Lesotho Ultra 17 (282).jpg

TRAIL RUNNING

Filming the Sani Stagger 2021

'It gets really cold and cloudy up there, so this forecasted rain will make it… interesting.'

These are the words by race director Spurg Flemington that were ringing in my head as we were steadily being overtaken by a solid wall of cloud during our taxi ride to the top of Sani Pass.

With squinted eyes and my camera concealed underneath my shirt, well, the best I could manage it, I trudged around the top of Sani Pass in search of a view or some smiling faces at least. Now as you can imagine, the harsh conditions weren’t conducive to sitting around and waiting, as all our 250+ participants were forced to do - but somehow, everywhere I looked, I saw nothing but excitement and cheerful chatter (pun intended).

Rapidly, I realized that while searching for the perfect few shots, I’ve run quite short of time. In fact, the full marathon runners should be reaching the top of the pass any moment now and with visibility limited to a solid 10m, I will definitely not have any forewarning.


I packed up my gear (that somehow always feels like it’s in more of a mess than I remember leaving it), grabbed what I could and jogged a little down the pass. Not moments later, there it was, the faint crunch-crunch-crunch of footsteps pacing towards me.


I threw the tripod up, locked-off a second camera and rushed to get our leader speeding up the pass, which you can see at around 00:42 in the video. Now with visibility like that, very little lighting, not much time to take the shot and a second set of crunch-crunch-crunching heading my way, I had to move fast.


The next 20 minutes consisted of running up and down a switchback repeatedly with a combined attention on camera focus and not tripping. Seems easy.


Wasn’t.


However, it was a blast.


The rest of the day continued much as many runs do; personal chauffeur, flat tyre, missed shots, “how far” queries etc. The usual.


I kid. The Sani Stagger was far from usual and far from boring. Spurg’s words were more accurate than I imagined they would’ve been, yes indeed, the rain made this year’s Stagger, from all perspectives… “interesting.”


 


137 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All