Athletics

Defending champ out of Otter

Ricky Lightfoot (Jacques Marais)
Ricky Lightfoot (Jacques Marais)

Cape Town - With just under a week to go until the 2014 OTTER Trail Run presented by Salomon and Gu, world trail champion Ricky Lightfoot has been forced to withdraw due a trapped nerve in his back.

Lightfoot, also the defending 2013 Otter Trail Run champion, was looking forward to doing the double at the Otter, as the race runs in alternating directions each year. In addition, race organisers had put up a bonus of R100 000 for a sub 4-hour finishing time, something that Lightfoot had his sights set on.

Speaking on his disappointment at missing this year’s race, Lightfoot did confirm that we would definitely be back in 2015.

“For me the Otter Trail was one of my highlights from 2013 for a number of reasons, firstly the people are amazing, the welcome and support I received while I was there was second to none! With the opportunity to return to this gem this year I'm more than disappointed to say I will not compete in the Retto. I'll be back for another crack in 2015.”

The withdrawal of Lightfoot almost certainly leaves the contention for the Grail of Trail men’s section in the hands of local runners. Race favourites AJ Calitz, Ian Don Wauchope and Kane Reilly now look set to do battle for honours barring only a major upset.

Race Director Mark Collins was disappointed at Lightfoot’s unavailability, but was just as excited at the prospect of a battle of the locals.

“Obviously it’s disappointing, but the thought of Ian, AJ and Kane going head to head on their home turf, which also happens to be toughest terrain in trail running on the African continent is something that I’m really looking forward to.”

The 2014 Otter Trail run take place on September 21/22. The race prologue will take place on the 21st, and the main race on the 22nd.

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