"I'd rather be seen on my bicycle than on a park run" - Quote from the dark side

Monday, 30 September 2013

Otter Trail Challenge 2013 Report

View on the Otter Challenge.

First things first. I did not make a cutoff and was not allowed to continue. Therefore my race was a DNF. The flu and bronchitis I had in the weeks before were just too much and I was not ready. That is the short of it.


However, I had an incredible time and loved every moment of it. The Otter Challenge is an unbelievable race! From organization to registration to the prologue to the race itself is just incredible! This was an amazing experience and I will be back one day for sure.


Registration was professional, smooth and flawless. There was a great vibe in the race village. The only queue was a short wait for the gear check. I must say this was the most thorough gear check I have ever experienced at a race. Runner safety was a top priority for the organizers.

Gear check.

After  registration I had to run the 4km prologue. You can run this any time between registering and 16:30. We were lucky to have accommodation at the venue and I could walk everywhere I had to go.

Prologue start.

The prologue was very scenic and started with a run on the beach followed by a testing climb. I enjoyed the run but could feel I was not my best. I think I was only about 65% ready for this race. The prologue is run to determine starting positions. Needless to say I didn’t start too far from the back :)

Pics from the prologue...






Race morning was beautiful and the views were incredible. 4 runners start every 30 seconds. This is determined from fastest prologue time to slowest prologue time. I felt great and enjoyed the run a lot. I was just slow on the day and the lack of training while being sick was the main reason for this. My ascents and descents were just too slow.

Pics from the race...







The views on this route are breathtaking! It is dangerous to run this with a camera :) I knew I was privileged to run here and suck in every moment. Eventually I fell behind schedule but I was actually very OK with this. I knew I would not have a great day and in the end it was perfect under the circumstances. I was slow but never felt dead and tired. I remained 100% positive and just did the best I could.










I will be back one day to complete this. I wouldn't mind doing the 5 day hike as well. Just to have time to take photos of all the incredible views.

I now look forward to my next challenge. I will run a number of races in preparation for a 50km challenge in March next year. I want to be 100% ready for that one.


19 comments:

Robin said...

Those photos are breathtaking! Sorry about the DNF but it's amazing you were out there at all with how you have been feeling! Way to go!

Kate Geisen said...

Robin stole my word! Breathtaking is EXACTLY what I was thinking. Now *I* want to come do this race!

Michael said...

Wow, the pictures are truly gorgeous! I'm sorry you had a DNF, but with as sick as you were it makes total sense. Terrible timing, but I love that you still had a great time in spite of everything! I know you'll be back to finish the challenge! You still amaze me no matter what!

Karien P. said...

What an amazingly beautiful country we live in!

I know you'll return to the Otter someday and you'll totally rock it :) .

Jerry Smallwood said...

Love it! I am so impressed that you even turned up at the start line but to be part of such a beautiful event is great. Good on you.

Char said...

Wow! That scenery is absolutely spectacular. I'm so glad you got to run at least some of it - if you hadn't we wouldn't have been able to enjoy those photos. And I'm really glad that the taste of the course has made you want to go back.

ajh said...

Absolutely unbelievable pictures. The scenery was amazing. You had a great attitude and did the best you could under the circumstances. Your cold had such bad timing.

Lauren said...

Wow. What superb views! Sorry about your DNF, but am glad you got to enjoy the day. Way to stay positive. I need that positive energy. :)

Jill said...

I'm so sorry that nasty bug took you down eventually on race day, but your positive attitude about it all is outstanding - we can ALL learn a lot from your positive upbeat disposition.

Those views are incredible! The scenery reminds me a lot of the Big Sur coastline in California. When you come to the U.S., we will have to do a race there in Marin County mountains.

Hope you're feeling better and better each day, Johann!! Lots of races on your agenda you gotta stay healthy for!

Take care, my friend!

coach dion said...

Your photos of the prologue remind me of the 1st time I ran it... Last year I ran the retto so the prolog was very different.

The race wow love that start over the rocks and all before you hit the trail. Maybe took the family with you and hike the 5 day trail so much fun. (and on cut off) Sorry you didn't have the legs to keep you on track.

Giorgio said...
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Giorgio said...

Sorry you didn't have the strenght in your legs because of your previous flu and bronchitis ... I know how a runner hate getting sick three weeks before a race.
Great to hear the organization was perfect and thanks for sharing your beautiful report, Johann. Those pictures show that you really live in a wonderful country.

Giorgio said...

Have you heard something about the international flag?

Anna said...

Gorgeous photos and great race report! Making the cutoff time is less important than enjoying your run, and you did, so you're a winner!

Anna said...
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thechangeofpace.com said...

Absolutely incredible photos! Sorry you weren't able to finish. Getting a flu and cold before can definitely take everything out of you.
Hope to see you back one year!

Black Knight said...

Sorry you couldn't finish the race because of the flu and the cold. However you liked every moment of the event and this is important. You will have other chances to finish the race.
The photos and the scenery are more than wonderful!!!!

Amy said...

Wow - gorgeous!!! Despite not being able to finish, it sounds like it was a really positive experience.

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Sorry you didn't feel well! Hopefully, you'll be well enough soon to get out there and enjoy that beautiful scenery again soon!