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Raid Events

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The Journey will be an epic, unusual adventure. Riders and trail runners will require to do serious planning with a well thought out strategy to complete this journey. 

  • MTB: 420 km | 10000 m vertical | 36 hrs (Sleep allowed)

Mountain Biking: Riders must finish 10,000 meters vertical in less than 36 hours, with the total distance more than 400 km. They are allowed to sleep along the route, but the clock will be ticking away.




The Honoris Crux is a South African military decoration that was awarded for exceptional deeds of bravery against an armed enemy, while is great or extreme danger.

The Recce Raid will arguably be one of the toughest challenges ever attempted...  

"Yes, it will be difficult but it can be done.

At some point, your mind will play tricks on you and your body will go on auto-pilot;  at other times your body will shut down and your mind will carry you through."  

RECCE JOURNEY: Breaks are essential in completing the Recce Journey; riders will have to eat, stretch, change kit, and rehydrate along the route. Breaks can be of any frequency and duration. The amount of time riders and runners takes for a break add up very quickly over the duration of the race.

Sleep will be allowed on the Recce Journey. Riders and runners are allowed to nap / micro sleep / sleep as they see fit. How they use their 36 hour allocation is completely up to them. However, the 36-hour clock is ticking while they sleep.

 Ever wanted to feel what it’s like to be the toughest and push yourself and test your limits?

The concept of entry to the High Rouleurs Society Hall of Fame is simple - ride a bicycle until you reach 10,000 vertical metres (32,809 feet).


The MTB Raid will achieve this feat on a mountain bike...  It will comply with 'The Journey' and ‘The Limit’ guidelines of the High Rouleur’s Society. It will see mountain bike riders reach 10,000 vertical metres according to the rules of the High Rouleurs Society. If a MTB Raid challenge has been completed according to these guidelines, riders can apply to enter the High Rouleurs Society Hall of Fame.  


  • MTB: 420 km | 10000 m vertical | 54 hrs (No sleep allowed)

Mountain Biking: This will be one single unbroken ride of 10,000 meters vertical. The HRS guidelines do not provide for any time restriction; however, riders must complete 420 km, the cut-off time is 54 hours and no sleep is allowed.

The Limit is all about finding the boundaries of what is possible in a single ride or run.

RECCE LIMIT: During the Recce Limit single-ride attempt there is no nap / micro sleep / sleep allowed. The key is completing it in one ride or run. Sleeping (or napping or micro sleeping) effectively turns it into multiple rides or runs.

It is debatable at what point does a microsleep become a sleep, and what is the time limit therefore on a sleep. Naturally no one is there to check whether a rider’s 15 minute break included shut-eye.

Sleeping (or any form of sleeping) is not permitted for the Recce Limit. Riders  and runners that have not been moving for a period longer than 15 minutes outside of a Recce Fort or FOB will be disqualified and Returned-to-Base.

Participants that DARE to enlist for the Recce Raid will EXPLORE some of the most breathtaking and out-of-breath terrain imaginable. Riders and runners will have to conquer the one tough ascents (and descents) after the other in their quest to CONQUER the Recce Raid.

Distance - 420 km |


Elevation, distance and time recording: 

We want your ride to count, and YOU want your ride to count. Data integrity is the key to complete a Recce Rouleurs event and to apply for entry into the HRS Hall of Fame.

We have mapped the Recce Raid MTB route with barometric pressure sensor GPS devices. There will be approximately 30 Check Points along the route. We will verify that you have passed through all the CPs and completed the Recce Raid MTB route, as well as validate that you have achieved the vertical gain of 10000 meters winthin the required time.

Data isn’t perfect, and no recording device is perfect, but we have ensured your elevation data is as accurate as possible. Elevation correction options cannot be used to record or uploading your data. Some elements of the ride can be manually adjusted in the upload stage, i.e. the Recce Journey can be recorded as two separate files, and automatically merged during the upload process. The Recce Limit might even require more than two separate files.

Steps for uploading a Recce Raid challenge to HRS:

  • If necessary, complete a data merge (if merging two or more files)
  • All rides must be uploaded to Strava
  • Submit your Recce Raid Finish Certificate (NAME, TIME, DISTRANCE, ELEVATION) with you GPS files that contains your rides to HRS's Veloviewer to apply for entering the HRS Hall of Fame.

Battery life: 

It is most likely that the time to complete the Recce Raid will outlast a computer battery. Riders must plan ahead to ensure they are not caught short.

The easiest option is an external battery pack. Test it beforehand as some devices will reset if plugged in mid-ride. An On-The-Go (OTG) micro-USB cable has an internal pin removed which will allow charging while riding (this seems to be an issue with some units such as the Garmin Edge 500).

A second option is to start a new device once the old one runs out of battery. Riding files will need to be merged post-ride, and before being submitted for verifying the Recce Rouleurs route covered, or submitting it to HRS.

Mountain Bikes ONLY: 

The HRS guidelines allow riders with the ability to switch bikes during the ride. The Recce Raid mountain bike challenge; in principle mixed bikes are allowed, e.g. bike swaps using MTB and road, or other bikes, can be done. However, more of 75% of the route is inaccessible to the public and support teams, and such bike swops can only be made at the Supporter Zones.

Bike categories such as road, cyclocross, recumbent, tandem and electric or motorised bikes are not accepted. 


The Recce Raid is is an unsupported challenge on unmarked routes by means of a GPS navigation device. Each rider wishing to enter the Recce Raid must apply for an entry.

Similar to any Special Forces operator, the selection criteria for entering the Recce Raid will be strict and not all applicants will be successful.

Similar to the Honoris Crux medals, the Recce Raid will only be earned by a few very brave MTB warriors:

  • 46 Honoris Crux decorations were awarded to the Recce Special Forces.
  • A total number of 46 riders and 46 trail runners will be allowed to enter each of the Recce Raid races.

Enlisting process: 

Riders can only enter in a solo category, but can ride or run in small teams of 2 persons, or in attack teams of 3 or more people. For safety, it is strongly recommended that ladies that want to enter the Recce Raid apply for an entry with a riding buddy.

Riders that want to enlist for the Recce Raid event must apply for an entry by submitting an application with the following information:

  • Name & Age
  • Gender
  • Country of residence
  • Motivation why entering the Recce Raid (maximum 100 words)
  • Reason why participant thinks he/sh will finish the Recce Raid (maximum 100 words) 

Qualification & Entry: 

  • Recce Mission 2019 finishers pre-qualify for enlisting the Recce Raid. Other applicants will be informed via email on whether their applications have been successful (or not).
  • Successful applicants must complete the electronic entry form and submit proof of payment within a period of 6 days from date of acceptance to retain their entry.
  • Everybody that entered the Recce Raid must submit a completed Medical Questionnaire not older than 3 weeks (21 days) prior to or during Registration. Failing to do so will require participants to sign a Medical Waiver and ONLY register for a Recce Mission event instead.

Cancellations & substitutions: 

  • No substitutions are allowed for the Recce Raid events and an entry cannot be transferred to another person.
  • The event organisers reserve the right to cancel the event at any time and the event can be cancelled due to any circumstances – refer to Recce Race Terms & Conditions.
  • Cancellations and refund requests must be made in writing via email and must be received prior to the scheduled refund cut-off dates.

General Roules:

Altogether 201 Honoris Crux decorations were awarded since the mid-1970’s when it was instituted. The operators of the South African Special Forces, also known as the Reconnaissance Commandos or the Recces, were awarded 46 Honoris Crux decorations, the most of all South African military units.

Trail Running: Runners must finish the total distance of 200 km and more than 20,000 feet vertical in less than 36 hours. Sleep is allowed along the route.

  • Trail Run: 200 km | 6500 m vertical | 54 hrs (No sleep allowed)

  • Trail Run: 200 km | 6500 m vertical | 36 hrs (Sleep allowed)

Trail Running: This will be one single unbroken run of 200 km and runners must complete more than 20,000 feet vertical in 54 hours and no sleep is allowed.. 

Time - 36 hrs (The Journey) & 54 hrs (The Limit)

The routes will start in the Lowveld region of Mpumalanga at an altitude of fewer than 1000 meters ASL and end in Dullstroom on the Eastern Escarpment at an altitude of more than 2000 meters ASL. 

The routes passed through 'Forts' resupply zones, various 'FOB' (Forward Operating Bases) with food and water, and 'Lay-ups' with hydration only.

Raid entries include:

  • Hydration and nutritional advise and support by PVM before, during and after the Recce Raid event
  • Hydration and food supplies at Forts and Forward Operating Bases

  • Participate in pre-Raid training camp organized exclusively for Recce Raid participants

  • Own navigations on all routes with electronic maps and GPX files of routes with MTB Raid (Rouleurs) and Trail Raid race instructure booklet

  • R&R (Rest and Recreation) with sleeping facilities at Forts along the routes (for Journey participants only)
  • Live GPS tracking of all MTB Raid riders and Trail Raid runners
  • Technical support at (some) Temporary Bases
  • Recce Raid T-shirt and goody bag for participants at Registration
  • Crate delivery at two Forts on the Recce Raid routes
  • Warm meals at Forts during events and at Fort Mission when finishing a Recce Raid

(measured with a barometric pressure sensor GPS)

Elevation - 5,500 meters

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Time - 36 hrs (The Journey) & 54 hrs (The Limit)

Distance - 200 km

 Ever wanted to feel what it’s like to be the toughest and push yourself and test your limits?

Try the double century Trail Raid - run until you reach 200 km with 6,500 metres vertical.


The Trail Raid will see trail runners comply with the Rouleurs' 'The Journey' and ‘The Limit’ guidelines. 

There will not be a Hall of Fame awaiting these brave finishers - only a number gold plated Recce Raid Special Forces style dogtag.

Elevation - 10,000 meters