Introducing the Challenging Cape Odyssey Race

Trail running is rapidly growing in popularity worldwide and is definitely gaining a large following in South Africa. In the Western Cape, the weekend trail runs are enthusiastically supported. Running is an endurance sport that is easily accessible to all South Africans, regardless of their economic circumstances. All an athlete needs is a good pair of running shoes, determination and plenty of time to train. With this in mind, the Cape Odyssey Race is being launched in October 2007, with the objective of offering runners an event to match any other being offered on the international running scene.

South Africa already hosts the annual Comrades Marathon, a world-class event in which more than 12,000 athletes run a distance of 90 kilometers. With a turn out like that, there is no doubt that South Africans love the sport of running.

The Cape Odyssey Race will take place over five days, covering a distance of 200 kilometers, starting on the Southern Cape Coast and finishing in the Cape Winelands. The race will be kept small this year, with 50 teams, but plans are already being made for the 2008 event to take place from 7 to 11 October and will accommodate many more contestants. With so many beautiful places to see in the Cape, each year’s event will follow a different route.

Runners must enter the Cape Odyssey Race as a two-runner team, under one of four different categories: ladies, men, mixed and masters (where both runners are 40 years or older). The minimum age requirement is 18. The organisers of the Cape Odyssey Race are putting great emphasis on taking excellent care of the participating athletes, with the goal of providing an unforgettable African-style trail running experience. To achieve this, they will be providing a 24-hour service which includes isotonic drinks being available at the water points, tented accommodation in the race village each night, dinner, masseurs, entertainment and a carbo-loaded breakfast to get the day off to a really good start.

The trail starts on 16th October from Hermanus heading to Kleinmond (37 kms), Paul Cluver Wine Estate (58 kms), Grabouw (38 kms), Franschhoek (44 kms) and ending at the Lanzerac Manor and Winery (34kms). All along the way, runners will have breath-taking views and constantly changing terrain all adding to the enjoyment, and challenge, of the race.

With the planning and effort that is being put into ensuring that the first Cape Odyssey Race will be a success, it is certain to become a highlight in South Africa’s annual sports event calendar.