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Where in Durban do I Train Hills for Otter and Other Trail Races?
31 May 2012
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So... you live in Durban but don't
want to trek to the Drakensberg to improve your hill running?
The stairs at the Otter Trail Run presented by Hi-Tec are
notorious for destroying finish time wishlists. Fact is, you need
to train stairs to race stairs without falling apart like a
battleship at Bikini Atoll.
And you need to do that at least once a fortnight, preferably once
Here are some of the best truly wild places to find hills and
stairs in the Durban area that emulate the Hi-Tec Otter Trail Run
in one way or the other:
If you're in the
Hillcrest/Pinetown/Kloof area, Krantzkloof/Kloof
Gorge has a testing and often too steep to run 14km
circular route but access is not 24/7 and the terrain is dangerous
if you get lost or hypoglycaemic (read: you could step off one of
the 50-100m point-of-no-return cliffs). Reminds
of: cliff sections and forest stair sections at Otter.
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, R15pp entry
Burman Bush has
some mean quad-busting stairs in Morningside, although not as long
as the Otter stairs. Run them fast as repeats and you'll be
whimpering. Reminds of: undulating forest stair
sections at Otter. Access is 24/7, with no entry fee
Kenneth Stainbank Nature
Reserve in Yellowood Park is extremely steep in places and
you can do repeats up the stair sections. Reminds
of: river crossings, forest stair sections and open
grassland along cliffs in final 12km of Otter. You can run for six
hours here and still find new routes. Access 6am-6pm all year,
Pigeon Valley Nature
Reserve directly below the main entrance to Howard Campus,
UKZN has some steep sections including a killer concrete drainage
ditch that will take your quads and calves into the red zone. Run
it and weep! Reminds of: forest and flowing
singletrack sections at Otter. Access 7am-4pm daily, no entry
There are countless urban uphills
and hidden staircases in the Durban suburbs if you look
Where do you train for Otter where you live?
Let me know and I'll compile a list of your area and mention you
and your favourite spot.
TRAIL magazine, trailmag.co.za