The Otter trail run
Those of you that are familiar with this iconic hike know most people trundle the forests of the Garden route for about 4 to five days along this 45km trail of untouched beautiful pristine coastline. It’s no easy hike, each day is a big one and you need to be fit, but the rewards are there.
Forests that are hundreds of years old and views that literally snatch your breath as you look down massive cliffs at the raging ocean below. Then around the next corner you walk into a fairy land of forest, ferns, creepers. Knysna loeries jumping around and chirping in the treetops, you tend to find yourself encapsulated in a time warp of mother natures best. Water trickles and gurgles over the river bed and down to the ocean, it seems to draw you to it, mesmerised by the thought of this silky cool liquid trickling down your throat which is now parched and rasping from the sustained heavy breathing from the massive climbs on the trail. Bending down to drink the water, ice cold and sweet on the tongue, the tastiest and purest water one can find as you stand up you can feel this cool liquid bringing life and energy back into a weary body.
Then there is the crazy bunch who run this route in one go. I have just been part of this mad mountain and coastal dash. “Yebo” I did take a bit of a hammering, but all in the name of fun and ultimately training for India. It will definitely leave a lasting impression on me. One of the hard ones that I have managed to drag my body through. Its not the distance that does it, but the unrelenting terrain, up and down, no sooner have you climbed up a hill is onto you again, down you go and so on it goes.
By the end of the day the trail was littered with a string of bent and buckled bodies that just could not take another step, broken. I was nearly part of the broken group. At about 18km I started to cramp, but badly (I must admit I did start to moan a bit), but I kept pushing. I had the pleasure of running with a friend of mine, Gavin Jones, I must admit he absorbed all the winging for a while and then let me have it. To be honest, if it were not for him physically shoving me over the last few hills, I would of probably missed the medal cut off time. 7hour 48 mins it took as I swam the last few meters to the finish line in Nature’s Valley, legs just not working any more.
Anyone interested, it’s happening again next year.
Check out the terrain and route: