IMPI Challenge – The Second view


As you would have read previously on All Things Jabu, I will be entering the IMPI Challenge along with my team mates from the All Things Jabu Mean Machine. We have apparently generated a fair amount of interest and it has now come to our attention that Charl Souma will be entering the IMPI elite. Souma is the current defending elite champion and will be pulling out all the stops to stamp his authority on this unique obstacle adventure race.

The full-time IT consultant works at the University of Cape Town and only started adventure racing and trail running three years ago.  “I’m stuck inside for most of the day and developed a desire to explore the outdoors and engage in something adventurous.  Although I play squash and tennis for enjoyment, these adventure races are life-changing.”

Souma considers his completion of both uphill and downhill versions of the Comrades marathon as his biggest sporting accomplishments and this is why we have become fans of Souma already as many will know our love for the Comrades marathon. He has also taken part in Fittest in Cape Town 2013 as well as the Trail Series Silvermine Race and has just recently won the 2013 Bat Run in a time of 3:23:53.

Charl Souma is looking to add a fourth IMPI Elite title to his name.  Attached please find story & pic.  Photo: Alberto Pepler.
Charl Souma is looking to add a fourth IMPI Elite title to his name. Attached please find story & pic. Photo: Alberto Pepler.

A self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie, Souma was hooked after his first IMPI Challenge.  “It took me back to a time when it was OK to run for no reason, to climb trees and poles, to jump into pools and crawl in the dirt while fully clothed and have enormous fun while doing it.  It is organised chaos at its best and I love it,” mentions Souma, who hopes to participate in a Toughest Mudder or a Spartan Death Race in the future.

Although unfamiliar with the Gauteng venue at Van Gaalens, Souma is confident that it will be a well-designed course and is looking forward to fierce competition and the indomitable IMPI spirit.  In preparation for the New Balance IMPI Challenge Gauteng, Souma will adjust his training programme slightly by shortening his runs to ten kilometres and adding swimming with shoes, jumping jacks, pull-ups and fast sprinting bursts to his exercise regime.

According to the 3-time IMPI Elite champion, his race strategy will remain similar to previous races.  “I always push myself to run hard after completing an obstacle, which fatigues your legs, and this remains one of the hardest challenges.  You also have to focus on the upcoming obstacle and think about the challenge it presents and not the person behind you.  You have to clear it in the fastest way possible and get it right the first time.”


Although trail running and racing are in his blood, Souma loves to cook.  “I feel peaceful while I’m preparing food and spend a lot of time doing it, while watching Come Dine with Me.  I don’t alter my diet before I race, so will follow the same eating plan on race day, but I definitely will make sure that a cold milkshake waits for me at the finish,” laughs Souma.

The New Balance IMPI Elite Challenge Gauteng will take place on Saturday, 6 April.  The challenging 17-kilometre route includes 21 obstacles.  Only 100 elite spaces are available with a R10 000 cash prize up for grabs for the winners in the male and female categories.

Register now at or visit the IMPI Facebook Page.