INTERNATIONAL athletes will be flying in for the annual Otter African Trail Run at Storms River presented by Hi-Tec and GU Sports Drink next Saturday.
It will be the fourth running of the world famous hiking trail.
Krissy Moehl, representing the US, is to fly the “Stars and Stripes” against South African favourite Landie Greyling while Victor Gugushe from Plettenberg Bay and Melikhaya Msizi from Knysna are to prove the Garden Route is ready to take on the world-ranked athletes.
This year’s event will be the first run from Nature’s Valley to Storms River Mouth as previous runs followed the direction of the trail from Storms River to Nature’s Valley.
Like South Africa’s ultimate endurance road running Comrades Marathon, the Otter African Trail Run has become SA’s ultimate trail run and has now adopted the same alternate course direction each year allowing for two records to be established on this tough run.
Organisers Magnetic South, and members of the MCSA Mountain Rescue have done a few scouting runs. They have also introduced an Otter survival course for key members of the field team of selected SanParks and Magnetic South staff.
This training course will be done under the instruction of a highly experienced ex-Royal Airforce and British SAS Survival instructor to ensure the teams are able to manage both themselves, and every participant in the many remote and often exposed sections of the five-day hiking trail difficult to get to.
Organisers have also introduced the Dassie Run for those who are very keen to get a feeling for what the Otter is all about, but are not yet ready to take on the distance.
The 10km Dassie route takes in all the splendour of the Tsitsikamma coast with start and finish within the SanParks Storms River Mouth Rest Camp.
The Dassie starts at 7.30am, with the leading pack of the Otter “Retto Route” runners due to arrive from 10.30am onwards on the same final kilometre as the Dassie Run.
Great prizes and the chance to see the world’s top trail runners in action are on offer. Enter at www.theotter.co.za