An athlete from KwaZulu-Natal has collapsed and died on 6 October during the recent Otter Trail Run.
Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said the incident happened at around 17:25. It is believed that the participant, a 34-year-old man collapsed close to the Storm’s River near the border between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape.
‘Attempts were made by paramedics to resuscitate him which were unsuccessful and he was declared deceased on the scene. The body of the deceased had to be airlifted and transported by helicopter to be handed over to police forensic pathology services,’ Pojie said. Storms River police have opened an inquest docket for further investigations to try and determine the cause of death.
Organisers of the event extended heartfelt condolences to the athlete’s friends and family.
‘The tragic incident is the first such occurrence in the event’s 14-year history. Participant safety is always the Otter African Trail Run’s primary concern and as such, the heart-breaking news is felt acutely throughout the race village,’ they said in a statement.
The Otter African Trail Run takes place annually and the direction alternates every year. The Otter Edition traverses east to west, starting in Storm’s River and finishing in Nature’s Valley, while the Retto Edition runs west to east, from Nature’s Valley to Storm’s River. This year, participants completed the Retto Edition.
The 42km-route embarks along rugged Indian Ocean coastline trails, indigenous forests, river crossings and an average of 7 000 steps. The Challenge takes place in the build-up to the main Otter race and allows participants more time to finish with an extended cut-off time of 11 hours instead of the more competitive nine-hour cut-off expected at the main race.