2015 Merrell Hobbit Race Comments

We asked the 2015 Hobbiters to summarise their thoughts and feelings Before, During and After the event.

Before – excitement at getting out there for that is where I find my happiness and peace.

During – realising that this is really tough and that perhaps Ironman is not ideal training for a mountain run. In awe of the beauty and majesty of the forest and mountains.

After – grateful to everyone involved in putting on this event. Long may it continue.

Grant Edwards


Before: confident

During: breathtaken, as much by the scenery as the pain.

After: on top of the world

Pieter Jordaan


Before:  Determined

During: Humbled

After: Elated

Dawie Poolman


BEFORE: My aim for April 2015 was to run 3 Ultra races in one month! I started off with Old Mutual Two Oceans and completed it in 5hrs34 mins. My next Ultra was 2weeks thereafter which. Was Bruintjieshoogte 50km’s in Somerset East which I completed in 4hrs52mins, I felt good after both Ultra’s and feel that i have done enough training for the hobbit a week later!

I have done the Hobbit 100km’s twice before so this would be my 3rd one. I started off very well and before I know it I could feel that‎ I feel a bit more tired and bit more slower than the previous years and I immediately knew that I tapered (overtrained) so I decided just to keep going and do my best under the circumstances.

DURING: With the way that I feel and doing all the uphills I soon became exhausted and found the little voice in my head continuously telling me to stop and rest or give up or why did I start the race? I kept on arguing with that little voice and quickly shut it up! After the last checkpoint on day one I managed to get lost. I should have taken an hour to get to the Cata hut but turned out into 3hours and I only checked in just after 8pm which left me with a time of 14hrs10min for day one compared to my previous 11hrs. I have 3 rules for trailrunning I live by, 1. Look down 2. Look up and 3. Look for the route markings! After day one I can add a few 4. Always train the type of terrain for which you are training for and 5. No matter how many times you have run the same route, you can always get lost (due to weather and non maintenance routes don’t look the same) 6. Finish before dark (just in case you get lost). Day one took out a lot of energy which resulted in me finishing day 2 in 12hrs14min.

AFTER: I felt good afterwards having a few pressure blisters and little sore legs. I pushed a bit coming off the mountain which resulted in me feeling a bit dehydrated for 2 days but the muscles were perfect just the body that needed rest. Great training for Comrades!

My philosophy is ‘I don’t train for a race but instead every race is a training session for the next one’.

Thank you Team Merrell, see u guys next year.

To everyone else, this sure is a race to add to your bucket list!

Desmond Bekker



2013 Merrell Hobbit Race Comments

From Helena Ferreira

Looking at race results and having blank blocks next to your name can be very disappointing.

I got various people asking “What went wrong?”  My answer to that question is:

“Victory is in the eye of the beholder!”

vic·to·ry: Success in a struggle against difficulties or an obstacle. The state of having triumphed.

Victory is not just about your position in a race; it’s a personal achievement of pushing on after reaching your limit. Hobbit 100km is probably the most beautiful trail run in South Africa but also one of the toughest.

Missing the split!

Being a true adventurer at heart (and the fact that I suck at navigation), I always tend to take the road less travelled J So myself and a very unfortunate friend took a left when everyone else took a right! After walking for a couple of hours we hit a dead-end and realized our mistake, as it was 16h00 already we only had about two hours of light before it would be getting dark. Back tracking out of the forest we found another lost (and very sick) soul; with darkness approaching and two very sick boys with me, we decided to find the quickest way off the mountain to a point where a vehicle can collect us.

Escape route gone wrong

What looked like an easy walk to some houses we could see in the distance turned out to be a two hour crawling expedition through a forest with a lovely thick undergrowth of thorn bushes! After crossing numerous valleys we made a call to follow the next river we cross down to try and get out of the forest area. The river we took led us to a path that led directly to the houses we spotted from up above; just in time to see the last light of day! Some call it coincidence, others call it luck, I call it guidance from Someone who always knew where we were. Hats off to my amazing partners Aiden and Derik; despite being sick all afternoon, bodies aching and nothing left to give they pushed forward without complaining once, you were true warriors!

Compulsory Kit

There is a reason why an organizer tells you to take compulsory kit!!! Do not skimp on this!!! Without space blankets, headlamps and warm gear we would’ve been in serious trouble!

The Simple Life

We parked of at the first sign of a main road, which happened to be someone’s back yard. Micheal, the owner of the “back yard” noticed us (probably looking like (smelly) aliens, all wrapped in space blankets J) and invited us into his warm and cosy home while we waited for our knight in shining armour.  He offered to take me to the local “shop” (which turned out to be a fridge in the neighbours living room) to buy some Coke; while sipping away he was telling us that the land we were on belonged to his forefathers and he and his community was part of a group that helped cleared the Amatola hiking trail that we were on earlier that day! He told us about his cows, pigs and vegetable garden where they grew vegetables for the elderly people in their village. Simple people living the simple life! Made me think, which one brings more happiness, the simple house with love or the fancy house filled with technology??

The knight in the not-so-shiny Merrell bakkie

When taking part in any trail run you kinda put your life in the hands of the organizers in terms of assisting you if something goes wrong. They need to know the mountain and have measurements in place to get you out if necessary. I feel safe and confident knowing that the team of Tatum and Graham knows what needs to be done and for most of the time, knows exactly where everyone is! Except me of course when I take alternative routes J Sure we left him scratching his head a few times!

Within an hour Graham showed up to save the day (and pay for the Coke that I took on appro J) At about 21:00 we got back to the overnight hut where most of the other athletes were sleeping already as we had another day starting at 4:00 on Saturday!

Going back for more

Feeling tired from the 13 hour hike on Friday and being exhausted mentally (as I was the only one not being sick the previous day I felt a responsibility to get the boys off the mountain and trying to keep the spirits high); Derik and I (Aiden unfortunately did not recover enough) started the second day very slowly and moved even slower as we hit the incredible climbs! We saw the most amazing waterfalls and took some time to appreciate the sheer beauty of the Amatola! After covering only 22kms in 7 hours, we decided to call it a day and were once again rescued by the not-so-shiny Merrell bakkie!

The lady at the finish!

There are many reasons to take part in Mountainrunner events:

  1. Great value for money
  2. Proper trail running routes
  3. Tatum’s face at the finish!!! I am not sure if I am the only one but while I’m running I think about Tatum’s face at the finish!

She makes every athlete that cross the finish line feels like they are the WINNER! Shouting, bouncing and hugging! Makes us feel so special Tatum!

And now I know that you also get that greeting even if you arrive in the bakkie! Both times!!!!

Victory despite not completing the full 100km

Although we did not complete the full course and get our coffee cups, we still had many personal victories and adventures.

Some victories are very obvious, others not so obvious; the way I see it, if you try to find more of the “not so obvious” victories in your life, you will be a lot less disappointed!

Over and out



Hi Tatum and the rest of the organisation,

I would like to thank the organisation for everything. Especially Mike who took care of me on the mountain. It was an amazing experience and very well organised. The participants and the volunteers were very helpfull and the views were amazing.

It’s a pitty that i couldn’t finish the second day, but I enjoyed every minute of it.

thanks again.




Thanks for this Tweet – it’s like Christmas for splits geeks like myself 😉

I’d also just like to say a huge thanks to everybody involved in putting on this awesome event! Please pass my thanks on to Lofty as well – that warm shower at Cata was a winner. This event sets the benchmark for me on exactly what a mountain run should be all about – a tough and spectacular course, great camaraderie amongst the runners at Cata and just an awesome weekend in the mountains. You guys rock!




Hi Graham, Tatum

Thanks for the experience – it really is a privilege to be the Amatola forest. I was really disappointed at not being able put in a decent effort for the run. It is important to realise that to start with a problem on such a tough run only means that things will get worse. This obviously puts pressure on me to be back and  that you will see me again next year – although I think I will always be back while I can still run. Please let me know the planned dates.

Most sincere thanks once again to you and all of your team.

Best regards

Mick Grewar


Hi Mountain Runner Team,

Just a big THANK YOU for organising this amazing event – Hobbit 100! Your efforts and dedication are very much appreciated.

Tatum, although I may not have looked terribly excited at the time, I no doubt will be waiting eagerly for the entries to open for next year’s race. Next time I will conquer!

Graham – I havent had a chance to upload my Garmin route onto computer to see where exactly we ended up on Friday eve… certainly going to interesting… big thank you for jumping into the bakkie to track us down. I will never again ask myself “Why do they want all this compulsory gear?”… I certainly found out why firsthand.

Also, a big ‘thank you’ to the rest of the team and medics (who took superb care of me!)

See you at the start next year!



Hi Tatum & Graham

Back home safely and at work already!

Just wanted to drop you a note to say a big big thanks again for an amazing 2 days of running in God’s country. The organisation and logistics was excellent and a race that I will recommend to all

The weather was perfect, the scenery breathe taking but the solitude and time to contemplate life was truly a blessing.

Thanks thanks thanks again


Hi Tates

Thanks for an awesum weekend again. I really enjoyed myself out on “my” mountains . You guys are amazing and put together a really great event with just the right mix of personal touch and competitive spirit for all involved. I realized afterwards that no one stood up and thanked YOU guys!!!! So from me and all the runners who were too buggered to think a massive thanks for all you did . You guys are superstars!

I will gladly sweep again next year and for as long as I am able to, I cannot think of a better way to spend my weekend.

Thanks for making everyone feel so special at the event .

See you next year, please don’t hesitate to call for help for anything .


Mike aka “the sweep”


Morning Graham, Tatum, Lofty and rest of the Mountain runner team,

Just a quick note to say a huge congrats and thank you on once again an amazing event.

The personal touch and immense effort you put into the event is truly appreciated !

It was a huge privilege to be part of the MERREL Hobbit 100km.

Can you please put me in touch with the correct person with regards to the Merrell voucher


Good luck to the team for upcoming World Champs !

Rest up well – till next year !


Dear Tatum, Graham, Mark, Mike and the rest of your team

Thanks for the epic adventure! The route was extraordinary, with challenges way beyond expectation, and I came out the other end feeling a little battered but elated – this was my proudest running moment. We trained pretty much the whole year for this, and it was well worth it, especially with all those hills (read mountains) that just wouldn’t stop coming!

Just as important though was the incredible atmosphere you created around the race. You made us all feel important. One of my most enduring memories will be cresting the last climb on day 1, seeing Cata hut in the distance and hearing the cheers and whoops of encouragement from you and other runners. And then on arrival at Cata, all the care, consideration and thoughtfulness you showed to us. The relaxed atmosphere made it fun to sit around, nurse scratched and bruised legs, and debrief about the day. Thanks especially for bringing my food through for me and making sure I had everything I needed to eat.

A brilliant race, so well organized, and an absolute privilege to be part of.

I’ve attached a pic of the cake a friend of mine made for me on my return to Cape Town. It matches perfectly with my Hog 🙂




Hi Tatum

Hope you and the family are home safe and sound?

Thank you for hosting an awesome but BRUTAL event, we had a great time and will surely be back next year.

2 things – I am super keen to get my feet into a pair of Merrells, who did you say I should contact about that?  Secondly – if by some chance you have a large/XL shirt left I would love to buy it for my hubby – I’d really appreciate it.

Take care and we’ll see you at another adventure soon

Warm regards

Candy Boonzaier


Hi Team ,

Thanks for a spectacular time in the mountains , I really enjoyed myself .

It’s a tough event and finishing is something to be proud of , I am still amazed at what ones body can do .

Once again thank you for a great time , the organisation and back up was first class.

All the best



Hi Graham, Tatum & Team,

I would just like to thank you and congratulate you on an awesome event on behalf of Monique and myself. The Hobbit 100 was everything we anticipated and so much more!

It was a grueling physical challenge through some amazing scenery, but above all it was a mental and emotional victory to cross that finish line. You really seem to appreciate that and as a participant that makes all the difference.

We hope to be back and get to know all of you better next time when we might have a bit more time on our hands.

With sincere thanks,



Merrell Hobbit 100km Race Comments

2011 Race Comments

Hi Tatum,Sorry it has taken me so long to sit down to write a quick thank you…I have a number of excuses, none worth wasting time putting down though.Thank you for taking over the race so I, for one, can continue with my annual pilgrimage…things change, things stay the same.  Apart from the usual year to year changes depending on where they have been working on the trail and where it is most overgrown, the biggest change by far was day 2 being misty rather than stifling, which turned out to provide a good foundation for the legend of the Hobbit 100!Good luck with the year’s events (Tasmania?)…see you for the Hobbit 201.Lance

Hey Guys,Amazing event. Thanks again for everything. Still dreaming of deep forest and being out there, away with the fairies!Rocking evet, Luke

Hi Tatum,Thank you for all your effort in putting on a wonderful event. Your team did a superb job of looking after us and allowing us to check out of life for 2 days.Thanks for keeping the spirit of the run being about the mountain and forest experience. I think Leo summarised it best after running it a couple of years ago “Don’t come here for trophies, medals or water tables every 3 km. But come for everything else.”

Dear Tatum,Firstly, do you have a date for the 2012 race yet?  We definitely plan to be there, and I promise we will listen properly to the race briefing so that we don’t take the wrong route!  At least we got to see a few more waterfalls, but it just added to your stress!  I do apologise (and to Graham, for any swearwords that came out of my mouth, I was totally stressed out and worried about not making the cut-off).Once again I would like to thank you all for a totally awesome run.  I treasure all my goodies- hoody, t/shirt/medal/kit bag/crockery set, and all the other freebies.  It was an experience of a lifetime, and I will be back to make sure we improve our times, and stick to the route like glue.  My word, there were some nerve wrecking moments, but at the end of the day, it was worth every second.  By the way, I actually have a 2.56 PB marathon time as my proud achievement, have done 20 Comrades and Two Oceans marathons, with a PB of 7.53 and 4.13 respectively, so I used to be quite quick.  But my word, trail running is very different and difficult.  I think it also has a lot to do with how brave you are, I definitely am not that brave, am very scared of falling on my butt.We want to come back next year with a bit more training for the event, just to improve a little bit.It is very difficult to explain to people that never experienced the Hobbit 100 what it is all about.  I was asked if I am being abused at home as my arms have so many scrapes and bruises! Thank heavens they never saw my legs!  It is all part of the experience, have to have a few scars to prove how tough it was.  Colin’s toes took a battering, big blood blisters.Thanks for the major effort you and your team put into organising the event.  You made it so personal to all of us, the comforting hug when we  finished was so needed.  Thanks for your friendliness, your caring, super personalities, all of you.  Thanks for the tasty meals, especially out in the forest.  It was fantastic.We will definitely register as soon as we know the date, I don’t want to miss out.Best of luck for your event in Tazmania.
Kind regards,Sharon

Hi Tatum,Thanks for a great weekend – spectacular waterfalls and rainforests with some truly great single track running.  I definitely want to come back next year, but with the rest of the family, so they can also experience this spectacular place.I found the “Hobbit” to be extremely well organized and loved the personal touches – the food was ample and delicious, cold beer at Cata hut really hit the spot.  The trail was extremely well marked and almost impossible to get lost for most of the 2 days – the extra effort you guys put in to get the extra bunting tape up on day 2 was helpful as I am sure I would probably have got lost on the Hog in the mist without all the extra markings.  Although I will own up to having downed 3 Redbul shots and a Gu on the Hog which had me flying up – not necessarily always in the right direction!Pass my thanks again on to the crew.
Later Brandon

Howdy Tatum,Thanks again for a spectacular event. Not just the route but all the organising and effort you and your team put in. Memory’s to last!!!!
Take Care,Benji

Hi Tatum,Thanks for the great event and hosting thereof. Please thank your team for all the hard work. I could see on Monday how tired you all looked!Great story, and can surely back your statement! For a few seconds on Sunday I was thinking of leaving my warm jacket and only taking the rain jacket (a proper one) to make space for extra water……When I phoned Tweet on Sunday, I was cold, shaking so much that I bit my own lip :-)Hope to see you next year for those final 4km’s….Regards and thanks again for the great adventure.

Hi Tatum,Thank you for an awesome event, it was enjoyably tough, the route was great with lots of special views, moments and also a couple of scary ones as well. Thank you to you, your great team and sponsors for a well organised, well executed, pleasant and hassle free race. I had a great time and really enjoyed taking part.The goodie bags were super and the hoodie awesome, something I will wear with pride.Overnight catering at Cata hut, warm water shower, great food, dessert, Coke and Windhoek really spoilt us. Great for insisting on compulsory gear, even with my fleece top and raincoat there were moments that I was very cold going over the hog and hesitating on taking the correct route.A number of persons did not attend the second night briefing where we were warned about the split in the route for the 38km and that we should be careful not to go back on the 38km route and it was re-iterated by Graham. Ok the mist did make it difficult, but it could be the reason for some taking the wrong route.Liza asked me to give a special word of thanks to Don, the sweeper on the 16km route, was it not for his encouragement, patience and pleasant attitude she would not have completed the 16km. He really made the day for her.Hope you had a chance to get a good rest as you worked really hard.
Regards,Francois Steyl

Hi Tatum and team,thank you so much for an incredible race! i’m having serious post-race blues! even tho my body is only realising now what i did to it over the weekend, i’m already looking forward to next year’s race, and would love to come back and try and race it harder.I came back to do the race to re’live’ some Bull of Africa Memories, and it was incredible to be back, and crazy how much of the route i remember!  So running your event brought back many great memories and i’ll definitely be back agian next year.  The support and organizing was amazing, and i couldn’t have asked for better weather.this will def be a benchmark race against which other races will be compared to.thanks again, we got way more than our money’s worth!and good luck with your preparations for ARWC in Tasmania.

Dearest Tatum,I really must apologise for the delay in sending you a note of thanks. I know that you must be down-under right now and I hope racing like a champ!I know that Roger sent you and Graham my GPS tracks from the race, last week which I hope will be useful, especially after some of the experiences of some of the runners further back in the field on Sunday of the race, but I just wanted to write you a short note to say thanks again.It really was a spectacular run and I loved every second of the race. Thank you for all of the organising that you did to make it such a special weekend, I really appreciated it! I am so sorry that you had some stressful situations with runners on Sunday afternoon and evening and I am so grateful to hear that all finished without major injury.Look forward to seeing you soon and thank you again for a wonderful run,
Love Kylie



Hansa Fish Trail Run 2011 Race Comments

Hi Tatum,It was a great event – thanks to you guys! Well organised and fun. I did try spread the word and will make sure that I drag more people there next year – kicking and screaming if necessary.

Loved the run and will would love to take part again next year. Nice option for all the lazy seconds 🙂 Thanks again for a great event.Sian

Thanks for a great run ,was my first trail run and defiantly not my last!! But won’t ride a mountain bike race before the run.Thomas

Hi Tatum,The event was AWESOME!! We (the Tonne Manne) have already decided to be fitter for next year’s run.
Thanks to you and all the people involved. Kind regards,Jerome

Thanks Tatum,Very well organised and well enjoyed. Thank you.Murray

Merrell Spruit Trail Run 2011 Race Comments

Hi – thanks for organising this event, we definitely got lost and ended up doing one of the loops twice (not sure how that happened) but we had the distance at 11.95 so we did something right in the end but my fellow friends only did about 10kms.  In the end though we all had a great time and running on the spruit was something we would definitely do again.  Not that technical which is refreshing for a change because most organisers want to hurt everybody who arrives ;o)
Thanks again and we would definitely be interested if you organised another event on the Spruit.

Thank you for organizing a fun day.  Even though I went off track, I still went back and did a couple of extra km and ended up having a fair-sized group of people following me.  I guess that didn’t help your time calculations either, sorry.Maybe for next race, you could call on one of the athletics clubs like Wanderers or RAC who could potentially help out with marshals and other helpers.  It may cost a little extra but would probably be well worth it.  Depending on the club, if it’ just a few volunteer marshals you’re after, they may not even charge you; they may just ask for something small for each marshal.I will certainly do the race again if happens again – I think it was a great place. Cheers Kevin

Hi Tatum, This was my first trail run and I absolutely loved it!  I would definitely like to see more races in the Delta as I live in the area and it was so convenient.I have more friends in the area that will definitely do it now that I have ‘checked’ it out so to speak JLook forward to joining you in more trails. Kind regards. Justine Proudfoot

Thanks Tatum,Very well organised and well enjoyed. Thank you.MurrayThanks Tatum,It was great fun. Don’t be too hard on yourselves. I’ve seen this happen so many times, but I’ve never seen organizers try harder than you guys to make up for the booboo and establish fairness. Keep it up! Regards, Tommy

Merrell Outeniqua Traverse 2011

Race Report by Jacques Mouton

A wet, cold Friday with predictions of similar weather conditions on race day set the scene for an interesting day of trail running in the Outeniqua mountains. Being a local event sponsored by Merrell, I set my sights and hopes on my best performance yet, having achieved top 10 positions for the last three years of the event. My best performance was in 2009, when I finished second overall.Knowing that my preparation leading to the event went well, I went through the normal pre-race routine feeling relaxed and confident, despite a number of hard racing efforts in the weeks leading up to the Traverse.

A friendly Merell team consisting of Tatum, Graham and Daniel greeted a bunch of very excited and anxious runners at the registration for the start of the race. The weather gods played kindly along, and we were comforted by the promise of clear skies with little chance of rain expected for the day. After Graham went through the ceremonial race briefing, Tatum said the last wishing wells before the countdown to the start of the event. Five, four, three, two, one go!

Coming from a road running background, I quickly settled into a comfortable pace covering the first 4km of gravel road. Although the initial plan was to stick with the leading bunch before launching a first attack about 20km into the race, I was surprised to find myself in the leading spot after a mere kilometer into the race. Running comfortably and with legs feeling strong, I changed my tactics and settled for a race against the clock, aiming for a finishing time of around 4:30.Being all too familiar with this route I often train on, the Merrell route markings went unnoticed. Not before long I found myself completely off the marked route, having missed a marker somewhere along the way. Carrying along the wrong route, I eventually joined the marked trail again, but the error and detour have cost me dearly. Having done an extra kilometer, I gave up five positions and lost about 5 minutes on the race leader. Knowing very well that trail running is not won or lost this early in the race, I eventually caught up with the runners and soon passed a number of them on the steep climb up to Cradock Pass. Reaching CP1 at North Station, I helped myself to a lifesaving PVM Energy Sachet and a banana. I was informed that I have managed to place myself in second position again, now 4 minutes behind the leader.

With steep climbs not being my strong point but with the dreaded climb to North station now behind me, I still felt strong and ready to focus in on the race leader. The chase was on again. The trail between CP1 and CP2, situated at Tierkop, suits my natural abilities better as the path is much more runnable with a steep downhill drop towards Tierkop.Now really turning on the pace the race was on again and after about 5 km I eventually caught the leader at the switchbacks, appropriately called “dizzy heights” by the locals. After cruising together for a while I felt strong enough to push ahead.

Dropping down to Tierkop one cannot help but notice the breathtaking scenery where George and the Garden Route dam lies at your feet and the coastal town of Mossel Bay spread out along the ocean in the distance. I love this section of the route going over the neck and mesmerized by the beauty of the surroundings, nearly forgot about the intensity of the present race conditions. Loosing focus can cost you dearly, I was reminded when a slip of the foot and a tumble or two caused me to end up somewhere in a bush on the slope of the mountain.With no time to waste and luckily only a number of scratches to show, I was soon flying down to Tierkop and CP2. Here I was received by the dedicated Merrell crew who kindly assisted by filling my water bottles and by TekkieTown marketing manager, Gert Claassen, who participated in the 25km event and had some welcome words of encouragement.

Decending down to the old Georg dam wall, I caught up with some of the runners on the 25km event. I was still enjoying every moment of this wonderful privilege of running in the stunningly beautiful Outeniqua mountains, with the only obstacle remaining another very steep climb to Tonnelbos. By now the efforts of the day’s climbing was heavy in my legs, but with the possibility of a course record shimmering on the horizon, I had to maintain a steady pace. Between me and the welcoming Merrell banners at the finish remained only one hard push to Tonnelbos and a last stretch of technical downhill.

Approaching the Merrell finishing banners and crossing the finish line I was greeted by a very excited Tatum and Merrell team. I am deeply satisfied with my efforts and very happy with my finishing time of 4h18, a new course record.

Congratulations to Tatum, Graham and the Merrell team for organizing one of the best events I have ever participated in. The route was well marked and the whole event, from registration to the prize giving, was hugely successful. A very big thank you goes to Liezel and Merrell for sponsoring my shoes and running kit. I find the Merrell NTR Seismic running shoes and clothing to be functional, comfortable and truly supporting my running. Sincere thanks to Gert and Lian from Tekkie Town for the support, assistance and motivation. Thanks to all my friends for all your support. Congratulations to all the other participants for the great achievement of completing one of the toughest and most beautiful trail runs in the Southern Cape. Hope to see everyone at the line up of next year’s Merrell Outeniqua Traverse.Trail running Greetings -Jacques

Seems like the Outeniquas in the mud was definitely the place to be last weekend! Huge thanks to Hobbit and team for the amazing Outeniqua Traverse on Saturday – 39k of slip-sliding away! After Friday’s downpours, Saturday dawned dry and we had beautiful weather all the way, but the legacy of all that rain (as our MTB friends also found) was mud, mud, glorious mud. Most of the route was single track, and with 2.5km of climb and descent to handle it was quite a challenge to keep things shiny side up – I have to admit that despite everything the Vibram soles on my Cruises could do for me, I took a couple of spectacular flyers – but at least the landings were soft and splashy :-)The route was superbly marked, pre-race briefing was comprehensive, and back-up and logistics efficiently handled. The views from the trail were stunning – I love that route. A boery roll at the finish, plus a snazzy Merrell goody bag with a lekker teeshirt,  a memento in the form of a glass coaster along with some other surprises were nice touches that complemented the race experience: in other words a top-notch presentation of a first-class route. Thanks Merrell team for another incredible opportunity to revel in what trail running is all about. Laura Forster

Afternoon Tatum,Just a short email to thank you and your team for an excellent day.Organising was brilliant:)  And to see friendly faces on a cold Saturday morning also motivated us to think happy thoughts, and not to think about the mud, the Friday evening down pour…….. keep in mind, the most challenging trail run we took part in before the Traverse, was the Knysna 21km:) Kim Mocke

Hello Tatum,Thanks for the event, it was awesome !I have forward the video clip to my friends, maybe they will get exited to join me next year. Andries de Meyer

Hello Tatum,Firstly, well done on an excellent race! All aspects of this race outdone my expectations. This must surely be one of the toughest/technical courses in South Africa, especially with the muddy slippery conditions.  I was truly shell shocked at the end! The sheer beauty and amount of climbing left me breathless.  The course was marked extremely well and under very difficult conditions. This definitely helped in enjoying the race more and not worrying whether we were still on the right track.I’m telling everyone about this race and I’m already pondering on how to train for next years event! Mike Els

Hi Tatum and Mountain Runner Team,Thanx for an awesome race on Saturday ! The organizing was fantastic from start to finish  – well done to you and all your team.It was my fourth Traverse and by far my best. Took it super easy, yet bettered my last years time by 45 minutes – one of those days when everything came together.Sure I could have broken 6hrs if you guys hadn’t ordered all that wet and rainy weather the day before !Looking forward to next year ! Regards,Mike van Vuuren

Thank you! this is so nice, normally at other races we wait weeks or never even see the race results.Thank you and looking forward to next years race! Amanda

2010 Race Comments

Once again, thanks for a great race on Saturday. I must say I preferred the route this year – going up those switchbacks is not nice. I cant believe how hot it was on the stretch from the dam to the top of Craddock Peak, and then how cool it was going down the other side. I really suffered on that climb. – Mike van Vuuren

Thank you for the race, it was tough, but I enjoyed it.  – Thea-Mari van der Sandt

Thanks for a great event I really enjoyed it…. it was a hard route and it was worth the pain – Cas van Aardenne

Thanx very much for a great run! The second leg of the 25km with all the mist was challenging and we managed to get on to the wrong side of the dam and had to run all the way round it! Lots of extra kilometres… – Liz Brash

Thanks and thanks for another great run.I loved it.Bundu bash to CP 3 was a good test of the fun factor and a reminder what adventure racing is all about  J- Hanlie Booyens

Thanx for a wonderful run on Saturday.  – Herman Botha

After six and half hours of running we rolled into the finish line, not happy to have out run the other athletes but happy to have finished and conquered a truly hard core, full scale technical trail race – Kevin Flanagan (read the full article on Runner’s World

Wil net baie dankie sê vir ‘n baie lekker race! Al het ek by Saasveld die verkeerde roete gevat en op die ou end 30km gehardloop, of moet ek eerder sê gestap met bene wat nie meer wou saamwerk nie, het ek dit baie geniet… ek sal dit definitief volgende jaar weer wil gaan doen. – Bertie Janse van Rensburg

Thank you again for putting together a fab event.  I am sooooooo stiff I can hardly walk, and getting down stairs poses a huge challenge (almost like the one I had on Saturday!)Wow, what a beautiful area we live in, hard to describe to anyone. AWESOME – Alison Jordaan

Thanks so much for organising the race on Saturday.  I had a bit of a rough race, but it was still good to be outdoors enjoying the views.  By being out there so long I suppose I got excellent value for money.  The race has a character unlike the other trail races I do, and I will continue supporting it into the future – Rob Patric

It was a really tough course but I enjoyed it thoroughly – despite the exhaustion and aches and pains  – it was incredibly beautiful. Its always just  great to finish something like that. – Chandre Gould

Holy cow – was stuffed! Ran the first 10km so hard!Loving the single track. HR right up at 187 to the top of tierkop, then was stuffed – Tatum Prins