Monday 6:27am: A look of confusion and shock was clear on Dirk’s face as he looked back towards me while hugging the up-side down kayak with his left hand and the paddle with his right, half way through the first rapid of the day. I suspect the confusion part is due to the fact that I told Dirk I have been down this stretch of river (with the same kayak) many times before and that I never had to take a swim. The shock part could be attributed to the cold dark muddy water as the sun has not yet reached into the canyon at that hour. We were about 4km into a 60km paddle, this was day three of the Led Lenser Wartrail Challenge.
My race partner (Dirk Immelmann) a formidable trail runner and a ‘no-fuss’ ‘hard-as-nails’ type of guy agreed a few months earlier to do the Wartrail Challenge with me in a team of two, since I am a firm believer that life is better in a team. This meant we had to finish each leg together.
For those of you who are familiar with the Witteberg Mountain range, Lady Grey or have done any of the ‘Pure Adventures’ events in this area will agree that the weather is always extreme come race day. I have ran in snow (in summer), in hail the size of golf balls, I’ve experienced sleet in the morning and thunderstorms in the afternoon and the 2018 edition of the K-way Skyrun was marked by extreme drought and heat.