Annalise’s Story of the MUT

Thank you very much for this opportunity – this will officially be my first “race report” …. So I’ll leave it at that.. hahaha 😜

My Discovery George MUT weekend started with me and Jacques somehow mis communicating times and it resulted in me missing the Race Briefing, hahaha!!! He did make up for it and luckily they are so organised at this event that the race briefing was recorded and I could watch the whole “show” on his phone!

Annalise watching the Race Briefing on her phone

Saturday started at an early 3am, because the gun goes at 5am (a bit earlier than the norm) and I have to get the girls ready as well. I love my brown bread toast with lots of Honey and Almond ButtaNut for breakfast – depending on the day I’ll have 2 pieces. I need 30 minutes just to sort myself out before a race and I woke the girls at 3:30am.  My absolutely amazing husband, Juan, the reason why I get to do what I do also got up and we are such a solid team in organising the girls and ourselves by now, we left our apartment at 4:20am to arrive at the venue at 4:30am.

I was really scared it was going to be cold as the weather predicted 8 degree’s, but when we woke up there was a very strong presence of a warm “berg wind” 😀 – some heat!!

The race started at 5am and after literally 100m of flat running you basically climb for the next 10km, it was great. I really had to take care not to push too hard at the start as I knew the second half was going to be tough, if you blow your legs early on it will be a very long day out.

First check point came very quickly and it was just before this point my headlamp decided it was a great time to start messing around with programs and power saving modes – epic fail. Travis was behind me (again thank you Travis) and he was more than happy to share his light. I do believe this was also a blessing in disguise for me later on. The 2nd check point is where I could refill my Tailwind and the climbing continued at least we had a few little downs in between. The only thing that was a bit sad is that it was still dark at this point so you can’t see the beautiful mountains. The sunrise was magical though!!! I was really looking forward to some more runnable sections, I just wanted to stretch my legs out a bit. After one or two more shorter climbs and a technical down we hit a jeep track and I could finally motor a bit, really enjoyed pushing the pace and increasing the cadence here.

On the “ridge” just after the infamous Dizzy Heights climb

CP3 was a quick hallo and then I knew my family was waiting at CP 4, could not wait to see them. It is amazing what this has done for me mentally, especially in trail running you do not really see family and friends along the way, this was such a nice touch to this race!!  I was lucky enough to share a few kilometres with the famous Mr Skyrun, thank you Bruce was lovely chatting to you, what a legend!! Before I knew it I was nearly half way, hugging my beautiful girls and blowing kisses at my hubby! Refilled my Tailwind, had some oranges, most divine date balls and off I went with Jacques doing a little jog with me giving me some race feedback. The next section was mentally quite nice as I had done it in the training run and knew what to expect. The climb after CP 5 is the worst in the race for me, the famous Dizzy Heights – it is not that long compared to what you have done but it is really steep and your legs are starting to feel the elevation a bit at this point. I just took a moment here, appreciated the majestic views and gathered myself again. It was also quite windy at places, that hot berg wind so I knew I had to look after my hydration.

CP 6 was a lovely stop, people where so friendly, actually at all the Check Points everyone was so helpful and friendly – thank you!! Again filled my Tailwind took some extra liquids here as temperatures where rising. I knew I only had 20km to go and there is a lot more runnable sections coming up where I can push my pace again. I was playing cat and mouse with Kyle Herring at this point as I kept catching him and passing him and then the other way around, after passing him at about 45km I did not see him again.

Race Start smiles for Annalise at Witfontein

CP7 was great, the guys directed all route/course commentary to Jacques hahahaha I laughed so hard. The last 5km of this race was really technical and difficult on tired legs but I felt so strong and was able to still push and run majority of the sections, I was very surprised in how well my legs felt right up to the last kilometre.  All in all, a beautiful and amazing day out, feeling blessed to be able to take part in such activities. Want to thank Brooks Running SA for their continued support as well as Feetures socks. Tailwind Nutrition keeps me going for kilometres on end 💪

Annalise coming over the line absolutely delighted

To every single person involved and the race organisers of the Discovery George MUT – Zane and Jacques, you have surpassed all expectations!!!  This race will become one of South Africa’s iconic events, every single trail runner needs to do this race at least once, go experience the beautiful Outeniqua mountains!! 60km of the most pristine single track you can imagine, I will definitely be back!!!! The local trail running community truly are amazing, thank you every single person involved for an unforgettable weekend!!!

The annual George MUT Mountain Ultra Trail, presented by Ecobound Events in the Outeniqua Nature Reserve, George, Western Cape, South Africa, RSA

The women’s podium with Annalise on the top step in a time of 08:37:54