Otter info

Retto Route

Nature's Valley Start

All event athletes will be transported to the starting point at Nature's Valley. There are 3 cut-off points en route where participants failing to arrive on time will be removed from the course.
retto route map

TrailFactor of 2.0

The TrailFactor indicates the degree of increased resistance applied by the trail on a runner when compared to a flat conventional road running course. A TrailFactor of 2.0 means completing the Otter can take twice as long as the equivalent distance on road!

Four River Crossings

There are four rivers that have to be crossed, including the infamous Bloukrans River which involves a swim. We will have safety personnel and equipment set up only at Bloukrans to assist and make sure you safely cross this segment.
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Route Profile

A total gain of over 2,600m over full route, including ±7,000 ascending steps. Steep enough to force the strongest runners to walk.

Eleven Significant Climbs and Descents

There are eleven climbs of more than 50m elevation gain with 3 climbs exceeding 100 meters.

Pace Splits

The pace chart and pace bracelets provided will help you keep track of your targeted finishing time and will help you to stay ahead of all six cut-off points. 

Pace Chart

Monthly Training Plans by Alpasfit

Landie & Christiaan Greyling will help you with your preparation

 

Getting started: 

Polarized Training is the type of training we prescribe and recommend at Alpasfit. We suggest completing a VO2max test + Lactate Threshold in order to determine your training zones. To make a booking at the lab in Stellenbosch please contact emily@alpasfit.com or for a suggestion of the closest testing facility to you. A training plan 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.

Features:

  • 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.

Disclaimer:

This program has been designed by the Coaches at Alpasfit to assist runners in their preparation for the Otter. Both Landie and Christiaan Greyling won the Otter race and have been on the podium numerous times. The training plans should be used as a guideline, based on moderate level of fitness to finish the Otter in your goal time. It is important to listen to your body while you follow the plans, rather get to the race start slightly under-trained than not getting there at all.

Should you wish to receive daily workouts directly on your Garmin and/or emails with your exercises, please contact Alpasfit (Coaching Academy of Landie and Christiaan Greyling) to sign-up for more personalised one-on-one coaching. To reduce the risk of injury we recommend weekly strength training with a professional strength coach. Alpasfit also offers customised strength training plans in collaboration with Runstrong and Rainsford biokinetics, so please contact us should you be interested.

If you find you're unable to keep up with the plan or you pick up an injury please consult with the appropriate professional (Dr, Biokineticist, Coach etc). Look after yourself and good luck!

Download the Training Plans

New training plans will be added two months in advance. Follow one of our social media channels for notifications

January Training Plan

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February Training Plan

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Training Definitions:

Easy Run - An Easy run should be in your 5-6/10 Effort level or Zone 1 or 2 out of 5 if you are using a Heart-rate monitor, i.e 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. If this is not done correctly, it can lead to overtraining and injuries. Please see the article on Alpasfit FB page for more information on this: Polarized training.

Strength Training - If you are unsure of what to do here, please contact Alpasfit for a customized strength program by Runstrong.

Fartlek - A very simple form of a speed session. Fartlek training “is simply defined as periods of fast running intermixed with periods of slower running.”

Lactate Threshold - If you want to make improvements as a runner, then it’s worth learning about this important zone and how to successfully train in it. Contact us to customize your training based on this proven method.

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Nutrition

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

Meals

Pre-race Dinner

Bookings will open in April 2022

Pre-race Breakfast

Bookings will be available in April 2022

Award Ceremony Dinner

The dinner, followed by the award ceremony, will be held at Cattle Baron Restaurant, Storms River. 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 the Otter shop as there is limited space.

Massages

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.

Supporters Activity

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.