OTTER African Trail Run 2015

It’s not often that a 1-day event manages to deliver a kick-ass, unforgettable, sit-up-and-take-notice whack of adventure, but this year, the OTTER Challenge run managed to do exactly that. It was proper, in all senses of the word.

Their in-house meteorologist, Derek Van Dam, set the event at Level 3, which is pretty much as high as it can go, but personally I would put it at #LevelEpic. Or at least#LevelTripleBrandyandCoke.

From the outset, the elements started pitching curve balls, with high winds, driving rain and icy temperatures dogging the racers taking on this 42km humdinger. Mother Nature was pissed off, and she wasn’t planning on being coy about this.

By the time I got to in between Ngubu Hut and the waterfall (less than 4kays into the run), a tempest was raging on the route, and I could barely see the runners when they were more than 60m from me.

Horizontal rain forced me to try and find shelter in the lee of rocks where I could protect my camera from the deluge, and the first 10x runners were pulled from the course after a mere 3.8km. I truly feel for each and every one of them, but it is understandable that the organisers were not going to take any chances with the conditions.

Thank God for the TomTom #Bandit, which enabled Peter Kirkand myself to save our cameras from the onslaught of the elements. These babies are waterproof, deliver a 16MP still image, and gooi proper 4K video to boot. We’ll load the AV Show from the OTTER Challenge in due course…

Lottering River crossing was the next spot we connected with the racers, with my new trail hero Jackie Wolhuter Moorerocking an overall Top 5 spot in the field. A few more kays of serious up and down saw us off to the in-your-face Bloukrans River crossing, unarguably the crux point of the OTTER route.

It was great to follow the athletes along the vertical cliff paths and onto the boulder beaches, before turning back after a few kays to hot-foot it to the finish. And let me tell you, this year the Magnetic South crew has truly outdone themselves.

The floating bridge – in stylish yellow and black, of course – now incorporates a balance bar, and the runners are truly tested as they need to maintain speed all the way to the finish.

My words and pictures may go a tiny way towards describing how incredible this event is, but the only way to truly experience it, is to run it. Go enter now on httpa//

Click here to view the pics