The Build-up to Drakensberg Northern Trail (DNT)

Wow, it is another year and DNT is upon me once again! What can I say?

Drakensberg Northern Trail 2017 is the first ever marathon I have ever completed and one of the hardest races I have ever attempted and completed. For those who are interested… ..Drakensberg Northern Trail is the first race in the Skyrun Series.

Now on to a post-mortem of last years race…

Last year’s DNT was an emotional race for me. Not only was it my first marathon and Skyrun, but it was cold, wet and misty at the start.  As far as idea race conditions go, the weather was perfect for speed as you did not have to re-hydrate and your body stays cooler for longer.

The only problem with the weather was that it made the rock faces that we had to ascend slippery and treacherous.  Unfortunately, within the first 10km, I slipped on a wet rock and fell hard.

Consequently, I had two choices: either call the race or push through and complete the race. Fortunately, one of the top Skyrunners in South Africa, Bruce Arnett decided to stop and see if I was okay and told me to push through it.

Furthermore, Bruce and I decided to run the race together and he mentored me throughout the race. What was a painful and disastrous start, turned out into an amazing experience running with a legend in the Skyrunning community.

The tactics and lessons I learnt from him that day have stayed with me to this day. And as I look back after nearly 1 year I still can’t believe we could chat and run through some of the wet, rocky switchbacks in those conditions and not break any bones or injure ourselves for over 30km of technical trail.

Bruce in the front and I’m just behind

As I finish off, there is one thing for me to say, and that is: “DNT I am coming for you, and I will conquer you!”

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