on Saturday 29th July, allowing competitors a maximum of 26 hours to complete the course.
- There are in-race time cutoffs at 23h00 on Friday at the ¼ way (40km mark), and at 06h00 on Saturday at the ½ way (80km mark). Any athlete not making it these points in the allocated time will be retired from the race.
- Spot checks will be set at various points during the race at the discretion of the committee and race referee.
- Seconding teams are limited to a MAXIMUM OF 2 CARS PER ATHLETE, and a maximum of 3 people per vehicle (ie. 6 people in total for the seconding team).
- Seconding vehicles must display the official seconding signs in their front and back windows at all times. They must also be clearly visible at all times through the use of hazard lights, other flashing lights (amber or white only!), and reflective tape (reflective tape will be available for purchase at registration). Seconding teams must adhere to the South African traffic rules of the road at all times. Any seconding team found violating any of these conditions will result in the immediate disqualification of their athlete.
- Any interference with another participant by either the athlete or their seconding team will result in immediate disqualification of the athlete.
- Any athlete and/or seconding team caught cheating in any way will result in the athlete being disqualified immediately. The athlete will also be permanently banned from any future Washie races.
- SAFETY IS A PRIORITY – runners must be as visible as possible at all times and must run with a reflective vest. Please contact us to see what is acceptable in this regard. Reflective vests will be available for purchase at registration. Any runners found breaching this rule will be disqualified immediately.
- All runners must wear a headlamp during the night time running sessions.
- Seconding tables are not provided, personal seconding is a requirement to participate.
- Entries are not refundable for non-participation for any reason.
- Should an athlete not be able to participate for any reason, they may defer their entry for a maximum period of 1 year. A deferral administration fee of R250 will apply.
- There is a 35km loop just out of Cathcart on which there will be NO SECONDING permitted. There will be a water table provided on this stretch by the organisers.
- There will be timing checkpoints at the 40km, 80km and 120km marks on the course.
- If a runner decides to withdraw, their seconding team must notify the organisers immediately via the emergency contact number provided at the race briefing.
- Race officials will continuously traverse the route while the race is in progress.
- ONLY registered athletes and their registered seconding teams (ie. those with official wristbands) will be allowed in the finisher chute. NO OTHER supporters will be allowed in the finishing chute.
- No person may use the Washie 100 Miler logo or branding for any reason without prior consent from the Buffalo Road Runners Club.
- The organisers and race officials reserve the right to amend these rules at any time.
Objections against another participant will be regarded in a very serious light, so please report a contravention of any of the rules by another participant or participant’s supporters.
Be sure of the objection and complaint before lodging an objection.
Procedures for lodging an objection
- If a participant witnesses a contravention to the rules by another participant, record the name and/or number of the participant breaking the rule.
- Try to solicit a witness and take down the name and number of the witness.
- Report the incident to the race referree and give a brief description of what occurred, as well as the details of the witness.
- Complete an objection form at the finish of the race.
- The fee for this is R500.00.
- If the objection is valid the fee will be refunded.
Washie entries are closed
We are looking for volunteers to assist with various aspects of the race.
If you would like to help (we cover costs where applicable – eg. backup seconding teams), then please complete the volunteer form.