The 2012 Otter African Trail Run/Challenge (Retto Route) presented by Hi-Tec and GU continues to attract major interest via the many conventional/social media sites in South Africa and internationally – this year’s event has truly taken the Grail Of Trail into new territory !
Timing Splits RUN & CHALLENGE
We have also attached the TIMING SPLITS summary on this year’s Retto Route, which you will find very interesting in following your individual RUN/CHALLENGE progress through the 2012 course.
Retto & Classic Route
For many the Otter African Trail run has established itself as the yardstick by which trail runners measure themselves and as such there was much interest in the times posted. Ryan Sandes’ 2011 record of 04:40:15 in the Otter Classic course was regarded as the bar in the mens’ race and naturally there was much speculation, particularly in the media, as to if his time could be bettered. Iain Don Wauchope blitzing of the Retto course in 04:23 stunned South African Trail Running with many acclaiming “a new record.” This is in fact slightly misleading. Just as the Comrades Marathon has an up run and a down run, so too The Otter African Trail Run has two courses; the Classic and the Retto, and as such each has its own record and record holders. Comparisons are unavoidable. However, as anyone who has done both will attest, the two courses differ and are very different races. Ryan Sandes and Jeanni Bomford hold the records for the Classic Course while Iain Don Wachoupe and Krissy Mayle are the new record holders for the Retto.
Which is the harder course, the Otter Retto or the Otter Classic?
Feedback from runners who have done both courses overwhelmingly seemed to indicate that most found the Retto course the harder of the two. Negotiating the treacherous Waterfall section between Ngubu Hut and Storms River Rest Camp with tired legs seemed to be the most common reason cited for the perceived difference but the different gradients of the climbs was also suggested. Harder it may be, statistics seem to indicate that the Retto is the more achievable race (within the time limits) and perhaps the faster course. Nine Runners finished the Retto Run 2012 in Sub 5 hours up from seven in 2011 although 18% of the field finished the 2012 Retto in sub six hours down from 19% in 2011 on the Classic course. Overall The Retto Run had a successful finisher’s percentage of 84% up from 72% in the 2011 Otter Run on the Classic course. The Retto Challenge recorded a 93% rate of successful finishers up from 84% on the 2011 equivalent. Overall 55% of all starters on both events in 2012 ran a sub 8 hour (Run Cut- off) qualifying for coloured medals 9% more than in 2011. Statistically it would seem the Classic course (East West) is the less attainable or perhaps runners are just arriving better prepared?
Three runners withdrew from each race in 2012 due to injury and 13 and 12 respectively missed the cut-off times giving a total of 31 runners removed from the course. This is half the number recorded in the 2011 events.
|Average||Year of Birth||1969.60||1970.81||1970.86||1973.58|
On the subject of event statistics we pulled up some other interesting facts that went into making the 2012 Retto happen all thanks to the SUUNTO AMBITs which recorded the data and GU for powering the team.
1. The Magnetic South Field Team collectively covered 586km between the 6 Oct when our final pre event safety scout traversed the entire trail to the 16 October which allowed our crew ensure the full Otter Trail was handed back to SANParks devoid of any event signage, litter or safety equipment and all clear to allow the first phase of hikers take to the trail. This figure does not include all the additional mileage covered by the many volunteers who were looking after your safety on the actual event days. One particular crew member, Petrus Maree, who you will have passed manning a check point, between Bloukrans and Oakhurst, clocked up over 100km laying out the marking and then rechecking it in between runs and clearing it up at the end of the Challenge.
2. Thirty nine ascents and descents were done by the Bloukrans Safety Team alone moving kit and themselves into and out of this exciting part of the Otter Trail. Race Director, Mark Collins, holds the record for the fastest descent of Emergency Exit E6 in a blistering 00.04.02, one second faster than Bloukrans Staff members Gavin Reynolds & Ruan Luckhoff. E6 is not the easiest climb and for those who have unfortunately experienced having to take this option either on this year’s or past events will agree – it’s a long way UP.
Finally all the details for entering the 2013 Otter African Trail, Classic Route, are up on the Otter website with this year’s participants getting first option to enter next year’s classic route. Your entries will open on the 5th of November and you will have exclusive rights to enter for 2 long weeks – while at the same time your friends and colleagues can place their names onto the priority list in order to better their chances for one of the few OTTER entries.
Post Event Media Links
Have a look at all the post event buzz happening on the following links – what a great way to re live the adventure once again :
Sebastian Chaigneau’s Video and Report about the OTTER (over 3200 views in 5 days)
Supersport Blitz: (broadcasted on sunday 15th of october)
Teaser Supersport Production which will be flighting early december (will send you the dates!)
We look forward to seeing you all in 2013.