The Yardstick

Less than ONE month to go before you line up to race along some of the most spectacular coastline in the world! We hope you are getting as excited as we are!

This week’s newsletter includes some race-specific details, including start seedings, prize money, how to qualify for prize money, race medal cut-offs AND more importantly, a special SOX Footwear 20% discount code!


We still have a couple of last-minute accommodation options available for you to purchase online. Please follow the link below to our website to secure your last-minute deals: – Deluxe Tents – Campsites

The Yardstick

Dubbed the Grail of Trail by participants, the Otter African Trail Run is regarded by many as the 42km trail running yardstick. This challenging event demands that participants negotiate the beautiful but brutal five days Otter Hiking Trail in just a few hours. Throughout the year’s many records have been broken, but who will be the first South African man to break the iconic 4 hours barrier and the first woman to break 4:40?

A Prize Purse totalling R100 000; R50 000 for the first South African man to break the iconic 4:00 hour barrier and R50 000 for the first woman to break the 4:40 equivalent. The current record holders are Johardt van Heerden 4:02:59 (Classic 2019) and Toni McCann 4:40:30 (Retto 2020)

The ABANGENI is the first start group for the Otter Race that includes the top 32 male and female athletes. The start of the OTTER is seeded according to the athlete’s performances from the prologue, and In order to be included in the ABANGENI, a participant must qualify by running the prologue below a certain time or within a certain percentage of the top athlete. The podium finishers will be ranked according to the order in which they cross the finish line regardless of whether they started in the ABANGENI or in any other start group but only ABANGENI athletes are eligible for prize money. For the rest of the field, your start group will be based on your finish position in the prologue and your overall finish position will be ranked based on your total race time.

Prize Money

A total prize purse of R80 000 will be equally distributed between the podium men & women in the RACE: 1st R25 000 2nd R10 000 3rd R5 000

Start Seedings

The start waves for the morning of the Otter start will be based on the prologue times – please note that it is compulsory to run the prologue the day prior to the Otter Challenge/ Run if you wish to have a favourable seeding time. If you chose not to participate in the prologue, you will be required to start last which will have an effect on your overall finish time and you are likely to have lots of ‘traffic’ en-route. If you are worried about making certain cut-off times along the way, we recommend you have a favourable seeding as the cut-off times for the various points along the route will be determined on the last start wave, thus if your start wave is closer to the front, you will gain bonus time en route and will not have such ‘tight’ cut-off times.

Race Medals

Depending on which race you are participating in, you will be awarded a finishers medal in the colour according to your race time. The RUN awards 7 different coloured medals from SUB 4 hours, as the fastest possible race time, to Sub 8 hours. RACE medals are only awarded to participants who finish in less than 9 hours. The CHALLENGE awards 2 different coloured medals: one SUB 8 hours and one that awards all athletes that manage to finish the race in less than 11.00 hours race time.

Race Cut-offs

Anybody failing to come to the finish within the cut-off time will not get a finishing medal. There are various compulsory cut-off and exit points where you will be taken off the course if you fall behind the safety schedule. Race Cut-off times will be communicated to athletes at registration.

The Otter African Trail Run is stoked to partner with South African born and bred company Sox Footwear, and in doing so, bring you the limited edition Otter Sox. Available in three colours and printed in high tech true print that never washes out or fades (a first in SA), the perfectly knitted PolyLon36 Fiber will offer you a smooth, comfortable experience on all kinds of trails. You can secure yourself a pair on our Online Otter Shop

If you love their products as much as we do, then you’ll be just as delighted as we are, as SOX is giving away a pair of SOX to every Otter African Trail Run entrant in their goodie bag. … AND that’s not all! SOX is also offering you a special 20% discount code to be redeemed on their website (link below) during September and October… because who doesn’t want to add to their SOX wardrobe?!

Discount code: ottertrailrun20 REDEEM DISCOUNT HERE

Whether you choose to run the Dassie 10km or the 6km, be assured, every step over rocks, roots, pebbles, through riverbeds and up steep climbs is worth the effort. Racing through the most pristine indigenous forests will offer fantastic views of the river mouth and the ocean and will let every trail runner’s heart jump with joy. Limited entries – ENTER BELOW

Enjoy the training! Your OTTER Team