October a highlight in Plett’s adventure calendar
October’s been a highlight in Plett’s adventure calendar, one we will remember for a long time!
On Saturday the 6th of October we took part in the Tour de Plett mountain bike race, myself together with many of our local amped adventurers signed up for the 60km distance and buddy (Andrew Damp) the 87km route. Cycling for education is their slogan, and what a great initiative to support, the Kwano cycling academy. Those guys are fast!!! The routes are proper, great combination of single track, some technical and dirt roads, we will be back next year! The race started from Wittedrift just outside Plett and finished on Central Beach. Congratulations to Netski taking the win in the women’s 60km category! Big thanks to the organizers and others involved in building the floating bridges over Bitou and Piesang river!
The following morning Sunday the 7th a few of us were back at it lining up for the Robberg Express 10km trail run. Heavy legs from the mountain bike the day before may be an excuse… but you always enjoy a Robberg run and with a fast competitive field, loads of fun! Thanks to Plett athletics club for organizing the event and so lekker to have a few beers afterwards on the decks with all the locals and some out of town folk new to the trails!
Then it was Otter African Trail Run time. On the 18th the Otter Challenge took place, and on Saturday the 20th was the Otter Run which this year was the final of the Salomon Golden Trail Series. The world’s top 10 female and top 10 male trail runners took on the Otter trail in the most competitive field in South African trail running history yet! These are the icons of trail running that we follow on social media and during races. The Plett AR team did not race, every year we assist the organizers Magnetic South in the field as safety crew and sweep runners. Kudos to Magnetic South for their world class event. It’s been a privilege and a week to remember and the iconic Otter Trail showed the international runners the best it had to offer. We clocked many miles over that weekend and loved every second of it. It is a special coastline and wonderful to share it with runners that appreciate, enjoy and treat nature with the same respect. This event is on the international calendar and we look forward to see who will line up to race the Otter African Trail Run 2019.
Our Plett AR team made the front cover of the Plett Tourism magazine adventure and nature edition, what a cool shot! For the remainder of October we are the lucky ones having Robberg, Harkerville forest and Natures valley trails on our doorstep to train. Other training included a Cradock Peak run for altitude with Grant and Marie Aiton from Knysna who were training for Otter and Skyrun. Unfortunately the raging fires around the George area caused great damage to the Cradock and George peak trails this week and will be closed until further notice.
November race plans changed after I got an invite from the ladies tour de Plett 60km distance winner, Netski (Bubbles/Jeanette) from team Buco AR to join as a duo team for the Sanlam Mountain Bike Invitational stage rage mid-November in Cape Town. Plett AR and Buco AR joining forces for this one representing the adventure spirit of Plett! November is also Adventure Racing World Championships in Reunion Island so we will be dot watching! 6 x South African teams will be represented, the 2nd most for a nation after the host nation France!! 64 teams in total will be competing. Incredible putting SA on the map as an ADVENTURE DESTINATION and quite a few of these athletes from the Garden Route!!! (South African teams include Merrel Adventure addicts, Painted Wolf, Cyanosis AR, Jabberwock, Red Ants AR and Badly Drawn Hyena). Best of luck to the teams!
I’ve decided to postpone my Witteberg mountain fix (Skyrun) till February ‘19. I won’t take part in Skyrun this year unfortunately but will be back in those mountains teaming up with Tim Fey who I raced with in Canada last year for the NON STOP WARTRAIL event in Feb. 65km Wilderness run, 135km Mountain bike, 70km Paddle. We have just over 12 weeks to train, watch this space!
Robberg express – Shutterspeed images
Tour de Plett – Anja Wiehl
Otter African Trail Run – Deon Braun Trail mag
Otter African Trail Run finish line photo – Jacques Marais
Golden Series athletes – Peter Kirk Media