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Whale Trail


How to describe in words what cannot be described. To describe something truly life-changing, we are simply left to try.


Coming from over a decade of cycling experience I found myself lined up on the start line of my first ever trail run at the Merrel Whale of Trail. My calm nature masked the mixed bag of emotions running through my body before the final countdown began. I was nervous but excited at the same time, and before I knew it we were off in a hurry to get to the trail first.


The simplicity of running allowed us to engage fully with our surroundings. The trail led us up the Potberg just as the sun began to rise, illuminating the most beautiful colours of fynbos that lined the edge of the Mountains ahead of us. I felt small all of a sudden as we ran along the rocky ridge hundreds of meters in the air whilst a kettle of vultures soared over our heads. This is wilderness without borders.


I was in awe of everything that I could see and was lucky enough to share this experience of joy while running with Chi. We both knew that this experience was only going to get more real as we headed towards the beach segment. It’s quite something running along the great divide between one huge body of water and the landmass that follows. The sea breeze was up, we could feel the energy of the ocean as each wave crashed against the shoreline and as we looked up there was a storm approaching in the distance. We zig-zagged in between the coves, over steep embankments and buried our feet in beach sand as we plodded along with urgency.


After surpassing my previous longest run by a long way, Chi kept on motivating me. We did not slow down, and before we knew it the end was in sight. What a fitting finish it was as we ran up to the final banner as a pod of whales made themselves evident in the ocean behind us. What a privilege. Talking about this experience does not do it justice, but we can only try. We are left with memories that will last a lifetime.


Your life unfolds in proportion to your courage! Be courageous and never back down from a new opportunity to experience life.


Written by: Stuart Fitzpatrick


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