Family owned, organised and managed by Andrew, Lauren, Charlie and Ben Booth

Introducing Kruger2Canyon Challenge

Many trail runners know us, but we thought we would introduce the Kruger2Canyon Challenge and ourselves.

Family owned, organised and managed by Andrew, Lauren, Charlie and Ben Booth
K2C owners & managers Andrew & Lauren Booth, with their boys Charlie (left) and Ben (right).
The Kruger2Canyon Challenge is an event that fits into what is a shrinking category in the trail running world, both globally and in South Africa. In an age where big corporates are more & more becoming the face of events, there are some that are Owner Managed and organised. Participants know the organisers name. When you send an email, the person reading & responding either is the owner or is sitting next to them.
Kruger2Canyon Challenge is a family-owned, managed and organised event. It was started in 2015 under the WildTrust WildSeries Banner, when Andrew Booth was the Series Race Director. He first visited the area to recce for a possible event and in a flight over the mountain saw a big sports field and said “There – that’s our venue!” Those sports fields belonged to Laerskool Mariepskop, home of the Kruger2Canyon Challenge!
Andrew and his Trail Crew spent 2 weeks on the mountain scouting for the lost trails of Mariepskop. Eventually, with the help of a retired forestry ranger, the routes (or approximates thereof) were found. They are accessed from Laerskool Mariepskop by another historical trail, that was used by school children travelling on donkeys between the school hostel and the Military Base where their parent were stationed. If children could do it weekly, how hard could it be for a bunch of hardened trail runners??
Year 1 of the race proved it to be incredibly tough and a few changes saw it morph into much of what it is today. However withdrawal of Series sponsorship saw the event at risk of being canned altogether at the end of 2016, but WildTrust agreed to the Booth’s continuing to host the event, in partnership with the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere.

Both Andrew & Lauren Booth come from a conservation background. Having studied Accounting then Grassland Science (Andrew) and Forest Ecology (Lauren), I don’t think either of their families anticipated the turn their careers would take 😂 But conservation is still very much their ethos, and their partnership with the K2C Biosphere is a critical part of that. Money from each race entry is ring-fenced as a donation to The Biosphere. They play a vital role in the event logistics, but more importantly, in the bigger picture of the greater landscape in which the event takes place. The Biosphere engage with stakeholders to try to balance the seemingly impossible equation of people using land and its resources in a way that recognises peoples’ human rights as well as conservation. They are a power team of innovative thinkers, go-getters and down-right lekker people!

 
Originally under the WildSeries banner, the Booths now organise the Kruger2Canyon Challenge.
Started under the WildSeries banner, the Booths now organise the Kruger2Canyon Challenge.
Andrew & Lauren have worked the event from top-down and inside out.
Andrew is the route and logistics man. He can spot potential routes on Google Earth that seem unpassable, understands route marking for the tired-runners brain, is a master MC and has no concept of the true meaning of an “undulating hill”. He still maintains that the Day 1 climb to the top of the mountain is “not that bad”. 🤯
Having hosted an estimated 400+ trail running events, he understands the nuts & bolts of hosting of a successful event like few others.
Lauren is Admin Central 😂 If you send an email or a Whatsapp to the race admin, you will be talking to her. She oversees race entries, merchandise and marketing. She loves “seeing a plan come together”, telling the race stories, and watching runners push their limits gives her all the feels.
 
Ben & Charlie were the original KidZone Kids – we basically started it when they started getting bored being at events every weekend.
Charlie was 9months old at the first K2C. There was a heatwave and the temperatures were in the 40s. He spent most of the time sitting in an emptied Admin Box filled with water – he had the best time and still has that photo framed and in his bedroom!
But now the boys attend the school that Andrew spotted from the sky when they were only babies. They are amper tweetalig after a year, are frequently seen testing out the 5km route, hiking up the Day 1 climb (supplying constructive feedback freely) and planning stalls for the Race Village!
This is us. We are not perfect, but we are family. And we are passionate about this crazy-beautiful event!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *