Event Information

Company Policies

Refunds & Cancellation Policy


The OTTER RUN/CHALLENGE does not permit athletes to substitute an entry on their own. Entries will have to be returned to the organisers and refunded according to the refund policy*. Returned entries will only be made available to athletes on the waiting list.

*PREMIUM ENTRIES are under the general Refunds & Cancellation Policy, but allow for only 1 substitution to another athlete on their own.


Event Cancellation

In the event of inclement weather, economic, or any other external forces that are out of control of the race organisers, the organisers may decide to change the course to a safer alternative course or cancel the event entirely. Such a decision will only be made in the interest of participant safety. If the event is cancelled, no refunds will be possible.

As most of the expenses incurred in staging this event are committed to in advance, refunds are only possible well in advance or when a replacement can be found. The following rules apply:

  • Full payment is required on entry.
  • 85% on your full order will be refunded if an entry is cancelled in writing on or before 15 April 2021.
  • 65% on your full order will be refunded if an entry is cancelled in writing on or before 15 July 2021.
  • After 15 July 2021 refunds will only apply if these entries can be substituted from the waiting list. Please note that these possible refunds will only be made after completion of the event.
  • No refunds or waiting list substitutions from  25 August 2021.
  • No refunds on Waiting List or Priority List Entries.
  • Deferrals are not permitted.
  • Accommodations, Mealtickets, and Bloukrans Hike are eligible for the same % refunds as above. Race Shirts however are only eligible until the 15 July 2021. You can also choose to keep or reallocate these additions to another athlete. 


2020 Athlete E-Book

A comprehensive e-book of all the information you need to know

Including, the route & profile, race village map, gear check, race pace, food zone, emergency procedures, yardstick and more.

2020 Athlete Newsletters

Detailed information regarding the upcoming event

Regular newsletters are distributed to registered runners. If you have missed any of the latest newsletters, click on one of links provided on the left.


Pre-race Dinner

Bookings available soon via Howler Active.

Pre-race Breakfast

Bookings will be available soon via Howler Active.

Award Ceremony Dinner

The dinner, followed by the award ceremony, will be held at De Vasselot Rest Camp, Natures Valley. The dinner for athletes is part of your entry fee and does not have to be booked! However if you wish to bring a partner to dinner, you would need to pre-book via Howler Active as there is limited space.


Book in advance

There are many variables to running and managing the Otter but one thing we can guarantee is that your legs will be dying for a massage after finishing the race! The Southern Cape has some of the most highly rated sports masseurs, Jo-Anne van Vuuren and her colleagues from Aromaflex. Make sure you book your massage in advance via email aromaflex2@gmail.com or 082-8209960.

Bloukrans Hike

Activity Bus for Supporters

We will once again be offering family and friends the opportunity to observe the dramatic Bloukrans River Crossing. Hikers will be collected from the Khoisan Village (The entrance to Tsitsikamma Khoisan Village is located 1 km East of the Bloukrans bridge) on the morning of the event (Departure Times TBD) and transported to the top of the E6 Emergency Exit above the infamous Bloukrans River mouth. From there, you will hike the 200 vertical meters down to the Otter Trail and onto the pebble beach where you will see the participants attempt the crossing. Participants of the Bloukrans Bus are not guaranteed to catch the same runners at the finish line in Natures Valley as there is simply not enough time.

Otter Training Program 2021

Training Program Download

Send download link to:

I agree to use the route file responsibly and not access the official Otter trail route without the relevant permissions and permits required.

I would like an invitation to be added to the Otter newsletter database.

Training for the Otter

Landie & Christiaan Greyling will help you with your preparation

A training program to run the Otter should consist of three aspects all of which will help to make the trail easier, more enjoyable and, should you be that way inclined, faster:

  1. Base level endurance – this is your distance running. The Otter trail is a marathon distance trail run, so at the very least you should be able to run a marathon. Specific to this event, a lot of your base training should be done on trail and not on the road.
  2. Stairs – there is a great number of stairs and step-ups on the Otter Trail so being strong in this discipline will help you a LOT!
  3. Interval training – This, for some, is the most difficult part of training but, if done correctly, can offer the most benefits.


  • The given Otter training plans will include 6 x 4 week build cycles toward the event date.
  • The plan is set on a 4-week cycle, where loads build to week 3 to include an active recovery 4th week.
  • Every 4-week cycle will build progressively until the 5th cycle, to include a taper (decrease in training load) in cycle 6 in preparation for the event
  • Training loads given are designed to start off lightly, assuming fitness level is low and to then progressively build as the weeks go by.
  • The training plan is designed to provide Otter-specific guidelines to trail run training.
  • These plans are structured for the novice to intermediate trail runner with a low to moderate fitness level.
  • The training plan is specific to running training, but makes reference to sessions for cross training and strength training. 
  • The training plans can be used as a structured guideline for your training where your own discretion is required on training plan selection and training load.


Good nutrition plays a vital role on race day. The longer the race, the more important for your body to recover.

In order to understand the products from our product partner and how to best use them, Gu provided us with some very important information. Make sure you read this and make full use of this great product. All athletes have come to understand the important role good nutrition plays on race day! The longer the race, the more important nutrition becomes. Multi-day race and recovery also starts to play a critical part.

As a sponsor of the Otter we’d like to help you as best we can in the lead-up to the race to understand our products and how best to use them.

By way of introduction, a bit more about us. Since 1991 athletes the world over have come to the same conclusion: GU works. Our Berkeley-based sports nutrition company started with our original GU Energy Gel, a revolutionary and more effective method to keep athletes fueled during exercise. Since then, GU has continued to improve the recipe, incorporating the latest scientific research into its products. In 2001, GU Electrolyte Brew (formerly Gu2o) was launched as the perfect hydration companion to GU Energy Gel. 2008 saw the introduction of Roctane Ultra Endurance Energy Gel, followed by Chomps Energy Chews and GU Recovery Brew in 2009. Every product is formulated to further GU’s mission: to help athletes go faster and longer than ever before.

To help each of you through the Otter, we have put together an Athlete Performance Energy Sampler. We will also be out there at the GU Munchie Point on race day with GU Brew mixed up and cold for you when you run through, and with GU Brew and GU recovery available at the end of the race.

GU Brew

Here are some details on the recently re-formulated new and improved GU Brew: GU Electrolyte Brew is water’s new best friend. The fact is, when you work out you sweat more than just water. So when you drink you have to  have a special brew with the right amounts of sodium, potassium and carbohydrates to bring your system back into balance. Used consistently, GU Brew will help you perform better and go longer. When it comes to GU Brew there are no gimmicky additives. GU Brew is as simple as they come – with just a handful of key ingredients. Complex and simple carbs in optimal balance, vital electrolytes at the proper levels for intense exercise, and all-natural flavors. Simple. This means the product is easy on your stomach and will keep you focused on reaching your goals in training and racing. With regards flavour, GU Brew is specially formulated to NOT be too sweet! If you are looking for a sugar bomb, look elsewhere. Loyal GU athletes rave about the lightly sweet taste of our Electrolyte Brew.

GU at The Otter

Each Otter athlete will receive our Performance Energy Pack at registration – enabling athletes to use the full range of GU products throughout the event. In addition, GU staff will be at the water point waiting for you with a ready-mixed GU Brew at the finish line with sachets of GU Recovery drink. For your own research on what's best for you go to www.guenergy.com


Volunteering Program

Be part of the Otter African Trail Run and mingle amongst the world’s best trail runners while being part of the world’s best event team.

Volunteer candidates are required to apply using an online application form. The application process will remain open with the first round of selections taking place as early as January 2021 for the event taking place in October.

There is only a limited amount of volunteer positions available.


Magnetic South Events stand for high quality sporting events and this high standard can only be achieved with an excellent team. Our volunteers will be a crucial part of the success of the event and will require a variety of skills that can benefit our event team. Whether you have technical (computer/electronics), administrative or operational skills – there are various positions to be filled at Registration/Race Village and “in the field”.

Most importantly however you will have to be available for the full period of the event (6–9 October 2021) as well as for the compulsory staff briefing on Tuesday evening, 5 October 2021.

  • 18 years of age on the day the race starts.
  • Must have a good command of the English language.
  • South African citizens require a valid identity document.
  • Foreign citizens must be in possession of a valid passport.

Each volunteer receives, among other things:

  • Tented accommodation.
  • Breakfast and dinner with the Magnetic South Event Team.
  • Daily lunch pack.
  • Volunteer t-shirt or similar.
  • Reserved entry for the following year's race.

Cost (NOT) involved

If you are successful with your application and you commit to work as part of the Magnetic South team we believe we are entering a "win-win" situation.

We will benefit from your dedicated work and you will be part of the international World Championship in Trail Running. We will NOT charge you for being a volunteer – HOWEVER you will have to pay a deposit of R2,000 to secure your volunteer spot. This amount will only be fully refunded after the event if you fulfilled your commitment to the satisfaction of your team leader. Should you, for any reason, not be able to attend the event or fulfil your commitment, the deposit will not be refunded.

How the application process works:

Step 1: Candidates complete the online volunteer application form.

Step 2: Wait to hear from the organizers as to whether your application has been successful. First-round confirmation emails will be sent out to successful volunteers by the end of January

Step 3: Once selected, you have 2 weeks to confirm whether you accept to be part of the Magnetic South Team and work at the event.

Step 4: Pay your volunteer REFUNDABLE joining fee within the period communicated in your acceptance email invite. Please note that your place on the program is only guaranteed once payment has been received.

GPS Tracking Files

2020 Retto Route Track

Download the latest track for use on race day. These files can be uploaded to the tracking device of your choice. 

Important Downloads

Fill all the details in carefully - any missing details will cause delay at the gate. Bring a signed copy of each document with you to present upon arrival.

The SANParks Gate Indemnity Form

(1 PER VEHICLE) Note this is a two page document and page two must include the particulars of each occupant of the vehicle. The temperature reading part can only be completed upon arrival at our gate.

Health Declaration Form

(1 PER PARTICPANT OTTER, DASSIE & BLOUKRANS HIKE) This document will have to be presented at the Park Gate and handed at Registration (Race Hub).

Indemnity Agreement 

(1 PER PARTICIPANT) This document will have to be handed at Registration (Race Hub).