SOME of the country's toughest athletes will be making their way to Wilderness this weekend for a gruelling 150km 24-hour multi-sport event that is sure to test even the fittest participants' endurance.
The Merrell Eden Duo, now in its 13th year, is an event which incorporates all the major endurance racing disciplines – paddling, kloofing, mountain biking, hiking and running – and will see participants take on some of the toughest terrain the Garden Route can throw at them.
They will be dodging rising tides, facing treacherous terrain and other challenges over 24 hours, which means when night falls they will have to take on these obstacles in the dark.
Athletes are given the choice of competing solo, in pairs or as a relay team and will need basic map-reading skills as only the first 10km of the mountain bike trail is marked.
Race organiser Jan Heenop said the participants would rely on the assistance of support crews.
Heenop said the sport attracted professional athletes, "serious amateurs" and weekend warriors.
This year between 150 and 200 participants are expected to take part, including two teams from France.
"There will be a shorter option of 50km and an option for families of 3km," Heenop said.
The athletes will start the race at 6am tomorrow at the Ebb and Flow rest camp in the Wilderness section of the Garden Route National Park and finish there the next morning.