All records smashed…
The Oyster Catcher Trail Run was again one for the books. The race that started as a 2-day trail run in 2012, has now on request by the runners, evolved into a 3 day event. Adding on the extra day was easy for the organisers as the Southern Cape has so many beautiful and unseen trails. Fred Orban, owner of Sanpiper Cottages, was just too keen for the extra day and happy to host all of us for the additional day.
The new day did not disappoint – giving athletes the chance to run on a private nature reserve just outside Gouritsmond, Reins Nature Reserve. Day one’s route of 25 km saw 39 athletes head out in the rain and wind to make a loop around the lighthouse before a climb which gave them endless views of the ocean before ascending to some flat beach and rock running all the way to the finish at Gouritsmond Jetty. Hano Otto (Course director) known for giving a little sting in the tail of his races, did not disappoint as the athletes encountered a sand section just before the finish. Jade Muller (Port Elizabeth) took the win for day one – with a big smile on his face in an amazing time of 1:49:42. Megan Beckett (Cape Town) took top honours for the girls in a time of 2:17:27.
Day two started with clear skies and crispness in the air and 84 athletes lined up at the start. Athletes got to choose their own way, hugging the coastline being the more preferred option. Boulder hopping, rock running and beach madness was to be remembered on this day. Starting off on a farm close to Kanon, athletes ran all the way to Sandpiper Sports Centre in Boggoms Bay. Jade Muller was unstoppable and came zooming past Fransmanshoek, not even giving the water table a second look as he sped off to the finish breaking the current record of 1:36:10 in a time of 1:33:15. Megan Beckett took it in her stride as she came smiling across the line in a time of 1:58:06.
Dana Bay 2nd Beach delivered a spectacular sunrise as the athletes lined up for the 3rd day of the Oyster Catcher Trail Run. 102 athletes where awaiting a day of up-and-downs as they ran the well-known St Blaize hiking trail. The first section being a beach section before climbing the stairs onto pure single track all the way to the finish in Mossel Bay at the Poort. The race was fast paced and another record was soon to be broken as Jade came past the water table with only 6kms to the finish. The previous record for this day of 1:28:28 was not a problem for Jade and his brilliant finishing time of 1:20:27. Megan was just as determined to win all three days as first lady and came across the line in a magnificent time of 1:42:17.
It was great to see some locals out on the trails of their backyard, with 19 athletes from the surrounding area competing, Rob De Reuck (Wilderness) took the Master Male position in the 3-day event..
The Oyster Catcher Trail Run has grown from strength to strength, having started with 36 athletes in its first year and having 122 enter this year. The race will be limited to 150 athletes next year. And with all competitors this year leaving with happy faces this is certainly an event to diarise. Hano and Sonja Otto of TriSport are very excited about the future of this race as it has a variety of terrains giving everyone a chance to enjoy a multi-day stage event. For more information, results and photos go to www.trisport.co.za and/or www.facebook.com/trisportsa.