Jumping jacks in the city of Durbs

Words: Sam Bradley | Photos: Cristie Bradley

"What is Jump City?" is the question I was endlessly asked during the week building up to the event on Saturday, 28 June. Not too sure myself, and with anticipation building, I discovered from the website that it promised to be a trail run, an adventure and obstacle course all rolled into one hugely entertaining event.

Photo credit: Cristie Bradley

Early on the morning of the event we joined many brightly clothed athletes converging on Moses Mabhida Stadium, the gloomy weather doing nothing to dampen the boisterous atmosphere. Facing us was a course comprising 21 obstacles set over a 9.8 km route, with athletes taking off in batches every 10 minutes to ease congestion at the obstacles.

Setting off in a blaze of youthful exuberance we met our first challenge at the 'Stairway to heaven'. Depending on your mind frame, this was either a cruel and unusual form of punishment or a fantastic way to see the sights of the beautiful Moses Mabhida soccer stadium and Kings Park rugby stadium. Either way, after getting from the top of the stadiums to the bottom multiple times (over 400 steps in total), our legs were burning and lungs on fire.

No rest for the wicked, so after a brief tyre-carrying exercise and making our escape from the stadium through a forest of plastic noodles, we marched on like battle-weary soldiers towards the beach.

Photo credit: Cristie Bradley

Before getting there we had some seriously strenuous monkey bars to negotiate; these proved to be the toughest challenge of the event, although luckily there were first aid facilities available for the occasional casualty. Onwards and upwards we victoriously emerged, ready to tackle the 'Bucket and spade' challenge, 500 m of pristine Durban beachfront, scattered with ropes, climbing walls and other obstacles waiting to be conquered.

Emerging from the beach, with sand in our hair and tired smiles on our faces, we made our way to the final and most anticipated challenge at the Kings Park swimming pool.

Awaiting us was 'Keith’s way down', a 25 m floating bridge constructed of wooden pallets held together with rope and set across the length of the pool. Competitors had to run across the pallets, both quickly enough to stop from sinking into the water and skilfully enough to keep one's balance the whole way across. From there it was a quick hop off the 5 m or 7 m diving board (luckily we got there before the queues got too long) and then we made our way, wet and dishevelled, towards the finishing line.

It was only upon crossing the finish line (after a final challenge of push-ups, sit-ups and star jumps had been successfully negotiated) that we realised the magnitude of the task we'd just completed. Instead of groaning and grunting our way through another gym routine, we had been able to get a really good workout while completing some fun challenges, appreciating the beautiful sites of Durban and enjoying the company of equally enthusiastic fellow competitors. So even though we didn’t win any of the prizes generously sponsored by Turbovite, Shift Concepts, Fit Chef and Coleman, we had no hesitation in happily making a pact to try again next year.

What you need to know

Events take place in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban on a regular basis, and the cost to enter is roughly R200 per person. For more information visit www.jumpcitychallenge.com

One lucky reader will win 2 tickets to either the Jump City night event in Durban or Johannesburg, dates to be confirmed. To enter, email with 'Jump City' and 'the city of your choice' (Durban or Johannesburg) in the subject line, before Sunday 13 July 2014. The winner will be drawn from all entries received. One entry per person. DO IT NOW's competition rules apply.