The Air Up There?
At 3222m above sea level, Afriski Mountain Resort resort has created an obstacle course that puts bunny hopping and cyclocross events to shame. Designed by Marco Corrambo of Battle Rush, this three-day contest gives new meaning to the term OCR. Stamina, teamwork and, of course, lung capacity are tested to their limits. Welcome to The Air Up There – the highest obstacle course in Africa.
Dates: 27th-30th April 2018
Testing the Limits in 2017
The first day of racing opened with a cool breeze and mists rolling through the mountains. However, a hot cup of coffee and the Sky Restaurant buffet spread warmed the hands and fired up the enthusiasm. Competitors mentally steeled themselves for the 15km course. Monkey bars, sandbag carrying, an icy swim, clambering over walls and up nets awaited. After a quick briefing, the participants stepped up to the starting line – some nervous, others excited, all ambitious and hungry for the win.
The crowd, many of them Lesotho locals, cheered on the leading contestants. Tabello Moleka, in safety boots no less, initially took the lead. As one of AfriSki’s security team members, the locals were all behind him. Unfortunately, so was Thomas van Tonder, a member of Team Jeep. Bradley Claase (Team Battle Rush) and Armin Botha (Team Oct South) weren’t giving any ground either. The leader’s board shifted as competitors fought the altitude, were penalised for poor spear throws or stopped to take in the gorgeous views and rest a little. In the end, after running, crawling and flinging himself under, over and through thirty obstacles, Bradley Claase took the win in a time of 1:15:45. Hands on knees and panting at the end, he said, “this is a world-class course. It was amazing, and one of the toughest I have done”.
Sunday morning had the runners gearing up for a 900m sprint. The catch: an incline of 192m and a bet on who could run it in under eight minutes. 100m into the race and the runners began to flag, taking deep gulps of air and slowing the pace. Armin Botha, of team Oct South, kicked it up a gear with the finish line in sight and came in first with an impressive time of 7:21.
After a short break to steady the wobbly knees and cool the burning lungs, the team race began. Styled as a three-legged relay race, the team challenge included a 2.5km run, 1km run and then 500m sandbag carrying, hurdling obstacles and a full-team wall climb. Standing on the sidelines was gripping, everyone leaning in and cheering as the athletes either flew, crawled or dragged themselves past the crowds. Team AOT from Durban made it to the finish first – and then rather elegantly collapsed in exhaustion. Even so, AOT’s leader, James Meredith marked the team event as the “highlight of the weekend”.
2018 Race Formats
Pain is temporary. Sweat dries. Memories are forever. If this is your view of OCR, then join us at the next Air Up There event. There is nothing like high-altitude obstacle course racing. We look forward to welcoming you to Afriski Mountain Resort for The Air Up There 2018.
- 1 km Uphill Sprint
- 15 km Obstacle Race
- Team Relay
- 1 km Obstacle Sprint
Early Bird Entries
This pass grants you entry into each of the four races:
- 1km Uphill Race
- 15lm Obstacle Race
- Team Relay
- 1km Obstacle Sprint
And to boot you will get a free The Air Up There Goodie Bag!
Individual Race Entries
There are multiple different accommodation options for The Air Up There 2018. All inclusive prices range from R3,195.00 in the Backpackers to R4,425.00 for one of our stunning Mountain Chalets. This includes accommodation for the weekend as well as an all inclusive meal package.