Judy, Otter Finisher 11h22min16sec

Hi Christine

I want to commend you again on the organization, safely and wonderful marshals. I also want to sincerely thank you for extending the cut-off for me.  As you know I only entered a week before the actual race and so did not train.  The reason for this was that I remembered walking the Otter 20 years before and it was very tough.  So I did not contemplate doing it when the entries first came out.  (Also too lazy to train)

My friends kept talking about it and I started to feel as if I was going to be missing something … and then Arthur dropped out.  I took it as a sign (being blonde) and entered.  I had winged my way through the Hout Bay Trail Challenge 2 months before so I thought I should make it. (Only did 4 training runs for that).  In retrospect I was expecting the impossible – I knew the cut-off was going to be a problem.  But my saving grace was this: when I previously attempted the Otter we had to take the escape route at the Bloukraans.  I decided that I was NEVER going to climb that mountain again! Also I love swimming and climbing so hurried my butt to the BK cut-off.  What lovely people you had placed there!

I mistakenly thought that was the last cut-off and the end of the race. I was happily smooging along the next beach when the sweepers caught up to me.  I was quite surprised as there were 2 women about to cross the river as I finished crossing.  There were also others that hadn’t yet made it … The sweeper informed me that I might not make the next cut-off as we were climbing yet another vertical wall.  What?? Far too steep to run – I had to speed up my overweight vehicle – swore not to eat for a week – and I made it! (You probably had changed the cut-off).  Then the race really started – 17kms to go when I thought it was only 3 AND I had to RUN (or in my case the old man’s shuffle).  The last time I ran as far 21kms was in January. I thought of bailing but then I remembered all those people in Cape Town that I would have to tell … thank you people in Cape Town for spurring me on!  It was REALLY TOUGH but not impossible.  I almost cried at the last check point – atop the incredibly steep and treacherous cliff.  The last vertical drop to the beach was quite uncomfortable as by now my very obedient legs were starting to screech at me. The beach was divine and the last 3 kms an easy lovely run (ok I’m lying – but if I had’ve been fit it would’ve been great).  The lily pads???  What were you thinking?????? I was very exhausted and couldn’t keep warm by the time 11 hours 20 mins were up so when Sir Galahad rowed me across the waters like a queen it made a perfect ending to the fairy tale. Thank you lovely people!!!  I promise to train a lot before entering again J

Just 2 other points.  A woman fell behind me and got a pretty nasty head wound.  I ran back for help and encountered another couple on the way who were also very helpful – great competitors!  And your marshals were medics! You people think of everything.

Judy Howard